Openers Thanksgiving Turkeys at the Box Office

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for November 22-26, 2006

By John Hamann

November 26, 2006

Aaaah! It's a nightmare penguin come to steal your soul!

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Sixth spot goes to the dreaded Santa Clause 3, as the Tim Allen sequel gets its usual Thanksgiving bump. Santa Clause 3 grossed $10.0 million, up 21% over last weekend. The schedulers at Buena Vista should get a bonus for this one, as it has received a bump from two holiday weekends in Thanksgiving and Veterans Day. It currently sits with a domestic gross of $67.2 million.

Sony's Stranger Than Fiction finishes seventh, as the Will Ferrell comedy continues to fail to find an audience. Stranger grossed $6.0 million over the three-day portion of the Thanksgiving weekend, off 9% from the previous frame. It has now earned $32.8 million domestically.

Finishing eighth is another family film, Flushed Away. The Aardman creation has lived up to its title versus all of the other family competition, and over the three-day portion of the weekend has a gross of $5.8 million. That's a drop from last weekend of 11%, and now the very expensive Paramount product has a cume of $57.4 million.


A trio of new releases finishes in the basement, with only one having a slight chance of recovering in the weekends ahead.

Finishing ninth is Bobby from the Weinstein Company. Bobby, which revolves around the death of Robert Kennedy, earned only $4.9 million over the three-day portion of the long weekend, albeit from only 1,667 venues. The star-studded drama had a three-day venue average of $2,945 – most likely not high enough to keep it expanding in the weeks to come. Despite the huge cast that features the likes of William H. Macy, Elijah Wood and Anthony Hopkins (just to name a few), the majority of critics gave Bobby a thumbs-down, as it finished with a rotten rating of 43%. It's too bad – after good word-of-mouth was started at Film Festivals, I think many were hoping for a better film.

Tenth goes to The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky's latest film. The Fountain also failed to find an audience, as the mind-bender grossed only $3.7 million from 1,472 venues. It had a three-day venue average of $2,534. Reviewers were split on The Fountain, with some finding it brilliant and others finding it pretentious and overwrought. Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream was actually reviewed quite similarly with slightly better results. My hope is that this one does find an audience, somehow, in the weeks to come, so that audiences realize what is possible in the moviegoing experience, and that not all films are, well, Deck The Halls.

Our last opener, Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, sadly, shamefully, failed to make the top ten. The Pick of Destiny grossed only $3.1 million this weekend from an underwhelming venue count of only 1,919 venues. Shame on New Line for the marketing around this one. I think the studio failed to realize there was a market for the D, but the release date was just totally wrong. This would have killed over the September long weekend, but against all the other product out right now, it didn't have a chance.

Overall, three-day figures are neck and neck with last year. Over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, Harry Potter, Walk The Line, and squad of bad new movies earned $143.2 million as a top ten total. This year, with Casino Royale, Happy Feet and a squad of under-performing new movies, the top ten pulled in a similar $142.7 million, leaving us with little to be excited about.

Top Ten for Weekend of November 24-26, 2006
of Sites
Percentage Drop
Gross ($)
Gross ($)
1 Happy Feet 3,804 -8% 37.9 100.1
2 Casino Royale 3,443 -24% 31.0 94.2
3 Deja Vu 3,108 New 20.8 29.0
4 Deck the Halls 3,205 New 12.0 16.9
5 Borat 2,552 -29% 10.4 109.3
6 The Santa Clause: The Escape Clause 3,043 +21% 10.0 67.2
7 Stranger Than Fiction 2,258 -9% 6.0 32.8
8 Flushed Away 2,621 -11% 5.8 57.4
9 Bobby 1,667 New 4.9 6.2
10 The Fountain 1,472 New 3.7 5.4

Continued:       1       2



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