December 24, 2008

Box Office Update 12/19-12/21: Jim Carrey's Yes Man Tops Tepid Box

To say this December's box office is a little on the light side would be an understatement. This month is becoming less and less impressive. Of course, the cinematic offerings Hollywood has been giving us are less than stellar on the national scale. On the small scale there are worthwhile (presumably) films out there like Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, and Gran Torino, but they are still in the process of testing the waters for a wide release. However, with the economy in the shape its in and the overall shrinking box office I cannot say it looks particularly hopeful for them. My recommendation would be to see them as soon as you can, show the studios that quality films will be rewarded.

This week's weak slate may have also been hampered by some severe weather that cut a swathe through the States. It certainly contributed my inability to take in any of the offerings.

That said, this week's chart is topped with the latest Jim Carrey film, Yes Man. It is Carrey's return to live action comedy after his attempt at a thriller (The Number 23) and his voice performance in Horton Hears a Who! The film tells of a man whose mantra of "No" becomes one of "Yes" and drastically alters his life. The movie looks to be quite broad and contain some humor, but I cannot say I expect much from it.

The second biggest film of the week features one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Will Smith, and his new drama Seven Pounds. The film remains a mystery to this writer, of course I have not really looked into it but the trailers do a fine job of masking what the plot is and that is something to be admired. I have to wonder, will this movie break his streak of $100 million+ earning films? The streak dates back to Men in Black II back in 2002. If this is to hit the century mark, it has a long way to go with such a lukewarm open.

The third place film also happens to be a brand new one. The animated adventure The Tale of Despereaux had a decent open, although I am sure it hoped for more. It is the story of a young mouse with big ears who does not want to live afraid and ventures into the human world. It looks rather cute and I think it will prove to be a good family outing.

There is one other new entry on the list, although it has been out for a few weeks already. Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire arrives in eighth place. This critically acclaimed film is gaining a lot of momentum this Oscar season and I am really looking forward to giving it a gander.

As for the rest of the list? All of the returning films held pretty steady except for one title. The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still dropped a whopping 67% in its second weekend. Not a good sign for the Keanu Reeves starrer. Too bad it isn't a better film, there was such potential going in. Shame to see it squandered.

Next weekend will see the Christmas openers get their shot at the weekend. These films include The Spirit, Valkyrie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bedtime Stories, and Marley and Me. Doubt will also see its theater count increase.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Milk (11), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (12), Nothing Like the Holidays (13), and Transporter 3 (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NYes Man$18,262,471$18,262,4711
2NSeven Pounds$14,851,136$14,851,1361
3NThe Tale of Despereaux$10,103,675$10,103,6751
41The Day the Earth Stood Still$9,890,105$48,366,9892
52Four Christmases$7,701,375$100,110,8274
811Slumdog Millionaire$3,053,760$12,037,5106
106Quantum of Solace$2,051,882$161,200,4126

Box Office Predictions Recap
Well, my predictions turned out a little top heavy but they evened out in the latter half, all while my placings were pretty close to reality with only a couple out of place. Looking at the rather lowballed reality of this weeks tally against my predictions, I have to believe that the bad weather that pounded portions of the country had an effect on the final numbers. I know it (combined with a nasty head cold) kept me out of the cineplex .

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Yes Man$18,262,471$30 million
22Seven Pounds$14,851,136$23 million


3The Day the Earth Stood Still$9,890,105$14 million
34The Tale of Despereaux$10,103,675$13 million
55Four Christmases$7,701,375$8.5 million
66Twilight$5,189,319$4.5 million
77Bolt$4,146,856$4 million
98Australia$2,174,188$3 million
89Slumdog Millionaire$3,053,760$2.5 million
1310Nothing Like the Holidays$1,305,439$2 million


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