Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

December 16, 2006

Lindsay Lohan doesn't understand where she got the reputation of being an angry drunk.

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Audiences were seeking Happyness at the movies this weekend, and clearly, many found it.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Will Smith's feel-good movie The Pursuit of Happyness shocks virtually everyone with a very impressive $9.2 million Friday, taking the top spot at the box office. The film was clearly buoyed by Smith's star power as well as his Golden Globe nomination. It's enough ahead of Eragon that it should remain at the top when we get the weekend estimates on Sunday. A 3.1 weekend multiplier will give it a solid $28.5 million for the weekend, with much more to come as we enter the holiday box office gravy train.


The now-requisite cheesy CGI December release this year, Eragon, opens decently with $8.4 million on Friday, but Narnia this isn't. This weekend will bring $23.5 million, but look for a freefall next weekend.


Charlotte's Web

With $3.4 million on Friday, the classic children's book adaptation comes in a distant third among the three openers, but watch out over not only the rest of the weekend, but the rest of the year. This is going to be a classic example of holiday legs. We'll start, though, with the extremely family-friendly multiplier it's going to have this weekend, which would give the Dakota Fanning-led film a $12.9 million weekend.

Notable Holdovers

Among last week's new offerings, the best holding film, not surprisingly, is Blood Diamond, down 31% from last week. It's definitely still disappointing financially, even with Leonardo DiCaprio's Golden Globe nomination for his role. Look for a second weekend of about $6.6 million.

Elsewhere, The Holiday drops 41% from last Friday, rather high for a romantic comedy, but that's not as bad as Apocalypto, which drops 53%. Expect second weekend takes of $8.3 million for The Holiday and $7.6 million for Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Pursuit of Happyness 28.5
2 Eragon 23.5
3 Charlotte's Web 12.9
4 Happy Feet 8.5
5 The Holiday 8.3
6 Apocalypto 7.6
7 Blood Diamond 6.6
8 Casino Royale 5.3
9 The Nativity Story 4.9
10 Unaccompanied Minors 3.8



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