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Epic Movie Leads Ugly Weekend at the Box Office

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for January 26-28, 2007

By John Hamann

January 28, 2007

We don't even want to speculate what this photo is all about.

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Finishing fourth this weekend is Jennifer Garner's latest, Catch and Release, as moviegoers did more Release than Catch with this one. The Sony picture earned a slow $8.0 million, albeit from only 1,622 venues, which tells us the studio didn't have a lot of confidence in it to begin with. It had a venue average of $4,932. This was our third of four critical dogs this weekend, as it earned only a 23% fresh rating from RottenTomatoes. This opening pales in comparison with Garner's last rom-com, 13 Going on 30, which, after being marketed like Big, opened to over $21 million in 2004. This time out, Garner will be happy if this one earns $21 million over its domestic run. Next up for the former Alias star is The Kingdom, where Garner costars with Jamie Foxx, which may help pull her out of a slump that's included Elektra and now Catch and Release.

Finishing well back in fifth is Stomp the Yard, which led the box office for the last two weekends. Things continue to be sunny for this Sony picture, as it gross falls from over $12 million last weekend to 7.8 million this weekend – equaling a drop of 36%. This is a huge hit for Sony and Screen Gems, as Stomp cost only $15 million to make, a figure it easily earned after a $20 million plus opening frame. Currently, this urban dance film has earned an impressive $50.7 million.

Despite a handful of Oscar nominations, Dreamgirls has to settle for sixth place, as competition was just strong enough to keep it out of the top five. The Paramount/DreamWorks musical earned $6.6 million from 2,785 venues, giving it a venue average of $2,377. Nominated for eight Oscars, I was looking for an improvement on last weekend's $8 million weekend, but we see a 18% drop instead. Did the lack of Best Picture nomination force it downward? Maybe. Will the gross so far of $86.7 million make Paramount happy? Absolutely. This one cost $70 million to make and should finish above $100 million (and that's just the domestic total).

Seventh spot goes to The Pursuit of Happyness, which has earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination. Now in its seventh weekend, Pursuit grossed $5.0 million, off only 21% from the previous frame. The Pursuit of Happyness has shown some fantastic legs, with only one 40% plus drop since it opened. It now sits with $152.9 million, and could finish with as much as $175 million.




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Pan's Labyrinth finishes eighth, and because distributor Picturehouse added another 200 venues, it sees no drop from last weekend. Pan's Labyrinth grossed $4.5 million from 823 venues this weekend, and with the venue increase and six Oscar noms, sees its box office total hold steady with exactly the same number as last frame. With a budget of only $5 million, this small film is proving huge for Picturehouse, as this one has now grossed $16.3 million.

The Queen from Stephen Frears is our number nine film. Thanks to six Oscar nominations and 200 more venues from Miramax, The Queen saw an increase over its total last week. The Helen Mirren flick earned $4.0 million and was up 18% from the previous frame. The Queen has now grossed $41.2 million domestically, and a similar amount overseas.

The Hitcher falls from fourth spot last weekend to tenth spot this weekend, as a poor opening is followed by an even worse sophomore weekend. The Hitcher earned $3.6 million in its second frame, off 54% from the previous weekend. This forgettable Focus Features entry has earned $13.4 million after two weekends of release.

Our final new release failed to even make the top ten this weekend. Blood and Chocolate took in $2.1 million from only 1,200 venues. The MGM horror entry was DOA, and won't be heard from again, at least until its DVD release.

Overall, the top ten at the box office is down drastically compared to last year for the second weekend in a row. The top ten films this weekend earned $82.4 million, off a lot from the $103.5 million the top ten earned last over the same weekend last year. Next weekend brings Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore in Because I Said So, and another horror entry in The Messengers. Check back next weekend to see if these two can lift the box office.


Top Ten for Weekend of January 26-28, 2007
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Percentage Drop from Last Week
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Epic Movie 2,801 New 19.2 19.2
2 Smokin' Aces 2,204 New 14.3 14.3
3 Night at the Museum 3,241 -21% 9.5 216.7
4 Catch and Release 1,622 New 8.0 8.0
5 Stomp the Yard 2,115 -36% 7.8 50.7
6 Dreamgirls 2,785 -18% 6.6 86.7
7 The Pursuit of Happyness 2,688 -21% 5.0 152.9
8 Pan's Labyrinth 823 0% 4.5 16.3
9 The Queen 1,830 +18% 4.0 41.2
10 The Hitcher 2,836 -54% 3.6 13.4

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