Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

November 11, 2006

Sure, he's smiling now, but wait until he gets his hands on a telephone.

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Borat turned the box office on its head last week. With a bunch more screens, can he do the same thing this week? Like you have to ask.


Okay, it can get weirder. With a big increase to 2,566 theaters from last week's 837, Borat stays at the top and actually increases 7.8% with $9.6 million. Sure, the per-screen average took a bit of a hit, but anyone that criticizes that is nitpicking. This is an incredible box office phenomenon and now a mortal lock for $100 million. While films tend to have a better weekend multiplier on their second weekend, I'm treating Borat as an opener for the purposes of extrapolation this weekend. We're going to go with the 2.85 or around there that it managed last week for this weekend, too. That would give Borat a still amazingly impressive $27.7 million for the weekend.

Stranger Than Fiction

The only opener worth mentioning this weekend, Will Ferrell's Stranger Than Fiction opens behind Borat and both family films that opened last weekend with $4.8 million on Friday. This isn't terrible, as not only is it a tough sell, it's clearly the kind of movie that is going to have to rely on solid word-of-mouth and perhaps some Oscar attention, for its screenplay at the very least. It should perform pretty well over the remainder of the weekend, although it's going to be stuck in fourth place the whole time. Figure a weekend estimate of $14.2 million.

The Return

I've just been informed that I am contractually obligated to mention all the of films that opened this weekend, so here goes. The Return features Sarah Michelle Gellar in, um, a return to the horror genre, much like 2004's The Grudge. However, this was not even close to the performance of that film, or even The Grudge 2. The Return could only muster $1.8 million Friday, lousy even for a horror film. Look for a weekend total of $4.8 million and for this to not be included on Buffy's resume.



Your now-weekly Oscar bait release expands to wide-ish release and it earns $1.7 million on 1,251 screens. Somewhere, Borat is laughing at that performance. It perhaps expanded a little too soon, which dramatically dashes its Academy Award hopes. A weekend of around $5.5 million should be in the cards.

A Good Year

And the question is "What are Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott not having after this movie opens?" A mere $1.2 million on just over 2,000 screens makes this a complete flop. It's going to come in at just under $4 million for the weekend, and shall never be spoken of again.

Notable Holdovers

With today being Veterans Day, many schools observed the holiday on Friday, giving kids plenty of time to see The Santa Clause 3 and Flushed Away. Because of that, both films saw an increase from last Friday, with The Escape Clause up slightly and Flushed Away jumping 10.2%, just a few thousand dollars behind the Tim Allen film. Both should stay strong over the rest of the weekend, as well. Look for Santa Clause 3 to earn about $19 million and for Flushed Away to surpass it and earn about $20.6 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Borat 27.7
2 Flushed Away 20.6
3 The Santa Clause 3 18.9
4 Stranger Than Fiction 14.2
5 Saw III 6.2
6 Babel 5.5
7 The Prestige 5.0
8 The Departed 5.1
9 The Return 4.8
10 A Good Year 3.9



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