Potter’s Goblet Celebrates Last Weekend at Number One

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for December 2-4, 2005

By John Hamann

December 4, 2005

Two hours of her doing yoga like this would have made for a better film.

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It's not often that the top film of the box office stays the same for three consecutive weekends, but WB's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has achieved that feat handily. The only other Potter movie to repeat in three consecutive weekends was the first flick, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It, like Goblet, had no real competition in its third weekend, getting a similar run for its money from Behind Enemy Lines as Goblet of Fire did from Aeon Flux. Flux was the only wide opener this weekend and critically reviled - a usual occurrence in the post Thanksgiving frame.

There was not enough competition to keep Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire down this weekend, as it enjoys its last weekend, guaranteed, in the top spot. In its third frame, the Mike Newell film earned an okay $20.5 million from a still huge 3,858 venues. It had a venue average of $5,300, and dropped a large 63%. The post-Thanksgiving frame usually brings out the high depreciation percentages, as moviegoers in the US had all sorts of time last weekend to check out films. With The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe bearing down next weekend, the $150 million production needed to earn as much as it could this weekend before the similarly-targeted Narnia hits next weekend in a very big way. Currently, Goblet of Fire has grossed $229.8 million domestically. As a comparison, after three weekends, the first Harry Potter film had earned $219.7 million, the second about $200 million, and the third $191 million. For a fourth film in a series, WB has to be ecstatic about its performance thus far, but it seems the shine is coming off somewhat. Sorcerer's Stone dropped 59% in its third weekend, and was followed by a 38% drop in its fourth frame. We should know next weekend whether Goblet of Fire will be the top grossing Potter film (at least for now).

Second spot goes to the barking dog of the weekend, despite starring Charlize Theron is some sort of spandex/plastic outfit. Yes, Aeon Flux is the number two film of the weekend. After being held back from critics, audiences smelled a rat, and this one grossed $13.1 million this weekend. Out to only 2,608 venues this weekend, the Paramount release scored a decent venue average of $5,023 – only a couple of hundred away from the Potter average. Because of the embargo on screenings, Aeon Flux only had 31 reviews at RottenTomatoes at the time of this writing. Of those, only four were positive, giving the action/ (?) sci-fi (?) / cartoon (?) flick a rotten rating of 13% (it could have been worse - Yours Mine and Ours still sits at 5%). It won't be all bad for Paramount, however, as the price tag on this one was not of the Harry Potter variety. Flux cost Paramount and MTV Films about $60 million to make, and it should earn half that back domestically, and more internationally.

Third spot goes to Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic that has performed admirably over its first three weekends of release. After grossing $22.3 million over its opening weekend and $19.2 million over Thanksgiving, the Joaquin Phoenix/Reese Witherspoon film earned another $10 million in the post-holiday frame. That's a drop of 48%, and may seem dramatic, but don't forget the average drop in the top ten this weekend is 51.1%. Currently, Walk the Line sits with $68.8 million, and should have no problem reaching the $100 million mark, which will be a real coup for the folks at 20th Century Fox.

Fourth goes to Yours, Mine and Ours, and the secret must be out – this is not a very good film, no matter the audience. Yours grossed $8.4 million this weekend, down 52% from last weekend. Another critically panned Paramount release (5% fresh), Yours Mine and Ours has now earned $34.6 million. Another big drop next weekend, and we won't have to worry about this one for long.

Fifth goes to Just Friends, and surprisingly, this one held up quite well. Just Friends, the second comedy this year with Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris, grossed $5.6 million in its second frame, down a tiny 39%. That's a great hold in the post-Thanksgiving frame, which is a good indication of positive word-of-mouth. So far, Just Friends has earned an okay $21.1 million for New Line Cinema.

Sixth goes to Pride and Prejudice, as Focus Features added a handful a venues to its run, bringing the venue count up to 1,327. That move gave P&P the smallest drop in the top ten at 35%, as it grossed $4.6 million. The old school Keira Knightley film has now pulled in $22.6 million domestically.

Seventh place goes to Rent, and I'm still in shock as to how poorly this film has performed. After coming off a premiere weekend finish in fifth, Rent slides behind Just Friends and Pride and Prejudice this weekend, which is not a good indication of legs. Rent earned $4.6 million and dropped a larger than expected 54% - despite adding four new venues. If this was once thought of as an Oscar possibility, scratch it off your list, as after two weekends this one has earned only $23.9 million.

Chicken Little finishes eighth, as the Disney product continues to fade in the face of Harry Potter. The little Chicken grossed $4.5 million this weekend, down a huge 64% from the holiday frame. The animated Disney product with a budget somewhere between $70 and $80 million has now earned $124.2 million, and will most likely fail to make $150 million domestically.

Ninth goes to Derailed, which absolutely refuses to give up a top ten spot after four weekends of release. Derailed grossed another $2.4 million this weekend, off 48%, and now the $20 million production has earned $32.8 million.

Tenth is In the Mix from Lions Gate. The Usher film earned $1.9 million this weekend, down 57% from last weekend. In the Mix has earned a total after two weekends of $8.7 million.

Overall this weekend, the box office was back to its usual tricks. The top ten films earned $75.5 million this weekend, like last weekend, a virtual tie with last year's totals. The box office should get a win next weekend, though, as last year Ocean's Twelve and Blade: Trinity combined for about $56 million, a number The Chronicles of Narnia should trump easily.

Top Ten for Weekend of December 2-4, 2005
of Sites
Gross ($)
Gross ($)
1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 3,858 -63% $20.5 $229.8
2 Aeon Flux 2,608 New $13.1 $13.1
3 Walk the Line 3,160 -48% $10.0 $68.8
4 Yours, Mine & Ours 3,210 -52% $8.4 $34.6
5 Just Friends 2,505 -39% $5.6 $21.1
6 Pride and Prejudice 1,327 -35% $4.6 $22.6
7 Rent 2,437 -54% $4.6 $23.9
8 Chicken Little 3,021 -64% $4.5 $124.2
9 Derailed 1,702 -48% $2.4 $32.8
10 In the Mix 1,608 -57% $1.9 $8.7



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