Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Four

Weekend Wrap-Up for December 22-24, 2006

By John Hamann

December 24, 2006

Behold the dangers of asking for a SkeleRoboRaptor for Christmas.

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Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd finishes fourth over the pre-Christmas frame, and has a decent debut for a film with such dark subject matter for the time of year. The Good Shepherd earned $10.0 million over its first three days from a slight 2,218 venues. It had an excellent average of $4,515. Critics didn't fall for this one as much as I expected they would (the writing was on the wall when the Golden Globe noms came out). Reviews were mixed, with the Matt Damon flick finding a 55% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes. This one is going to have a long haul upward, as I wonder how many people are going to want a history lesson about the CIA on Christmas Day.

Charlotte's Web finishes fifth, as Night at the Museum steals some punch from this barnyard pic aimed at the toddler set. Charlotte's Web grossed $8.0 million from a ridiculously large 3,728 venues, giving it a second weekend average of $2,145. The hold here, considering Christmas Eve, is quite excellent, but I'll be curious to see if it has strength over the rest of the holidays as well. Currently, the Dakota Fanning pig flick has earned $26.8 million.


Falling from second last weekend to sixth this weekend is Eragon, the dragon movie from Fox. In its second frame, Eragon grossed $7.2 million from 3,030 venues. It was off 69% from last weekend, but again, don't gamble on a film's future by this drop-off. I find it odd, or telling, that Fox decided to put two $100 million films back-to-back over consecutive weekends (the other being Night at the Museum). Did Fox figure that Eragon would be a one weekend event film, and not impact Night at the Museum? Alternatively, were they thinking that Eragon was going to tank, and have no impact on the Ben Stiller film? Either way, Eragon is going to be left holding the bag, as Night at the Museum is going to steal its thunder over the rest of the holiday. Currently, Eragon sits with $37.7 million, and will soon be flailing.

Finishing a disappointing seventh is We Are Marshall, the football film starring Mathew McConaughey. Marshall finished its debut weekend with a gross of $6.6 million, which it earned from 2,606 venues. It had a venue average of $2,533. Are there too many upbeat, feel-good movies in release? With Rocky Balboa and to an extent The Pursuit of Happyness all vying for the same formulaic dollar, there wasn't much room left for We Are Marshall, and it finishes well back of the pack. Critics were mixed on Marshall, and that couldn't have helped, either. It finished with a 49% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes (I think reviewers were caught up in the Christmas spirit this week), and could even disappear once Black Christmas opens on Monday and Dreamgirls expands to over 850 venues.

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