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Saw Franchise Buzzes Box Office Again

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for October 27-29, 2006

By John Hamann

October 29, 2006

Emperor Palpatine?

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The Prestige comes in third place, as the Hugh Jackman/Christian Bale flick earned $9.6 million in its second weekend, off a decent 35%. Facing off against a Saw film is no easy task, especially if you are targeting that late-teen, young-adult market. The Warner Bros production has now earned $28.8 million after only two weekends and should earn $50 million easily at the domestic box office. This is a victory for the studios as The Prestige carried a budget of $40 million, and a story of battling magicians is no easy sell.

Finishing a worrisome fourth is Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Fathers, the war movie that is sorely lacking the casting coup of The Departed. Many eyes were on the key second weekend of Flags, as Paramount added 314 venues to the film's run. Did the expansion pay off? No. Flags earned only $6.4 million, equaling a drop-off of 38% from last weekend's opening take of $10.2 million. Million Dollar Baby did drop 31% in its second weekend of wide release, but followed that with a 13% drop the following weekend. Will history repeat itself? I doubt it. Clint's epic now sits with $19.9 million. Check back next weekend to see where it will finish.

Finishing fifth is Open Season, Sony's leggy animated effort. Open Season continues to draw in its fifth weekend of release. Open Season grossed $6.1 million, off a tight 25% from the previous frame. Open Season still has an outside shot at reaching $100 million, but will need to continue to see low drops for a few more weekends. It could be too late, as there are more animated titles in the wings, and Open Season's current gross sits at $77.4 million.

Sixth spot goes to the other family-friendly film in the top ten, Flicka, from 20th Century Fox. The low budget horse flick from Fox grossed $5.0 million in its second weekend, off a decent 35% from the previous frame. Remember, this is only a $15 million effort from Fox, so its current gross of $14.1 million and an expected domestic total estimate of $30 million are good news for the studio.

Robin Williams and Man of the Year quietly trudge down to seventh spot this weekend. The Universal release from Barry Levinson grossed $4.7 million and was off 32% from the previous frame. Man of the Year is going to end up having a healthier finish that I first expected. It currently sits with $28.9 million, and could finish with as much as $40 million, in the same ballpark as Levinson's Bandits and Wag the Dog.

The Grudge 2 continues to slink its way out of the top ten at the box office, this time finishing in eighth place. Grudge 2 earned $3.3 million, equaling another horrid drop of 57%. It's hard to believe that this one opened to $20.8 million only three weekends ago. Currently it sits with $36.0 million in the box office kitty. For readers who like math, The Grudge 2 = Dead Franchise.




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Landing in ninth this weekend is Marie Antoinette, and it would have been gone if not for some weak films at the bottom of the top ten last weekend (The Marine, The Guardian). The Sofia Coppola flick earned only $2.9 million this weekend, and was off 47%. This Sony effort has now earned a small $9.8 million, so it will be guillotined Monday in the Sony offices.

Tenth spot goes to The Guardian, the Kevin Costner/Ashton Kutcher action/drama that just keeps managing to hang around somehow. It had $2.4 million this weekend and now has a total take of $50 million.

Focus Features' Catch a Fire failed to inspire, as the Tim Robbins/Derek Luke picture failed to crack the top ten. We do know that it earned $2.0 million from 1,305 venues, which gives it an average of $1,532. It's too bad, as this was the only new release this weekend to get a fresh rating (79%) at Rotten Tomatoes.

Overall, the box office matchup with last year is basically a push. The top ten this weekend pulled in $84.5 million. In 2005, which featured Saw II on top, the top ten earned about $83 million. In 2004, with the original Saw in third, and the original Grudge on top, the box office earned about $90 million.


Top Ten for Weekend of October 27-29, 2006
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Percentage Drop from Last Week
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Saw III 3,167 New 34.3 34.3
2 The Departed 2,951 -27% 9.8 91.1
3 The Prestige 2,281 -35% 9.6 28.8
4 Flags of Our Fathers 2,190 -38% 6.4 19.9
5 Open Season 3,059 -25% 6.1 77.4
6 Flicka 2,877 -35% 5.0 14.1
7 Man of the Year 2,623 -32% 4.7 28.9
8 The Grudge 2 3,063 -57% 3.3 36.0
9 Marie Antoinette 859 -47% 2.9 9.8
10 The Guardian 1,973 -33% 2.4 50.0

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