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Museum Repeats Again at Number One

Weekend Wrap-Up for January 5-7, 2007

By John Hamann

January 7, 2007

What do you mean, I'm not the next James Bond?

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Finishing fourth is Freedom Writers, which stars Hillary Swank. Freedom Writers grossed $9.7 million over its opening frame, and was also kept to a small number of venues, this time 1,360. That gives Freedom Writers an excellent venue average of $7,140. From Richard LaGravenese (who usually writes instead of directs), Freedom Writers is a Dangerous Minds lookalike, and another true, feel-good story is already in the top ten in the form of The Pursuit of Happyness. Critics liked it enough to give it a 65% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes, but I don't think this one has enough going for it to keep it from dying off quickly. Let's see if Paramount chooses to expand this one over one of the next two weekends.

Fifth goes to Dreamgirls, but I'm wondering if Paramount shouldn't have expanded this one this weekend. Still on only 852 screens, Dreamgirls grossed $8.8 million this weekend, off a bigger than expected 37%. Next weekend the musical expands to 1,800 venues, as Paramount hopes to capitalize on the huge buzz surrounding this production. Currently it sits with $54.5 million, and if it left theatres today, would be the second highest grossing film ever to never see more than 850 screens.

Finishing sixth is Happily N'Ever After, and if you watch any TV, you know it's from the producers of Shrek (woo!). Happily won't have the folks at Lionsgate overly pleased on Monday, as it earned only $6.8 million this weekend from 2,381 venues. Critics hated it, and again if you've seen the TV ad, you won't be wondering why. RottenTomatoes critics hammered Happily, leaving it with 5% fresh rating, one of the worst ratings I've seen for an animated picture. I don't imagine this one will be around for long.

Seventh is Charlotte's Web, which, after an auspicious debut, bounced back nicely over the holiday season. This weekend Charlotte and Company earned $6.6 million, keeping the pig alive for another weekend. The Paramount feature was off 43%, and now has a cume of $67 million. Look for it to finish around the $80 million mark.

Landing in eighth is Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd, which is never going to live up to its huge production budget. The Matt Damon film grossed $6.5 million in its third weekend, and was off 41% compared to last weekend. The budget here is above $100 million, and has currently earned $48.4 million. Look for it to gross two-thirds of budget domestically.




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Rocky Balboa slugs its way to ninth spot, as the shine has come off this senior-citizen boxing movie. Rocky grossed $6.3 million this round, and was off 40% compared to New Year's Eve weekend. With a budget of only $25 million, and a total so far of $60.9 million, MGM will be seeing a decent return on investment.

We Are Marshall is our number ten film this weekend. The football drama epic earned $5.1 million, off 37% from last weekend. The Warner Bros. film has netted an okay $35.4 million.

Cedric the Entertainer's Code Name: The Cleaner failed to make the top ten this weekend, finishing in 12th spot with a gross of $4.3 million. Cedric failed to live up to his name with this one, as it went only 4% fresh at RottenTomatoes.

Overall this weekend, things were fairly similar to where things stood last year. In early 2006, the top ten films earned $98 million, powered by Hostel's opening of $20 million. This year, with Freedom Writers and Children of Men matching Hostel's power, the top ten earned a similar $97.2 million.


Top Ten for Weekend of January 5-7, 2007
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Percentage Drop from Last Week
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Night at the Museum 3,730 -35% 24.0 164.1
2 The Pursuit of Happyness 3,027 -33% 13.0 124.2
3 The Children of Men 1,209 +1,193 10.3 11.9
4 Freedom Writers 1,360 New 9.7 9.7
5 Dreamgirls 852 -37% 8.8 54.5
6 Happily N'Ever After 2,381 New 6.8 6.8
7 Charlotte's Web 3,303 -43% 6.6 67.0
8 The Good Shepherd 2,250 -41% 6.5 48.4
9 Rocky Balboa 3,018 -41% 6.3 60.9
10 We Are Marshall 2,502 -37% 5.1 35.4

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