January 30, 2007

Box Office Update 1/26-1/28: Epic Movie Gets Medieval on Your Collective Butt

Opening nearly one year after their latest opus, Date Movie, writer/director duo Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg have opened their next movie. They have turned their eye from the romantic comedy genre and decided to "satirize" the epic films that have been released over the past few years. In doing so, they succeeded at doing something their last movie failed to do, open at number 1. Despite the fact that it actually took in less money than the last outing, Epic Movie's take proved to be more than enough to fend off the rest of the field.

The number two movie this week is also a newcomer to the multiplex. Joe Carnahan's latest film is a technicolor ballet of bullets. It opened with a decent $14 million plus take. I saw the film and I enjoyed it, despite the serious flaws in character and story flow. It was a fun exercise in excess with style acting as a substitute for substance. I suspect it will end up with a decent run, but will discover most of its success on DVD. The Queen is also doing well in its wide expansion coming on the heels of its Golden Globe win and Oscar nominations. The Departed followed suit moving back into 1,000+ theaters, narrowly missing the top ten, finishing at number 11.

There was one other new release to crack the top ten. The Jennifer Garner flick Catch and Release found itself in a battle, which it ultimately lost, for fourth place with Stomp the Yard. The fight was a close one, with a mere $30,000 separating the two. I have not seen either of these yet, though it does mark Stomp's fall from the top spot, a place it held for two weeks.

One other new film entered wide release this weekend, and it is withering on the vine. The werewolf movie Blood & Chocolate opened to poor reviews and came in a disappointing 15th. This is a film that was marketed on the fact that its producers come from the Underworld franchise, but it turns out it was not enough to draw anyone from the lines for Epic Movie.

On the returning film front, Night at the Museum continues to roll along. It brought in nearly $10 million more this week, while dropping a mere 20% of its audience from last week. Then there is the showing of Pan's Labyrinth, a truly great film that is doing well in its slowly expanding release. It has yet to cross the 1,000 theater count, yet has been in the top ten for the past couple of weeks. I am hoping to see this one again before it leaves.

Three films dropped from the list this week: Freedom Writers (11), Children of Men (15), and Arthur & The Invisibles (18).

This Week

Last WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NEpic Movie$18,612,544$18,612,5441

Smokin' Aces

32Night at the Museum$9,557,664$216,845,6236
41Stomp the Yard$7,685,565$50,538,8423
5NCatch and Release$7,658,898$7,658,8981


75The Pursuit of Happyness$4,983,325$152,929,8677
87Pan's Labyrinth$4,774,578$16,523,0215
99The Queen$4,013,052$41,254,08018
104The Hitcher$3,632,975$13,433,0202

Box Office Predictions Recap
Barring a couple of gross overestimations in terms of placement, and underestimations in terms of box office gross, I think I actually did halfway decent this week. I was able to nail the top four slots. As sad as it makes me see it, Epic Movie did indeed come out on top. What is even sadder is the fact that I may find myself sitting through this. Well, there goes my excuse for skipping Freedom Writers. Anyway, in addition to the top four, I also got number 7 right, and a couple of others within a slot, but then there is Blood & Chocolate which has to be considered a massive disappointment for the studio, failing to crack the top ten in its debut frame. On the dollar side I was able to get a couple in the general vicinity of where they actually finished.

Anyway, here is how I pegged the field:


PredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Epic Movie$18,612,544$13.5 million
22Smokin' Aces$14,638,755$11 million
33Night at the Museum$9,557,664$9 million
44Stomp the Yard$7,685,565$8 million

Blood & Chocolate


$7.5 million

56Catch and Release$7,658,898$6 million
77Pursuit of Happyness$4,983,325$4.5 million
128The Departed$3,365,481$4 million
109The Hitcher$3,632,975$3.5 million
1110Freedom Writers$3,514,548$2.5 million


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