Twelve Days of Box Office: Day Six

Dreamgirls succeeds where Showgirls did not

By David Mumpower

December 26, 2006

Has anyone seen my friends from Party of Five?

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We are halfway done with the Twelve Days of Box Office and for the third time in six days, new product has entered the marketplace. Black Christmas, a re-make featuring a defiant marketing campaign is the big story...unless you want to discuss Dreamgirls. Why does no one ever root for the box office underdog the same way they root for Gonzaga?

Since you people seem to enjoy showy, successful projects, I guess we will lead with Dreamgirls. The movie that has done the impossible, gained Eddie Murphy Oscar buzz, debuted with a scintillating $8.4 million on Monday. This was good enough for second place behind Night at the Museum's $11.9 million. Considering the fact that Dreamgirls had 400 fewer exhibitions than any other title in the top ten, this performance is nothing short of extraordinary.

We have already had the discussion about how opening day success does not always translate to long-term financial viability, but something tells me Dreamgirls will not suffer the same fate as the flagging Rocky Balboa. While I don't want to spoil anything with regards to future updates in our Awards section, Dreamgirls is considered the frontrunner in most Oscars tracking discussions. Since movies with such buzz have a tendency to run through March, Dreamgirls appears to be a likely candidate for $100 million. Of course, it's impossible as well as reckless to project overall performance after one day of receipts. So, keep in mind that I am bullish about its long term prospects and leave it at that for now.


Third, fourth and fifth place were anchored by the usual suspects. Pursuit of Happyness drops one slot due to the new competition from Beyonce, but it still manages a solid $7.6 million. The Will Smith and Son project crosses the $60 million threshhold and appears certain to break $100 million. I said it the other day and I will probably say it again over the next few days. Will Smith is as reliable a box office star as there is working today. Rocky Balboa recovers from some heavy punches over the weekend, fighting back with a respectable $5.0 million on Monday. The man who apparently inspires Jeff Garcia to fight on in the face of adversity has now earned $26.8 million after six days of release. Meanwhile, The Good Shepherd creeps along with another $4.1 million, bringing its grand total to $14.0 million. The Robert De Niro movie is going to make a lot more than the $17 million his other directorial effort, A Bronx Tale, earned. Then again, the 1993 production cost about $22 million, almost $90 million less than this latest project. Stating the obvious, The Good Shepherd is in a lot of trouble financially.

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