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Star Power Can’t Lift Box Office

Weekend Wrap-Up for December 8-10, 2006

By John Hamann

December 10, 2006

Gibson had to leave the country in order to legally use the directorial tactics he wanted.

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Fourth place goes to Bond, James Bond, and his Casino Royale. Sony's Bond re-invention slipped below $10 million for the first time in its run, as the Daniel Craig style Bond earned $8.8 million, still a serious amount for a Bond flick in its fourth weekend of release. The burning question remains – can it beat Die Another Day's domestic total – and record for Bond – of $160 million? The answer is starting to look like Dr. No; however, it will get a lift over Christmas and New Year's so all bets are still off. It did beat the totals of the former runner-ups in the Bond race, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, which finished with $125 and $127 million respectively, as its domestic total has reached $128.9 million.

Leonardo DiCaprio's Blood Diamond fails to attract much attention this weekend as this Warner Bros. entry sputters in its opening frame. Blood Diamond earned $8.5 million this weekend, albeit from a slim venue count of only 1,910 venues. It did have the third biggest venue count at $4,461, but when this one finishes eighth next weekend, I think DiCaprio and Warner Bros. will be sweating. In this case, Warner Bros. needed to go wider with this one in its first weekend or wait until Christmas to release it. Did audiences not care that this was Leo's message film? Was it the 60% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes with the decidedly mixed reviews? Can Leo not open a film on his own? His string of hits have come with exceptional co-stars: The Departed, with Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon; The Aviator with Cate Blanchett and Marty Scorsese; Catch Me If You Can with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg; and the list goes on. Much will be riding on what happens next weekend.

Our last opener of the weekend, Unaccompanied Minors, finishes sixth. Often, these Christmas comedies for kids do not too badly, but Steve Martin isn't in this one, so Warner Bros. has to settle for an opening of only $6.2 million. Out to 2,774 venues, this one settled for an average of $2,239..




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Finishing seventh is Denzel Washington and Déjà Vu, now in its third weekend and also sputtering. The Buena Vista film earned $6.1 million, off a dramatic 45% from last weekend. Competition in the form of Apocalypto and Blood Diamond would have hurt Déjà Vu, which may recover somewhat next weekend (a weekend too late). Currently, Déjà Vu sits with $53.0 million. Look for it to finish with about $65 million.

Eighth spot goes to The Nativity Story, which is in a large amount of danger of not being a top ten film as early as next weekend. The Nativity Story earned $5.6 million this weekend, and was off a not-bad 31%. There is no buzz coming from this New Line release; however, there may be buzz with that powerful Sunday morning crowd who could stir The Nativity Story into a small-sized hit by the end of the Christmas. Currently, it sits with a domestic total of $15.8 million.

Deck the Halls finishes ninth this weekend, and can't be shown the door fast enough. Dreck earned $3.9 million this weekend, off a hefty 41% from the previous frame. Still, this movie has unfortunately earned $30.1 million. My Christmas present to you: Avoid this one like the plague.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is our number ten film as it slowly prepares to exit stage left. The Santa Clause 3 earned $3.3 million in its sixth weekend, and was off 32% compared to last weekend. Currently, the Tim Allen comedy has earned $77.2 million.

Overall, there is no joy in Whoville. Last year, over the same weekend, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe earned almost as much as the top ten did this year. The top ten this weekend earned only $82.8 million, well off of the $113.5 million last year's top ten took in, when The Lion earned $65.6 million over its debut frame.


Top Ten for Weekend of December 8-10, 2006
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Percentage Drop from Last Week
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Apocalypto 2,465 New 14.2 14.2
2 The Holiday 2,610 New 13.5 13.5
3 Happy Feet 3,650 -28% 12.7 137.7
4 Casino Royale 3,161 -42% 8.8 128.9
5 Blood Diamond 1,910 New 8.5 8.5
6 Unaccompanied Minors 2,775 New 6.2 6.2
7 Deja Vu 2,742 -45% 6.1 53.0
8 The Nativity Story 3,083 -31% 5.6 15.8
9 Deck the Halls 2,766 -41% 3.9 30.1
10 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause 2,226 -32% 3.3 77.2

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