November 4, 2008

Box Office Recap 10/31-11/2: High School Musical 3 Retains the Top Spot

Last week's box office chart was topped by strong openings for both High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Saw V. Both sold out shows at theaters across the nation on their way to a comfortable spot atop the charts with a commanding lead over all other nationally released films. This week sees one of those two retain a strong hold over the box office, that film is High School Musical 3.

However, despite the Disney film's retention of the top spot, it did not do so with much conviction. Both it and Saw V plummeted from last week, with both posting dips well north of 60%. I guess neither one is going to have the legs to carry them far into the oncoming holiday season. I do have to admit that I thought that the Disney franchise musical would have a better showing this week, even with Friday's Halloween biting into potential business. Not for nothing, High School Musical 3 did do something that three years of Saw films could not do, post a second weekend finish at the top of the charts.

A pair of new wide releases reached the charts this week. The highest ranked being Zack and Miri Make a Porno, placing second with a take just north of $10 million. This opening proved to be the second highest of writer/director Kevin Smith's career, coming about a million dollars shy of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and just a hair ahead of Clerks II. I would have thought (translation: hoped) it would have finished higher, but I guess the acquired taste of Smith's films has not quite made that possible yet; although I would have thought Seth Rogen's newfound star status might have helped a touch. Granted, I did not help much, not having seen it yet (something I plan to rectify in the very near future.

The other new release is the teen horror flick The Haunting of Molly Hartley, which came in fifth. It is a horror film with no bite, no horror, and most importantly, no haunting. This is a cash-in film hoping to entrap teens on Halloween looking for horror. I fell for it. If you are frugal with your cinematic dollar, skip this film.

There is one other new addition to the box office charts. The Clint Eastwood directed Changeling went wide and jumped from its opening weekend number twenty all the way up to number four. Here is a film that is emotionally draining and an experience not to be missed. It is a drama that uncoils itself at an even pace, drawing you in before allowing its secrets to be revealed. Powerful filmmaking.

Some holdovers from the past few weeks continue to post strong week to week holdover numbers. Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Eagle Eye, and The Secret Life of Bees all are showing good legs as they go deeper into their respective runs. This is not necessarily a sign of quality, but there is no denying that these three films have struck a chord and are benefiting from the positive word of mouth.

Next week will surely see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa rise to the top with a commanding win, no? Other competition will be seen with the Paul Rudd/Seann William Scott pairing in Role Models and Soul Men, featuring the late Bernie Mac with Samuel L. Jackson.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: W. (11), Body of Lies (12), and Quarantine (15).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11High School Musical 3: Senior Year$15,316,072$62,034,0832
2NZack and Miri Make a Porno$10,065,630$10,065,6301
32Saw V$9,741,578$45,469,0662
5NThe Haunting of Molly Hartley$5,423,315$5,423,3151
64Beverly Hills Chihuahua$4,864,021$84,177,6455
76The Secret Life of Bees$4,010,668$25,297,6213
83Max Payne$3,688,253$35,538,3653
98Eagle Eye$3,482,655$92,616,6656
105Pride and Glory$3,363,452$11,719,0942

Box Office Predictions Recap
Hey! Not too shabby on the placement front. I was able to get the top six positions guessed correctly, and the bottom four, I was only one off on each. As for the gross predictions, those were rather gross as I did not expect the top two films to plummet nearly as much as they did, while also expecting Kevin Smith's latest entry to open a bit stronger than it did. However, once you get past the top three spots, I did pretty good. Yes, there is definite room for improvement. It's a good thing there is always another weekend to try with.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11High School Musical 3: Senior Year$15,316,072$23 million
22Zack and Miri Make a Porno$10,065,630$16 million


3Saw V$9,741,578$15 million
44Changeling$9,351,560$9.5 million
55The Haunting f Molly Hartley$5,423,315$8 million
66Beverly Hills Chihuahua$4,864,021$4.7 million
87Max Payne$3,688,253$3.5 million
78The Secret Life of Bees$4,010,668$3.25 million
109Pride and Glory$3,363,452$3 million
910Eagle Eye$3,482,655$2.5 million


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