February 21, 2006

Box Office Update 2/17-2/19: Eight Below Comes Out On Top

Eight Below surprised me by taking the top spot this week. I was sure that the teens would be out en masse to fill the theaters for Date Movie, that struck me as the kind of movie that would naturally come out on top. I am sadly one of those that did add to Date Movie's grosses for the weekend.

Date Movie, which came in a close second, is not a good movie. Simply copying and slightly exaggerating scenes from other movies and stringing them together does not make an interesting comedy, or even a funny one. These scenes need to be put together more creatively, with more focus and intelligence. This was like throwing crap at the wall and seeing what would stick. The last good spoof I can think of is Scary Movie, which was helped by being primarily a spoof of a single movie, with other gags thrown in for emphasis. This latest spoof does not have that focus and fails. Hopefully it will sink down the charts at an accelerated pace.

On the other hand, Eight Below is an absolutely delightful movie. Fortunately, it doesn't require much from Paul Walker, who I have never cared for as an actor. The movie coasts on the beatifully shot snow and ice, and the charming dogs. The dogs were great, I was even able to tell them apart for most of the film. This has a little something for everyone, and is fine for all excepot the yougest of film goers, as there are a couple of tense scenes. The biggest criticism I could make is that it is a little to the long side, 10-15 minutes cut could be made without hurting the film. I was glad to see the reference to the film upon which this was based early in the closing credits, Nankyoku monogatari.

The only other wide new release is Freedonland, and its opening was not pretty. Surprising too, I thought the trailers looked quite good, plus it had a cast led by Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore. Those thoughts left rather quickly after I saw the movie. It was rather painful to wathc at times, as there was definitely a good movie trying to claw its way out, but it was never able to make it.

The Pink Panther and Curious George managed to hag onto a good portion of their audience, slipping only slightly this week. Actually, none of the returning films had huge drops, nost of them in the 30% range.

Three films left the top ten this week, Brokeback Mountain which I do not believe has made its last top ten run yet, Underworld: Evolution, and Hoodwinked.

This Week

Last WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NEight Below$20,188,176$20,188,1761

Date Movie

31The Pink Panther$16,707,036$42,392,5342
43Curious George$11,767,445$29,922,7602
52 Final Destination 3$10,057,925$35,772,8712
85When a Stranger Calls$5,010,199$41,288,1553
96 Big Momma's House 2$4,603,063$61,488,5834
107Nanny McPhee$3,761,885$37,910,7954

Let's close this with a look at the pecking order that I had predicted, and see just how bad I did.

Predicted. (Actual)

  1. (2) Date Movie This barely missed my call. I am shocked that this didn't take the top spot. Not that I'm not happy about that.
  2. (7) Freedomland. Not as nearly as good a draw as I had thought it would be, of course, the movie isn't all that great either.
  3. (1) Eight Below. This is a very good movie, if a touch long. Glad to see somehting of quality came out on top, even if I did underestimate it.
  4. (5) Final Destination 3. I was close. I suspect this will start a steeper decline next week.
  5. (6) Firewall. Another close call. I wish the film was better.
  6. (4) Curious George. I underestimated this in its second week, but a good film will drasw people, and this is said o be a good one.
  7. (11) Brokeback Mountain. Dropping considerably, but not missing the top ten by much. This will be back in the top ten around Oscar time.
  8. (3) Pink Panther. Wishful thinking, I guess.
  9. (9) Big Momma's House 2. Well, I guess I need to get at least 1 right a week.
  10. (8) When a Stranger Calls. Underestimated a bit. But this will drop off sooner rather than later.

Not a good week for my predictions.


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