Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

January 24, 2009

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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

The third entry in the Underworld series comes in easily on top of the box office in Friday with $7.9 million. The previous sequel, Underworld: Evolution, opened around this time two years ago to the tune of $10.2 million so this is a bit of a step back. A 2.62 weekend multiplier is what Evolution earned on its way to a $26.8 million weekend back in 2006 and there's no reason that Rise of the Lycans won't have something similar. Sequels do make my job so much easier. A 2.6 multiplier for the Rhona Mitra-led film gives it $20.5 million for the weekend.

Slumdog Millionaire

It's poked its head in the lower rungs of the top ten a handful of times, but boosted by ten Academy Award nominations and an expansion to 1,411 theaters, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire leaps 71% from last Friday to place fifth with $2.7 million. Did you know it's already made $44 million in limited release to this point? It's now a lock for $100 million especially if it picks up anything at the awards ceremony (I like it to win Best Picture). A weekend of $8.3 million should lead to even further expansion in the next couple of weeks.



Inkheart gets thrown to the wolves this weekend with a mere $2 million on Friday. It couldn't even beat the second weekend of Hotel For Dogs (down 43% to $2.5 million) so that's exceptionally bad news. The fortunes might improve a bit over the rest of the weekend, but even eight-year-olds know they just saw this movie and it was called Bedtime Stories. Give it $6.1 million for the weekend.

Notable Holdovers

Paul Blart: Mall Cop holds somewhat better than expected, down 43% from last Friday to $5.6 million. The surprise Kevin James hit looks to have another solid weekend with $17.5 million.

Notorious takes one of the larger declines we've seen in some time, plunging 79% from last Friday to $1.8 million. This one will come and go as quickly as Biggie himself, with a weekend of $5 million.

In the good news department, boosted by a ridiculous number of Oscar nominations, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button clings to a top ten spot with an increase of 7% from last Friday. It's already got $107 million in the bank so most people who want to see it already have so this is its last hurrah. Give it $5.4 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans 20.5
2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 17.5
3 Gran Torino 14.2
4 Hotel for Dogs 9.1
5 My Bloody Valentine 3-D 8.6
6 Slumdog Millionaire 8.3
7 Bride Wars 6.5
8 Inkheart 6.1
9 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 5.4
10 Notorious 5.0



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