Weekend Wrap-Up

Twilight Eclipses Bolt, Bond

By John Hamann

November 23, 2008

I've been in Potter. I've been in Twilight. I'm kind of a big deal.

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Disney's biggest problem with Bolt could be the cost. Chicken Little cost Disney $150 million to make, and it had a domestic gross of $138 million, despite almost doubling Bolt's opening weekend. Like they have with Bolt, Disney kept budget data for Meet The Robinsons under wraps, and it earned only $97 million domestically, and less than $170 million worldwide. The good news for Bolt is that it does look like a good, funny family movie that could attract the legs that Disney is known for. It's currently 84% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and its primary animated competition comes from Delgo (if you've never heard of it, that's not surprising) and Universal's The Tale of Despereaux, which could pose some problems if it's well-received. I actually expect Bolt to come back, earn $100 million plus, and be one of the stars of the holiday season.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa lands in fourth as it gets creamed by Twilight and Bolt. Madagascar 2 earned $16 million, off a way-too-high 54% - despite the competition. Usually, returning films pay the price for opening films of a similar demographic, and that certainly happened here with Madagascar 2. It has now earned $137.4 million domestically, and another $50 million from foreign shores.

Role Models has another successful weekend as serious counter-programming, as the opening titles don't impede on the comedy's target audience. Role Models earned $7.2 million and was off 38% compared to the previous frame. Role Models has now earned $48 million against a budget of $28 million, and could turn into an $80 million hit for Universal.


The rest of the top ten is certainly not as exciting as the top five, so we will move through them quickly. Sixth goes to Changeling which earned $2.6 million. It was off 38%, and has a gross so far of $31.6 million. The production budget for the Angelina Jolie starrer was $55 million. High School Musical 3 finished the weekend with a take of $2 million. It was off a painful 65% due to Twilight, and has a cume so far of $86.8 million. HSM3 cost Disney only $11 million to make. Zack and Miri Make A Porno finishes eighth with a weekend gross of $1.7 million, it was off 46% and has a domestic total of $29.3 million.

I'll take a time out for ninth, as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas takes that spot, a new film on the chart this weekend. Despite opening in only 406 venues, Pajamas earned $1.7 million, giving it a venue average of $4,121. The story concerns a Jewish and German child in World War II, and is a surprise to see in the top ten this weekend.

Finally in tenth is The Secret Life of Bees, now in its sixth weekend. Bees earned $1.3 million and was off 45%. So far, this one has earned $35.6 million against a budget of only $11 million for Fox Searchlight.

Overall this weekend, things are obviously very big. The top 12 films this weekend earned a huge $159.4 million. Last weekend, when Quantum of Solace was on top, the top 12 earned $137 million. Last year over the same weekend, the top 12 earned $150 million, as five films received wide release, and Enchanted was on top with $34.4 million - it finished with a $127 million domestic gross. Next weekend, we get three more releases to join this crop - they include Four Christmases, Australia and Transporter 3.

Top Weekend Box Office for 11/21/08-11/23/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Twilight Summit Entertainment $70,553,000 $69,637,740 New $69,637,740
2 Quantum of Solace Columbia Pictures (Sony), MGM $27,400,000 $26,707,945 - 60.4% $108,790,786
3 Bolt Walt Disney Pictures $27,000,000 $26,223,128 New $26,223,128
4 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa DreamWorks $16,000,000 $15,661,936 - 55.3% $137,109,390
5 Role Models Universal $7,228,785 $7,324,445 - 34.3% $48,133,020
6 Changeling Universal $2,643,280 $2,695,450 - 36.6% $31,665,332
7 High School Musical 3: Senior Year Walt Disney Pictures $2,006,000 $2,049,144 - 63.8% $86,864,082
8 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Miramax Films $1,673,000 $1,647,514 +247.3% $2,628,053
9 Zack and Miri Make a Porno The Weinstein Company $1,700,000 $1,605,579 - 49.0% $29,256,029
10 The Secret Life of Bees Fox Searchlight Pictures $1,275,000 $1,264,991 - 45.9% $35,638,795
11 Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $993,606 $947,795 +163.3% $1,570,240
12 Soul Men Dimension Films $930,000 $912,269 - 61.2% $10,900,502
  Also Opening/Notables
  Were the World Mine Speak Productions N/A $19,191 New $19,191
  Happy Go Lucky Miramax Films $358,000 $338,071 - 8.8% $2,213,147
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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