Alright, folks, you’re going to have to bear with me this week. You see, this numbers are in, and they are boring. I know, how exciting are box office numbers anyway, and isn’t my job to make them exciting?
Maybe so, but this week it’ll be harder than most. So like I said, bear with me.Alright, for starters, Enchanted hung on to the top spot with $16.4 million and a $70 million total. That’s down 52%, but everything took a big hit compared to the holliday weekend. Amy Adams’ star continues to rise, as we discussed last week, but I suspect Patrick Dempsey will also find himself in demand as a romantic lead (his next feature role is a the lead in a rom-com called Made of Honor).
Dempsey’s lucky to have clawed his way back to respectability after a brief stint as a teen star, so I’ll take this opportunity to offer him some advise. TV stars are often tempted to abandon whatever show was their launching pad in order to chase the dream of being a movie star. I understand the impulse, but this is a mistake. Compare George Clooney, who stuck with ER for at least two seasons after he began to headline movies, and David Caruso, who jumped the NYPD Blue ship just as soon as he could to do Jade and Kiss of Death, then fell into obscurity before Anthony Zuiker mercifully gave the lead in CSI: Miami. So Patrick, stick with Gray’s Anatomy until you’re sure you’ve got a bankable career. Those viewers are the ones that got you back in the game; you owe them a few more seasons.
Beowulf jumped into the number two spot with $8 million, down 50%, and a $68 million total. Word is the per screen average on 3D theatres is high enough that it’s prompting theatre owners to install the necessary equipment to show more 3D movies in the future. That’s good news for those execs that already greenlit future 3D projects (I’ve even heard that they’re not far from removing the need for glasses, though I can’t imagine how this will work), but the domestic totals still leave me a little apprehensive. Combined with Beowulf‘s $75 million foreign cume, though, is enough to justify the investment.
This Christmas fell to third place with $7.9 million, off 55%, for a respectable $36 million cume. Mekhi Phifer, by the way, is another ER (my goodness that show’s been on FOREVER) vet who has done a nice job of managing his feature career around the demands of the show. Pay attention, Patrick. Hitman dropped 54% to $6 million in its second week, bringing the total to $30 million. Still waiting for a movie based on a video game that is either good enough or makes enough money to justify all the attention the industry gets from Hollywood.
Alright, now we’ve got something. Awake was the lone opener this week, and even with so little competition, it managed to tank, landing in fifth place with just $5.8 million from 2,002 theatres for a $2.9k average. Remember back when Good Luck, Chuck opened to perfectly modest numbers, and I said that it would neither help nor hurt the painfully beautiful Jessica Alba’s career? Well, by itself, it didn’t. But combined with these numbers, and the spotty returns on her non-Fantastic Four fare (Into the Blue anyone?), I would say Alba’s officially in trouble. And to make matters worse, she’s jumping on the Asian horror train about two years too late with her next entry, a remake of the Pang brothers’ The Eye. Hayden Christensen, who already brings plenty of ill will with him thanks to his dreadful turn as Anakin in the last two Star Wars prequels, is barely hanging on thanks to a decent performance in Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass. The good news for him, though, is that his next project is a cool-looking sci-fi flick called Jumper (with Billy Elliot‘s Jamie Bell as the bad guy!) from Bourne Identity-director Doug Liman. February is a dumping ground, but if Liman can make this pay off, Chritensen may find himself in better shape than Alba, believe it or not.
For better or worse, Fred Claus continues to hold up decently through the holidays, bringing in another $5.5 million, down 48%, for a $59 million total. Paul Giamatti may owe us big time after this and Lady in the Water, but if he really is attached to Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Noferatu and the Curse of the She-Vampires, that would go a long way toward making it up to me (no, that’s not sarcasm, and if you think it is, go rent Bubba Ho-Tep and get back to me). August Rush had the best hold in the top ten, slipping just 46% to $5 million and a decent $20 million total, proof that there will always be work for Robin Williams, no matter how many bad movies he makes.
The Mist didn’t fall too badly in it’s second week, dropping 49% to $4.5 million and a $19 million total. With a budget of just $18 million, Frank Darabont’s adaptation of a Stephen King novella (do I even have to write that, or can we just assume?) will be profitable, but won’t relaunch his directing career or Thomas Jane’s leading man status. Bee Movie fell to ninth with $4.4 million, down a steep 62% for a $117 million total (still behind eleventh-place American Gangster in total gross). And in tenth place was No Country for Old Men with $4.3 million, down 43% in spite of adding 135 theatres, and a $22 million total. Those are all good numbers for a Coen Brothers movie, especially with some extra awards season revenue sure to come, but the $4.4k average from just 995 theatres tells me Miramax may have hit the saturation point already.
Two notables opened in limited release. The first is Tamara Jackson’s The Savages, which has some good reviews and a credible indie cast including Philip Seymore Hoffman (on a perpetual role and said to be brilliant in Charlie Wilson’s War) and Laura Linney. It brought in $151k from four theatres for a $37.9k average. Don’t expect big bucks from this, but some critics awards (Linney is perpetually in the running) could push this toward $20 million. The second was Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which has no stars to speak of but already has the best director award from Cannes under it’s belt. It managed $75k from three theatres for a $25k average. Unlike most Oscar hopefuls thus far, this one has a feel-good message, at least, that could appeal to the August Rush crowd.
And that about wraps it up for this week. Check back next week when The Golden Compass looks to dominate at the box office, but award contenders Atonement and Grace is Gone get the limited treatment. See you then.