Weekend Wrap-Up

Sandler and Pitt Mauled by Adorable Puppy

By David Mumpower

December 28, 2008

Stop dragging me toward Ross. We're on a break!

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The fifth and sixth place finishers this weekend are last weekend's big two, Yes Man and Seven Pounds. Those of you who have been reading BOP's Twelve Days of Box Office columns know that both titles have been performing like clockwork throughout the week given this particular Christmas week calendar configuration. That continued over the weekend as well. Our five comparison films from the most recent applicable years, 1997 and 2003, had five releases. Those were Mouse Hunt, Tomorrow Never Dies, Titanic, Mona Lisa Smile and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Those five titles increased 60%, fell 19%, increased 24%, fell 2%, and fell 30%, respectively. Yes Man and Seven Pounds are right in that with range, as the Jim Carrey comedy dropped 10% to $16.5 million and the Will Smith drama also declined 10% to $13.4 million. Yes Man's running total is $49.6 million while Seven Pounds is at $39.0 million after ten days. No one is blaming the weather for their lackluster performances any more, but we'll see that tired old saw run out again the next time a big movie needs an excuse.


The Tale of Despereaux and The Day The Earth Stood Still wind up in seventh and eighth place this weekend. The animated movie about the big-eared mouse made $10.1 million last weekend and fell only 7% this frame to $9.4 million. It may have suffered briefly from the introduction of Marley and Me and Bedtime Stories into the marketplace, but it has since recovered nicely. Despereaux is at $27.9 million after ten days, and should wind up a win for Universal after all its holiday revenue is accrued. The news is less cheery for Fox with the Keanu Reeves sci-fi flick. The Day The Earth Stood Still dropped from $9.9 million to $7.9 million, a 20% decline. Even worse, the movie lost 1,158 locations from last weekend's 3,560 to 2,402 now. Exhibitors are already washing their hands of this one, which means its running total of $63.6 million plus whatever it makes from now until next day will be the overwhelming majority of its final domestic take. The good news is that it is doing exceptionally well overseas, which could eventually make this a profitable venture in spite of the North American box office hiccup.

Rounding out the top twelve this week are a new release, an expanding awards contender and a pair of aging studs. The Spirit, Frank Miller's attempt to show that he didn't need Robert Rodriguez to be successful, earned only $6.5 million in 2,509 exhibitions, a dismal per-location average of $2,595. Clearly, Frank Miller needs Robert Rodriguez to be successful, at least in Hollywood. The news is sunnier for Doubt, the Meryl Streep drama from Miramax. Expanding from 39 to 1,267 locations, the movie earns a whopping $5.7 million. That's an increase of 733% from last weekend. We don't see those very often in this industry. Meanwhile, Four Christmases continues to show tremendous box office appeal. Another $5.0 million this weekend gives the Reese Witherspoon seasonal comedy a whopping $111.8 million. Clearly, what Hollywood needs to make next year is a Christmas movie with a dog in it. Look out, Titanic. Finally, Twilight makes another $4.5 million to give it an almost incomprehensible running tally of $167.1 million. So, I guess the Christmas dog's owner in the scenario above should be a lovelorn vampire.

Combined revenue for the top twelve this week is a sizzling $194.6 million. That is a spike of 15.4% from last year's $168.6 million. The 2007 holiday campaign was anchored by the continued staying power of National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Alvin and the Chipmunks, but the sheer volume of quality releases this week proved to be more than a match.

Top Weekend Box Office for 12/26/08-12/28/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Marley & Me Twentieth Century Fox $37,000,000 $36,367,586 New $50,748,566
2 Bedtime Stories Walt Disney Pictures $28,069,000 $27,450,296 New $38,029,113
3 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Paramount $27,200,000 $26,853,816 New $38,725,647
4 Valkyrie United Artists $21,531,000 $21,027,007 New $29,520,979
5 Yes Man Warner Bros. $16,450,000 $16,657,046 - 8.8% $49,798,560
6 Seven Pounds Columbia Pictures (Sony) $13,400,000 $13,203,236 - 11.1% $38,762,647
7 The Tale of Despereaux Universal $9,367,605 $8,932,625 - 11.6% $27,448,085
8 The Day the Earth Stood Still Twentieth Century Fox $7,900,000 $7,697,799 - 22.2% $63,480,184
9 The Spirit Lionsgate $6,510,000 $6,463,278 New $10,305,501
10 Doubt Miramax Films $5,675,000 $5,339,742 +684.2% $8,484,863
11 Four Christmases New Line Cinema $5,045,000 $4,840,221 - 37.2% $111,588,896
12 Twilight Summit Entertainment $4,518,000 $4,742,432 - 8.6% $167,325,198
  Also Opening/Notables
  Revolutionary Road Paramount Vantage $192,000 $189,911 New $189,911
  Last Chance Harvey Overture Films $96,000 $97,260 New $132,934
  Waltz With Bashir Sony Pictures Classics $51,252 $69,055 New $72,947
  The Wrestler Fox Searchlight $381,068 $387,530 + 91.2% $907,631
  Gran Torino Warner Bros. Pictures $2,440,000 $2,322,781 +396.1% $4,220,824
  The Reader The Weinstein Company $671,319 $664,013 +615.6% $1,243,690
  Frost/Nixon Universal $1,471,695 $1,355,186 +258.5% $3,539,426
  Milk Focus Features $1,829,506 $1,762,638 + 1.9% $13,533,585
  Australia 20th Century Fox $1,125,000 $1,079,248 - 50.4% $44,283,588
  Bolt Walt Disney Pictures $3,649,000 $3,377,761 - 18.5% $102,423,519
  Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $4,450,000 $4,301,870 + 40.9% $19,476,395
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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