November 13, 2007

Box Office Update 11/9-11/11: Bee Movie Buzzes Past American Gangster

Last week's big winners did not signal a trend of big November openings as Fred Claus stumbled out of the gate to a third place finish behind last week's top two. It would seem that bad word of mouth got out early and took a bite out its expected open. I actually saw it, and liked it. It is better than the reviews would have you believe, but not nearly as good as I would have liked. Of course, the commercials didn't help much, spotlighting the secret service elves which were among the worst elements of the movie. Anyway, Fred failed to capture the minds of the audience and will likely not reach the Elf-like numbers that the studio had been hoping for/expecting.

This week's top two earners also happened to be the top two earners from last week. The only difference is that they swapped positions. Bee Movie leapfrogged over American Gangster to take over the top spot. The Jerry Seinfeld starring animation showed a good hold from last week, slipping just 31%. The movie is fun, has good animation, but suffers a bit from its message preaching conformity. American Gangster also proved to have a good hold despite slipping to second place. It is still doing well with audiences and has good word of mouth. I may not think it is as great as many believe it is, but it is still a solid film that is well worth spending some time with.

In addition to Fred Claus, two other films made their appearance on the big screen. First up is the Tom Cruise produced Lions for Lambs, which was helmed by Robert Redford and is the debut for the revived United Artists (which Cruise bought a while back after being dropped form his Paramount deal). It is another war-themed film and yet another to receive a lukewarm box office reception. This likely the weakest of the bunch as it amounts to a 90 minute lecture by big name Hollywood faces. The other is the highly effective thriller P2, placing a distant ninth. From producer and co-writer Alexandre Aja, this film teaches you to be wary of the parking garage attendant on cold, lonely nights when yours is the only car left. Definitely worth spending some time with.

Among the returning films, Dan in Real Life fared the best as it slipped only 25% from last week. This is a good film and a real crown pleaser. It is a romantic comedy for a slightly older audience and it actually delivers on its promise. At the other end of the spectrum is Saw IV, which dropped over 51%. It may be dropping pretty quick, but was that really unexpected? Not really, these films are front loaded and will make most of their money within the first two weekends. Still, it raked int he bucks assuring that further sequels will likely continue to make ood bank.

Next week will see competition from the heavily promoted, mo-cap film Beowulf, from the Oscar winning director Robert Zemeckis. Also reaching the big screen is the holiday fantasy Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and the period romance Love in the Time of Cholera.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Michael Clayton (12), Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (13), and Gone Baby Gone (14).
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
12Bee Movie$25,565,462$71,779,5972
21American Gangster$24,028,445$80,388,4202
3NFred Claus$18,515,473$18,515,4731
4NLions for Lambs$6,702,434$6,702,4341
54Dan in Real Life$6,002,717$30,809,0563
63Saw IV$4,949,812$58,026,0203
75The Game Plan$2,462,122$85,466,0697
8N30 Days of Night$2,172,031$37,430,3741
107Martian Child$1,843,767$6,106,8812

Box Office Predictions Recap
Once again, my predicted number 1 film did not come in number 1. Fred Claus stumbled out of the starting gate and failed to live up to my expectations. I guess the hoped for Elf numbers aren't going to happen. Beyond that, my dollar predictions were hit or miss, off on films like Fred Claus, Lions for Lambs, and P2. Weird, my worst predictons were on the new films of the weekend. My placements were the best they've been in the past few weeks. Perhaps I'm headed in the right direction?

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:
ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
31Fred Claus$18,515,473$38 million
22American Gangster$24,028,445$24 million
13Bee Movie$25,565,462$23 million
44Lions for Lambs$6,702,434$13 million

Dan in Real Life

$6,002,717$5.5 million
66Saw IV$4,949,812$5 million
97P2$2,083,398$4.5 million
78The Game Plan$2,462,122$3.5 million
109Martian Child$1,843,767$2.5 million
1210Michael Clayton$1,697,456$2 million


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