February 13, 2007

Box Office Update 2/9-2/11: Norbit Takes a Bite Out of Hannibal

Eddie Murphy not only played three roles and donned a fat suit, but he helped push Norbit to the top of the box office pile. The comedy raked in over $34 million at the box office this weekend, dwarfing the take of the second place film, Hannibal Rising. The finish of these two films defied expectations, with Norbit taking in nearly $10 million more than expected, while Hannibal Rising was expected in the range of the last Lecter outing, Red Dragon, which opened north of $35 million.

Norbit is a film that does not deserve the success it has out of the gate, although I am guilty of adding to the pot. The film is criminally unfunny, and rather offensive. It has very few redeeming qualities that would make it worth seeing, even renting it would be a sketchy investment. On the other hand, I did not think that Hannibal Rising was all tha bad. It may not be the Lecter story I was hoping it would be, what with the serious shadows of Batman Begins hanging overhead, but it still worked as a revenge thriller. It was well shot and decently acted and held my attention more than Eddie Murphy yelling in a suit did.

Among the returning films, Night at the Museum continues its stranglehold on the public imagination. It just passed its eighth weekend, its take dropped less than 10%, and its take has cruised past the $23o million mark. Since it is a 2006 release, these numbers are pushing it up the 2006 box office where it now sits at number 4, and is all but assured to take the number 3 position away from X-Men: The Last Stand, which it trails by merely $2 million. There is even a possibility that it could overtake Cars at number 2, it needs $12 million to reach that level. It is an impressive run which continues to solidify Ben Stiller as box office gold.

Guillermo del Toro's marvelous dark fantasy, Pan's Labyrinth, is also holding steady. It has finished in eighth position for three consecutive weeks and suffered a drop of less than 3%. On the flip side, The Messengers suffered the biggest setback, just north of 50%, as it slipped from first to fourth, skipping over last weekend's number two, Because I Said So.

Two films dropped from the list this week: Stomp the Yard (11) and The Pursuit of Happyness(12).

This Week

Last WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release

Hannibal Rising

32Because I Said So$9,221,130$25,805,7202
41The Messengers$7,218,187$24,742,2052
54Night at the Museum$5,754,359$232,150,3558

Epic Movie

75Smokin' Aces$4,113,020$31,174,1403
88Pan's Labyrinth$3,577,283$26,619,0577
1010The Queen$2,373,121$48,897,64820

Box Office Predictions Recap
Wow, I was just a teensy bit off on my guesstimation with regards to Norbit. The Murphy comedy came close to doubling my prediction while Hannibal Rising fell a distant second. The rest of my guesses were pretty much in the ballpark. I was even able to get the middle of the field correct, places 3 through 7, to be exact. Not bad, gives me hope after so many weeks of poor choices.
Anyway, here is how I picked the field:


PredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
21Hannibal Rising$13,051,650$23 million
12Norbit$34,195,434$18 million
33Because I Said So$9,221,130$9 million
44The Messengers$7,218,187$8 million

Night at the Museum


$5 million

66Epic Movie$4,570,090$4 million
77Smokin' Aces$4,113,020$3 million
118Stomp the Yard$2,358,159$2.5 million
89Pan's Labyrinth$3,577,283$2 million
910Dreamgirls$2,980,967$2 million


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