November 28, 2006

Box Office Update 11/22-11/26: Penguins and Turkey Rule the Roost

I hope you all had your fill of turkey over the past week, I know I did. The five day holiday period was dominated by holdovers from the prior weekend. Penguins and Bond proved to be more than a match for any of the newcomers, a few of which came in as turkeys. Ha! I made a pun.

Happy Feet handily beat the competition. I saw the film in its debut frame and it proved to be an absolute delight and one of the best animated features of the year. It has proven itself to be a strong draw, bringing out the families and winning good reviews all around. The penguins were followed by the latest James Bond entry which is the best one of the series in decades and one of the best action/adventures of the year. These top two films are definitely worth your time and your cinematic dollar.

Three new films debuted this weekend with the latest Tony Scott/Denzel Washington collaboration, Deja Vu. A fast paced genre thriller with a hint of a brain. Its premise is based in time travel, a device that is sure to cause many a migraine. Surprisingly, it deals with it well, if you think too hard about the climax you will get that migraine, but if you let it breeze by you will find an enjoyable film that hangs together well on the surface.

Following on the heels of action is the latest Christmas film to clang its way onto the big screen. It is the soulless headache creator Deck the Halls. Despite the talents of the cast, including Matthew Broderick, Danny Devito, and Kristen Davis, it never finds a center and is a concept in search of a heart. I would recommend skipping this one and seeing the third Santa Clause film which, while not great, at least has an inspired performance from Martin Short.

Bringing up the rear of the top ten is the Darren Aronofsky head scratcher The Fountain. This is an undeniable gorgeous looking film that embraces a visual style and a fractured narrative to tell its story. I know I will need at least one or two more viewings to get the whole thing, if not more. It is a daring film that may not be entirely successful, but it is an effort by a visionary filmmaker to do something more with the medium. Aronofsky is one of the proofs to the future of film being bright, a champion of an art film that seeks to reach a broad audience. Give it a shot.

There is one other new entry to the list, a film in its second week of release that went to a wider release. That movie is Emilio Estevez's story of the the second Kennedy assassination, Bobby. I admit to not knowing much about the film other than the trailer looks good, so I cannot truly comment on it, but I hope to see it.

Following the list there is a lone new wide release that failed to crack the desired top ten. Jack Black and Kyle Gass' Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny came in short at number 11. This is a film that is sporadically funny, and contains some fantastic musical numbers. It shows that it is a movie that came a little too late to cash in on the broader success of Tenacious D. Jack Black has a decent profile, but his band will most likely be relegated to cult ranks. Not that it is a bad thing, just that the movie was not destined to be a success. It is still funny.

Three films dropped from the list this week: Babel (13), Saw III (15), and The Departed (16).

This Week

Last WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11Happy Feet$50,645,518$99,256,7662

Casino Royale

3NDeja Vu$28,649,398$28,649,3981
4NDeck the Halls$16,916,923$16,916,9231

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

75Stranger Than Fiction$8,143,756$32,504,6043
86Flushed Away$7,570,134$57,266,3504
10NThe Fountain$5,456,908$5,456,9081

Box Office Predictions Recap
The figures are for the five day holiday weekend, if I went with the regular three day, my numbers probably would have been closer, at least in some cases. As it is, I think I did OK with my positioning, so long as you overlook my overestimate for the Tenacious D movie. I would have thought that it would have had a stronger showing. For what its worth, I nailed Borat almost perfectly.


PredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Happy Feet$50,645,518$38 million
22Casino Royale$44,881,148$31 million
43Deck the Halls$16,916,923$23 million
34Deja Vu$28,649,398$19 million



$15 million

116Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny$5,212,156$14 million
67Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause$13,717,450$10 million
108The Fountain$5,456,908$8.5 million
89Flushed Away$7,570,134$6 million
710Stranger than Fiction$8,143,756$5 million


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