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Weekend Wrap-Up

Weekend Box Office Is Punished

By John Hamann

December 7, 2008

Why do you have to keep bringing up your Academy Award?

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Dropping to third is Disney's Bolt, as it stuck to the trend and got hammered in the post-Thanksgiving frame. Bolt earned $9.7 million and was off a brutal 64% from its $26.6 million haul last weekend, where it was actually up 1% compared to its opening. Bolt fans, do not despair. With the big haul last weekend and the upcoming holidays, Bolt is going to be a $100 million plus earner. So far, Bolt has earned $79.3 million for Disney.

Rising one spot to fourth is Baz Luhrmann's Australia. The Fox epic earned $7 million this weekend, and despite getting ahead of James Bond, the Nicole Kidman starrer still dropped 53%. Australia has a reported budget in the $10-125 million range, and a gross of far of $30.9 million. The legs here would have to be insane to match the budget; however, foreign sales may help this one out.

That means Quantum of Solace moves down to fifth, as the Sony/MGM actioner loses a lot of momentum. Quantum picked up another $6.6 million and was off a hard 65% compared to last weekend. Quantum of Solace is approaching the $165 million that Casino Royale earned in 2006 - $50 million of which was earned after December 4, 2006 - its 18th day of release. So far, Quantum of Solace has picked up $151.5 million domestically, and another $340 million overseas. This one will end up a half-billion earner, against a production cost of $200 million in US dollars.

It was a close battle between sequels this weekend. For the kids, Madagascar 2 earned $5.1 million, dropping 64%. For adults, Transporter 3 earned $4.5 million, and was off 63%. That's where the similarities end, as Madagascar 2 has a domestic cume of $165.7 million versus Transporter 3's total of $25.4 million.

Way down in an embarrassing eighth is Punisher: War Zone, Lionsgate's feeble attempt at rebooting this franchise (it's dead, Jim). Released to 2,508 venues, Punisher earned a measly $4 million, delivering a brutal venue average of $1,595. Not all comic book properties are winners, which Lionsgate knows now as their first shot at The Punisher opened to a much better $12 million and finished with $33 million. However, it should be noted that John Travolta did make an appearance, alongside former Punisher Thomas Jane. That version cost Lionsgate $33 million, so it wasn't too bad of a loss. This time out, Ray Stevenson plays The Punisher, and there's no big name bad guy, and this is the result. War Zone cost Lionsgate $20 million, and I'm thinking we won't see another Punisher for quite awhile.




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Not far off the wide Punisher flick is Cadillac Records, the small, 686 venue release from Sony. Considering the size of release, Cadillac Records didn't do too badly, but no one will be dancing in the aisles either, as the musical drama earned $3.5 million this weekend, good for a venue average of $5,102.

Finally in tenth is Role Models, the little film that has done very well for Universal. Role Models earned $2.6 million in its fifth weekend, and was off 50%. Universal now has $61.7 million in the kitty for this one, against a budget of only $28 million.

The biggest disaster of the weekend is Nobel Son, the new issue from Freestyle Releasing. Despite launching in 893 venues, this one earned only $370,575, and had a venue average of $415. These results are astonishingly bad, to the point where I might think the cast is led by George Bush and OJ Simpson.

In limited release this weekend, we had some very strong titles. Sean Penn's Milk increased it venues to 93 this weekend, and the biopic earned $1.7 million and had a venue average of $17,076. Slumdog Millionaire added 29 venues to go up to 79 screens, and pulled in $1.4 million. Finally, Universal opened Frost/Nixon at three venues, and had an outstanding average of $60,049.

Overall, things were up slightly over last year, but then last year hit a record for low follow-ups to Thanksgiving. This year, the top 12 films earned $77.5 million which compares positively with last year, when the top 12 earned $75.9 million. Next weekend brings the holiday blockbuster The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves, along with the (poorly) animated Delgo and Nothing Like the Holidays from Overture Films.


Top Weekend Box Office for 12/5/08-12/7/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Four Christmases New Line Cinema $18,180,000 $16,755,478 - 46.1% $69,418,170
2 Twilight Summit Entertainment $13,197,000 $13,046,722 - 50.5% $138,402,068
3 Bolt Walt Disney Pictures $9,696,000 $9,796,149 - 63.1% $79,381,422
4 Australia 20th Century Fox $7,000,000 $7,050,261 - 52.4% $30,919,097
5 Quantum of Solace Columbia Pictures (Sony), MGM $6,600,000 $6,752,390 - 64.1% $151,620,134
6 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa DreamWorks $5,100,000 $5,079,120 - 64.3% $165,653,852
7 Transporter 3 Lionsgate $4,500,000 $4,668,898 - 61.3% $25,549,454
8 Punisher: War Zone Lionsgate $4,000,000 $4,271,451 New $4,271,451
9 Cadillac Records Sony BMG Films $3,500,000 $3,445,559 New $3,445,559
10 Role Models Universal $2,622,125 $2,574,460 - 50.4% $61,617,805
11 Milk Focus Features $1,690,487 $1,834,914 + 26.2% $4,284,465
12 Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $1,406,451 $1,402,176 + 4.2% $5,339,510
  Also Opening/Notables
  Nobel Son $370,575 $333,912 New $333,912
  Frost/Nixon Universal $180,147 $180,708 New $180,708
  The Black Balloon Neoclassics $10,500 $10,342 New $10,342
  A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy Magnolia N/A $6,141 New $6,141
  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Miramax Films $1,008,000 $1,031,036 - 39.2% $6,657,280
  Changeling Universal $500,535 $501,070 - 58.5% $34,683,447
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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