Weekend Wrap-Up

Jim Carrey Says Yes, Audiences Say Meh

By David Mumpower

December 21, 2008

Is anyone renting The Number 23? You're hilarious.

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The films in sixth and seventh place this weekend are both clear cut hits. The only difference is in scale. Twilight gains another $5.2 million from disaffected teen girls, giving it a running total of $158.5 million. This weekend, it passed Horton Hears a Who to become the ninth most successful movie of 2008 and -am I really typing these words? - is going to finish ahead of Quantum of Solace in final domestic gross. Meanwhile, TV's Bolt (featuring the voice of Mark Walton as Hamster-in-a-Ball) earned $4.3 million this weekend. It has a running tally of $95 million after 31 days of box office. This marvelous little movie will be over $100 million by next weekend. Score one for the good guys.

Rounding out the top ten this weekend are Slumdog Millionaire, Australia and Quantum of Solace. The presence of Danny Boyle's latest movie is something of a surprise. Exhibited in only 589 locations, Slumdog Millionaire managed a laudable $3.2 million with a per-venue average of $5,348. It's already earned $12.1 million and hasn't even gone wide yet. Meanwhile, the news for Australia continues to be grim. Dropping from fifth to ninth place, it's already almost out of the top ten. $2.3 million this frame gives it a running tally of $41.9 million. While the lucrative holiday period will help some, this one is a loser. For Quantum of Solace, the news is rosier. Another $2.2 million gives it a running total of $161.3 million domestically on top of the $400 million it's already brought in worldwide. I don't think it's going to quite have enough steam to become the first $200 million Bond movie domestically, but it will become the most successful title in the franchise at some point during the next week.


On the limited release front, The Wrestler earned a whopping $209,474 from only four theaters. That's a stratospheric per venue average of $52,369. Doubt made $729,000 from 39 locations, a per location average of $18,692. And Gran Torino continues to score highly in a small number of theaters, making $468,000 in its 19 locations. Its per venue average is $24,632. The Kate Winslet film The Reader earned $100,150 in its eight venues, giving it a per location average of $12,519. And finally, Frost/Nixon made $364,845 from 39 locations, a per venue average of $9,355.

Combined revenue for the top ten was $82.8 million, down - way down - 46% from last year's $151.9 mllion. Will Smith and Jim Carrey's movies did not combine for enough revenue to cancel last year's major release, National Treasure: Book of Secrets with its $44.8 million debut - and it just got worse from there. Conventional wisdom is that movie theaters are recession-proof, but there is clearly odd box office behavior at play thus far in December. We'll know for sure whether the economy was a factor by this time next week. As an aside, I will be doing an abbreviated version (due to the calendar configuration) of BOP's annual Twelve Days of Box Office starting on Tuesday.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/19/08-12/21/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Yes Man Warner Bros. $18,160,000 $18,262,471 New $18,262,471
2 Seven Pounds Columbia Pictures (Sony) $16,000,000 $14,851,136 New $14,851,136
3 The Tale of Despereaux Universal $10,507,040 $10,103,675 New $10,103,675
4 The Day the Earth Stood Still Twentieth Century Fox $10,150,000 $9,890,105 - 67.6% $48,366,989
5 Four Christmases New Line Cinema $7,745,000 $7,701,375 - 41.1% $100,110,827
6 Twilight Summit Entertainment $5,227,000 $5,189,319 - 34.7% $158,425,218
7 Bolt Walt Disney Pictures $4,256,000 $4,146,856 - 44.4% $94,900,059
8 Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $3,150,000 $3,053,760 + 40.4% $12,037,510
9 Australia 20th Century Fox $2,325,000 $2,174,188 - 47.9% $41,796,525
10 Quantum of Solace Columbia Pictures (Sony), MGM $2,150,000 $2,051,882 - 44.8% $161,200,412
11 Milk Focus Features $1,641,290 $1,729,156 - 33.5% $10,410,039
12 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa DreamWorks $1,510,000 $1,569,610 - 50.7% $172,392,069
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Wrestler Fox Searchlight $209,474 $202,714 New $288,220
  Nothing Like the Holidays Overture Films $1,319,000 $1,305,439 - 63.0% $5,924,513
  Doubt Miramax Films $729,000 $680,948 + 34.2% $1,399,548
  Gran Torino Warner Bros. Pictures $468,000 $468,221 + 72.3% $859,860
  The Reader The Weinstein Company $100,150 $92,790 - 44.8% $349,240
  Frost/Nixon Universal $364,845 $378,052 - 39.6% $1,491,262
  Transporter 3 Lionsgate $650,000 $682,033 - 71.0% $31,069,389
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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