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Weekend Box Office Overview 1-23

Published January 23, 2006 in Box Office
By Vince Palomarez | Images property of respective holders.
Underworld: Evolution Poster Underworld: Evolution takes top spot.
Hey folks! Here are the box office totals for the weekend of January 20-22:

January 23 Box Office Overview

1. Underworld: Evolution $27.6 million (1st week of release): The cult following that Underworld built with the first film came out in full force over the weekend for the sequel……too bad they were the only ones. With most movie sequels doing better business than the original it was a little surprising to see that Underworld: Evolution did about the same business as the original. Leading up to its release there was so much talk about the huge cult following the original Underworld built once it hit DVD and cable, but if you look purely at the opening numbers, Evolution was only able to take in only $6 million more. That has to sting the folks at Sony/Screen Gems who thought they were going to hit a home run by releasing Evolution during a period with absolutely no competition. There was no information released in terms of production costs, but I’m assuming (since most sequels are “bigger and badder” than the original) that it had to be significantly more than the $22 million it took to make the first one which makes me believe that Screen Gems would’ve liked to see the opening numbers closer to the $35-$40 million mark. With the majority of Underworld’s fan base catching the film during opening weekend, will they be able to drub up enough buzz to keep Evolution in the top spot for a second week? You might be surprised, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes. Don’t get me wrong, Evolution will more than like take a huge drop in business from it’s opening week, but with a slew of weak competition set to be released next week, there might be just enough fan base left to keep it from losing the top spot.

2. Hoodwinked! $11 million ($29 million total): I was expecting a minor drop for Hoodwinked this week, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to only drop 10% from last week. That’s a pretty amazing feat for a PG animated film with next to no advertising leading up to its release. From looking at the numbers for the past two weeks, Hoodwinked has managed to find a solid fan base and while a $29 million total isn’t enough for the Weinstein’s to run out and challenge Pixar for CGI dominance, it does give them some more confidence in their upstart studio to continue to do out of the box ideas like this film.

3. Glory Road $9 million ($28 million total): Don’t let the 32% drop and 3rd place finish fool you, Glory Road is dropping… Despite fairly favorable reviews and lot of press leading up to its release, Glory Road can’t seem to find the magic that helped past Disney films like Miracle and Remember the Titans gross $75 and $115 million respectively. It would’ve taken around a $12 million dollar weekend for Glory Road to even think about being on pace to meet either of those totals. Instead, from the looks of things, Disney is going to have to sweat it out just reach the $50 million mark. If Glory Road doesn’t drop less than 50% next week it might have a good shot of hitting that mark, but if it does, you can start playing the trumpet, because this film will be dead in theaters and on DVD in no time.

4. Last Holiday $9.1 million ($26 million total): While the folks behind Glory Road are stressing over their $9 million weekend take, the people behind Last Holiday are more than likely having a party right about now. With a little over $26 million after two weeks, Last Holiday seems to be on a steady pace to come close to matching the $45 million it cost to make. With only a 28% drop from last week, Last Holiday is keeping its audience steady which is everything that Paramount could hope fore. I’m pretty sure Paramount never expected this film to do monster numbers, so the fact that the film continues to pull in solid money and continues to stay afloat has to be seen as a success. Look for Last Holiday to continue its steady performance despite some upcoming competition in the coming weeks.

5. Brokeback Mountain $7.8 million ($42 million total): After seven weeks of hanging around the bottom five, Brokeback Mountain finally managed to muscle its way into the top 5 thanks in part to its domination of the Golden Globes last week. With awards for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay, moviegoers know this is the “must see” movie of the year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this film stick around through February. Now that Brokeback Mountain is the odds on favorite to take home Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it will be interesting to see if it will continue to move up in the standings. A lot of the early success of last years best picture, Million Dollar Baby, helped it go on to gross $100 million by the time its theatrical run is over and from the looks of things, Brokeback Mountain should be no different. .

Fun with Dick and Jane Poster Fun with Dick and Jane
The rest of the pack:

6. Fun with Dick and Jane $6.1 million ($101 million total)
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe $6 million ($271 million total)
8. End of the Spear $4.7 million (1st week of release)
9. Hostel $4.3 million ($42.7 million total)
10. The New World $4.2 million ($4.4 million total)

Despite some major movement in the bottom five, the changes were uneventful. The biggest piece of news has to be the slow and steady path Fun with Dick and Jane took to make its production budget back. After five weeks of release the film dropped only 32% with a $6 million take which was good enough to put it over the $100 million mark and in the black. After a rough couple of opening weeks, Fun with Dick and Jane was able to keep a steady crowd coming in and can now reap the rewards of sticking it out and not going into panic mode. This is a great sign for Jim Carrey who was starting to see some doubters once the initial numbers were released.

With a run of 6 weeks in the top 5 it was only a matter of time before Chronicles of Narnia was going to fall in the standings. It finally happened this week, but the drop wasn’t nearly as bad as other films that have been around just as long. Chronicles of Narnia dropped only 40% from last week, but the $6 million take was enough to put its grand total past the $270 million mark which moves it closer up the list of all time top grossing films. With no end in sight, Chronicles of Narnia should have a good chance of finishing its run with close to $285 million which puts it right in line with the film it is trying to emulate, The Lord of the Rings.

Box office predictions from last week:

1. Underworld: Evolution $19 million
2. Hoodwinked $10 million
3. Glory Road $8 million
4. Last Holiday $7 million
5. The Chronicles of Narnia $7 million

So close, but yet, so far. If it wasn’t for the sudden surge of people venturing out to see Brokeback Mountain I would’ve finally nailed my top 5 predictions. I knew Chronicles of Narnia was eventually going to drop out of the top 5, but it was performing so steady, I was counting on it to last at least another week. Damn you Golden Globes!! Because of your timing, I’m denied a perfect week (ok, I know Fun with Dick and Jane finished ahead of Chronicles of Narnia, but just play along with me here)! Anyways, aside from the Brokeback Mountain mistake, this week was fairly predictable and I would’ve had to retire if I couldn’t at least get the top 3 films right.

Box office predictions for next week:

1. Underworld: Evolution $15 million
2. Big Momma’s House 2 $14 million
3. Hoodwinked $8 million
4. Brokeback Mountain $8 million
5. Annapolis $7 million

I want to hear from you guys what you think the totals are. Agree with me? Disagree? E-mail ( me your totals and I'll post the person who comes closest to the actual totals.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Vince Palomarez
Sources: Images property of respective holders.

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