December 11, 2007

Box Office Update 12/7-12/9: The Golden Compass Soars Over the Competition

This past weekend featured a single new release hitting theaters across the nation. With this fact in the back of my mind, it does not take a rocket scientist to guess which film was going to come out on top. That even takes my meager prediction skills into consideration. I only wish that the film was better. The film in question is the "controversial" The Golden Compass. It took the top spot by a commanding amount, although it came in well below industry expectations, which had the film finishing in the upper $30's to low $40's.

While The Golden Compass easily won the weekend, its legs are in question. The film has been received by lukewarm at best reviews and does not seem likely to benefit from positive word of mouth. I saw the film and can attest to it being of subpar quality. Some of the effects work is good and a couple of performances are worthy, but overall it suffers from stilted dialogue and choppy pacing. I could not find a reason to care.

As for the rest of the field, it was filled with the same names as last week. All five releases from the Thanksgiving holiday are still clinging to their top ten berths. At the same time, Fred Claus is hanging on much better than I thought it would. I enjoyed the film, but it is not exactly top tier material. In its fifth week of release it moved from sixth to fourth place while slipping only 16% from last week. I would have thought it would have slipped off the chart by now.

There is one film that fared better than Fred Claus, a film that is starting rack up the awards as we steam towards the end of the year. That movie is No Country for Old Men. It is fast emerging as the Oscar front runner having been named Best Picture by the New York Film Critics, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association. It has also been named Best Film by the National Board of Review. It certainly has a lot of critical acclaim, and it is well worth seeking out.

None of the returning films fared terribly poorly, but that could change when next week brings more competition with it. Next weekend will see the arrival of surefire hit I Am Legend, the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Perfect Holiday.

One movie dropped off the top ten this week: Bee Movie (11).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NThe Golden Compass$25,783,232$25,783,2321
33This Christmas$4,961,083$42,721,2643
46Fred Claus$4,608,314$65,536,9225
610No Country for Old Men$4,116,888$28,744,5925
77August Rush$3,510,446$25,133,5723
108The Mist$2,629,290$23,477,1753

Box Office Predictions Recap
Outside of the top two, my placements were off base. I can take a little solace in knowing that most of the movies fell within $2 million of each other. Knowing that fact, I could have been right on if only a few moviegoers chose just a little bit differently. On the other hand, the majority of my dollar predictions were pretty darn close, once you get past the disappointing take of The Golden Compass.

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11The Golden Compass$25,783,232$39 million
22Enchanted$10,709,515$11 million
53Beowulf$4,536,667$5 million
34This Christmas$4,961,083$4.5 million


$3,488,135$4 million
46Fred Claus$4,608,314$4 million
97Awake$3,327,369$3.5 million
78August Rush$3,510,446$3 million
69No Country for Old Men$4,116,888$3 million
1110Bee Movie$2,606,153$2.5 million


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