Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

November 4, 2006

Dinner became awkward when someone wished for Applebees instead.

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Stunning virtually everyone, Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan earned $8.9 million Friday. While that number might not blow you away, do consider that this came only on 837 screens. That would be a per theater average of $10,663, an amazing number for an entire weekend, let alone a single day. Normally a film like this that would break out on opening night would likely suffer over the rest of the weekend, but given its general lack of availability and high awareness, it should pretty much even out. We're going to go with a 2.8 Friday-to-Sunday multiplier, which would give Borat a glorious $24.9 million for the weekend.

The Santa Clause 3

Tim Allen returns again and takes a bit of a hit with his reliable family franchise. The Escape Clause earned $5.3 million Friday, down a bit from The Santa Clause 2's $7.5 million opening night on this weekend four (really?) years ago. That film had an extremely family friendly 3.85 multiplier on its way to a $29 million weekend. Santa Clause 2 didn't have to compete with an animated movie like Flushed Away, so that might be part of the decline. The multiplier will be slightly lower too, but still very good. Look for an overall weekend of about $19 million.


Flushed Away

The third Aardman Animations film to hit the big screen, Flushed Away opened to $4.8 million on an ultra-wide 3,707 screens, a number that's right in between last year's Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and 2000's Chicken Run. Both of those had above-average multipliers, thanks to being kid friendly, but as mentioned above with Santa Clause 3, two films released on the same weekend with similar audiences will hurt each other to a small degree. A $16.8 million weekend should be in store, with legs out the wazoo.

Notable Holdovers

Saw III falls 62% from last Friday, which isn't that surprising. Saw II did fall 52% in its second weekend last year. Saw dropped 39.3% two years ago, so this is just the natural progression of a horror franchise. Figure about $13.7 million in weekend number two.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Borat 24.9
2 The Santa Clause 3 19.1
3 Flushed Away 16.8
4 Saw III 13.7
6 The Prestige 7.7
5 The Departed 8.1
7 Flags of Our Fathers 4.2
8 Man of the Year 3.9
9 The Queen 2.7
10 Flicka 2.4



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