Borat Make Box Office Boffo

Weekend Wrap-Up for November 3-5, 2006

By John Hamann

November 5, 2006

Sacha Baron Cohen hired a bear when threats of lawsuits became apparent.

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The Prestige and The Departed battled over position for the third consecutive weekend, with The Departed coming out on top this time. The Martin Scorsese Oscar-destined flick continues to churn in its fifth solid weekend. The Departed grossed $8.0 million this weekend, and was also off a tiny 19%. Borat wouldn't have helped this one, as The Departed carries an even stronger R than the Fox release. The Departed crossed the $100 million mark this weekend as it has earned $102.3 million. This is only the second time a Martin Scorsese flick has earned more than $100 million, as The Aviator finished with $102.6 million.

The Prestige, the magician flick from Chris Nolan finished sixth this weekend, earning $7.8 million. The Prestige dropped a tiny 19%, proving that audiences are rallying around this one, or buying tickets for the PG-13 rated Prestige and then sneaking in to the R-rated Borat. Whatever the case, The Prestige has now earned $39.4 million and could finish with as much as $60 million on the domestic front.


Seventh goes to Flags of our Fathers, as the Clint Eastwood flick slowly slips into oblivion, much too soon. Flags grossed $4.5 million and was off 29% compared to last weekend, despite Paramount adding 185 venues to the war film's run. Flags now sits with a disappointing $26.6 million, and could be a memory in three weekends.

Eighth spot goes to Man of the Year, as the Robin Williams political satire continues to hold ground. Man of the Year grossed $3.8 million this weekend and was off 19% compared to the previous frame. The Universal flick has now earned $34.0 million.

Finishing ninth is Open Season, and is the third family film in the top ten this weekend. Open Season grossed $3.1 million, was off 47% and now sits with a domestic tally of $81.4 million.

Tenth spot goes to The Queen, Stephen Frears' excellent drama about Queen Elizabeth during the time of Princess Diana's death/assassination. The Queen grossed $3.0 million from a tiny venue count of only 387, leaving it with an average of $7,778 (theatres were very busy this weekend). As I mentioned above, The Queen's 98% fresh rating is driving people to see this one, as Helen Mirren is probably already a lock for Best Actress Oscar. Currently this one sits with $10.1 million, and BOP will have more on it in the weekend's to come.

Overall, the box office was able to maintain its pace with last year, thanks solely to Borat. The top ten this weekend pulled in $111.2 million, which compares quite favorably with last year's $115.3 million when Chicken Little and Jarhead combined to open to $67 million. Next weekend will certainly be interesting with the expansion of Borat, Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction, Russell Crowe in A Good Year and Sarah Michelle Gellar in The Return.

Top Ten for Weekend of November 3-5, 2006
of Sites
Percentage Drop from Last Week
Gross ($)
Gross ($)
1 Borat 837 New 26.4 26.4
2 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause 3,458 New 20.0 20.0
3 Flushed Away 3,707 New 19.1 19.1
4 Saw III 3,167 -54% 15.5 60.1
5 The Departed 2,785 -19% 8.0 102.3
6 The Prestige 2,305 -19% 7.8 39.4
7 Flags of Our Fathers 2,375 -29% 4.5 26.6
8 Man of the Year 2,388 -19% 3.8 34.2
9 Open Season 2,458 -47.1 3.1 81.4
10 The Queen 387 +58% 3.0 10.1

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