Deja Vu All Over Again
By David Mumpower
February 10, 2008
Apparently, Miley Cyrus's fans are too young to appreciate the fact that they accomplished something special this past weekend. Their blind devotion to their teenage hero forced Disney to re-think its plans to have Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour exit theaters after only seven days. So, the fact that I am reporting on its second weekend of box office is plenty newsworthy on its own. The less positive news (and if Smiley, my niece and a huge Hannah Montana fan, is reading this, please skip ahead) is that the second weekend was much less kind to Little Miss Achy Breaky Heart Jr. (Smiley, if you're still reading, ask your mother to explain that). Best of Both Worlds fell from an exemplary $31.1 million last weekend to a still-respectable $10.5 million this weekend. Keep in mind that this tally still represents an exemplary per-venue average of $15,295. The problem is that last weekend's per-venue average was, well, infinity, give or take a little bit. Even so, a running total of $53.4 million after ten days is more than enough to keep Disney Channel execs rolling around in a sea of hundred dollar bills until their real money train, High School Musical 3, arrives later on this year. Remember back when Hilary Duff quit Lizzie McGuire to do movies and everyone thought the channel would never recover from that loss? They wouldn't even take Ms. Duff's phone calls now.
The Eye, the re-make of my favorite horror movie of the 2000s, earned another $6.6 million this weekend, giving it a grand total of $21.5 million. The low-budget Lionsgate production is their latest horror film in what seems to an endless onslaught of them. There are some sick puppies at Hollywood's bloodiest mini-major. Given the icy critical reception and lackluster consumer buzz, a decline of 47% frankly doesn't seem that bad.
There was a time not that long ago when I was sitting at dinner with my wife, and we were talking about box office. Yes, we're just that romantic. I looked at her, and I said in shock, "I believe Juno is going to make north of $50 million." She thought about the matter for a moment before reluctantly agreeing. At the time, both of us felt as if we were on the far edge of sanity in making such a bold statement. Folks, that was only about eight weeks ago. Here I am on February 10, 2008, and I am reporting that a weekend box office estimate of $5.7 million gives Juno current box office of $117.6 million. To say that this is a stunning performance frankly undersells it. We are talking about a total that effectively doubles Little Miss Sunshine's $59.9 million. This is to my mind the strongest indie performer since My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it may not be done yet if it is a factor at the Academy Awards.
The sixth and seventh place finishers this weekend are 27 Dresses and The Bucket List, two of the respectable hits of 2008 to date. The former movie earned $5.7 million, giving it a running total of $65.4. Combined with Knocked Up, Katherine Heigl is staking a claim as the next Jennifer Aniston, a television star who can carry a lead female role at the box office, too. Meanwhile, the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman buddy movie accrued another $5.3 million, giving it a running total of $75.1. It now has over a million dollars for each year either of its 70-year-old co-stars has been alive.