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Ghost Rider Revs Up Box Office

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for February 16-18, 2007

By John Hamann

February 18, 2007

Peter Fonda swears that he thought he was signing on for *Easy* Rider.

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Finishing third is last weekend's champ Norbit, Eddie Murphy's multiple character comedy. Audiences obviously figured out that Norbit is no Dreamgirls, as the comedy earned $20.7 million, a drop of 40%. That drop would have been much higher if not for the President's Day holiday on Monday, as the holiday tends to inflate Sunday numbers somewhat. Still, Paramount and Murphy have a two weekend gross so far of $62.8 million, and could see a total of $90 million, if Murphy wins an Oscar and the drop-offs level out somewhat.

Quiet newcomer Music & Lyrics finishes fourth, as the Drew Barrymore/Hugh Grant picture couldn't match the power of Ghost Rider or Terabithia. Music & Lyrics earned Warner Bros. $16.0 million over its opening frame, which is somewhat disappointing after Because I Said So opened to $13 million just a few weeks ago. Music and Lyrics opened to a large venue count of 2,929, so it's obvious that Warner Bros. had high hopes for this one. It could have legs – reviews were so-so but at least fresh, with 84 positive reviews out of a possible 130 at RottenTomatoes.

Finishing fifth is Breach, a film I'll admit knowing little about. Breach, a spy drama starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe, earned $12.3 million this weekend from 2,806 venues. I bet those that saw this one liked it, as it was 78% fresh at RottenTomatoes. It will be interesting to see if this one holds well next weekend, once positive word-of-mouth starts to work.

Sixth spot goes to Daddy's Little Girls, the latest from Tyler Perry. This is another small film from Perry and Lionsgate, and it didn't match up to the director's other big hits. Little Girls grossed only $14.3 million from 2,111 venues, which pales in comparison with Madea's Family Reunion ($30 million opening) and Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9 million opening). The problem for Perry is the fact that his small film got buried under too much new competition and the second weekend of Norbit. I expect this one will disappear quickly.

Hannibal Rising finishes seventh, and finishes the franchise. Hannibal Rising grossed $6.5 million in its second frame, off a large 50% from its opening weekend. Is there anything left to tell of Hannibal Lecter? I almost hope not, as the more films that come, the more The Silence of the Lambs is tarnished. Currently, Hannibal Rising sits with $23.2 million.




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Because I Said So thankfully slides to eighth. The Diane Keaton rom-com of seriously questionable quality earned $6.0 million, and was off 35% from the previous frame. The total now for the Universal entry is $34.2 million.

In ninth is Night at the Museum, which will spend its last weekend in the top ten since opening in December. The Ben Stiller comedy earned $4.7 million in its ninth weekend, and was off 18% compared to last weekend. The total now for the blockbuster is an amazing $238.3 million. Equally awful The Messengers is tenth, with a gross of $4.4 million. It was off 39% from last weekend and has now earned $31.1 million.

Overall this weekend, there is nothing but good news at the box office. Over the three-day portion of the long weekend last year, the top ten pulled in about $106 million with Eight Below and Date Movie leading the charge. This weekend, the top ten pulled in $165.5 million over four days, which will help to make up for all those weekends in 2007 where box office seriously lagged behind last year.


Top Ten for Weekend of February 16-19, 2007 (Four-Day)
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Change in Sites
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Ghost Rider 3,619 New 51.5 51.5
2 Bridge to Terabithia 3,139 New 29.0 29.0
3 Norbit 3,138 +2 20.7 62.8
4 Music & Lyrics 2,929 New 16.0 21.6
5 Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls 2,111 New 14.3 20.0
6 Breach 1,487 New 12.3 12.3
7 Hannibal Rising 3,003 No change 6.5 23.2
8 Because I Said So 2,446 -83 6.0 34.2
9 Night at the Museum 2,042 -660 4.7 238.3
10 The Messengers 2,183 -346 4.4 31.1

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