May 23, 2006

Box Office Update 5/19-5/21: The DaVinci Code has the Biggest Opening of the Year

We have a new smash hit on our hands. Despite lukewarm, at best, critrical reception, The DaVinci Code has proven to be a huge hit. It broght in over $77 million domestically and over $230 million worldwide. It is the second biggest worldwide opening of all time, trailing only Star Wars: Episode III from last year which took in over $250 million. I saw the film early Monday afternoon, and there was still a good sized crowd. This film is doing something that potential blockbusters do not normally do, it is skewing towards an older audience. I am sure that the overwhelming popularity of the book is drawing out many people who do not normally go to the movies. I thought the movie was good, not great, but an interesting litte thriller. Although, I will say that Tom Hanks was not the ideal casting choice for the lead role.

Coming in way behind the leader, but more than holding its own, is the latest CG animated film, Over the Hedge. It is a delightful story about friendship and food. The voice casting was excellent, particularly with regards to Steve Carell as Hammy the hyperactive squirrel. It is, however, very similar to another squirrel, in Hoodwinked. It brought in over $37 million, and I suspect it will have good legs, at least until Cars arrives in June.

The other wide new release this week was See No Evil. It's a low budget horror film, the first from WWE Films, Vince McMahon's latest attempt at brand extension, and distributed by Lionsgate. It performed well, placing sixth and having the third best per-screen average of the top ten films. I saw it, and it is a fun down and dirty little horror film. It stars Glen Jacobs, better known to WWE fans as Kane, as the killer, and he may not say many words, but man does he have gigantic screen presence. It is nothing terribly original, but it is shot well and is a lot of fun.

Poseidon is proving to be a dud. It is a moderately entertaining popcorn flick, but it is performing nowhere near the expectations based on its budget. I believe it is going to have to rely on DVD rentals/sales to make its money back, I am sure it will, but it won't be doing it at the theater.

Among other returns, RV continues to motor along, as does Akeelah and the Bee which has remained in the top ten for one more week. On the other hand An American Haunting is starting to drop, as well it should, it is awful, and United 93 has started its own decline down the charts.

Three films were knocked out of the list this week. The films are Ice Age: The Meltdown (11), Stick It (12), and Hoot (19). The last dropping over 80% from last week, matching its dropping of 2,200 screens.

As for my predictions? This has been my best week in some time, but the releases sort of made it easy. I was able to peg 1 through 7, I had 8 and 9 flipped, and 10, well I figured the Ice Age sequel would hold on 1 more week. Next week will be interesting with the third X-Men film facing DaVinci's second week.

This Week

Last WeekMy GuessTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1N1The DaVinci Code$77,073,388$77,073,3881
2N2Over the Hedge$38,457,003$38,457,0031
313Mission: Impossible III$11,349,570$103,535,5793


6N6See No Evil$4,581,233$4,581,2331
747Just My Luck$3,384,371$10,467,6412
859An American Haunting$1,478,785$13,438,9853
968United 93$1,400,200$28,256,4804
109-Akeelah and the Bee$1,006,653$15,728,8894

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