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Audiences Want a Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Published October 6, 2008 in Box Office
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures, Variety
Beverly Hills ChihuahuaBeverly Hills Chihuahua
Though I don't want to believe it, Disney's family pic, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, proved to have a loud bark no, yap as it took the top spot at the box office over the weekend.

Box Office Winner: Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Like a highly anticipated film, Beverly Hills Chihuahua bowed to $29 million. How could a film with rodent-like dogs do so well? Well, parents are rarely given the opportunity to take their kids to the theaters in a month that is normally invaded by horrors such as the Saw franchise. Thanks to the film's strong numbers, Chihuahua has quickly become Disney's biggest pet to open in October.

"In a market with seven new pictures, it’s terrific to be the No. 1 movie. It’s not easy to compete when there is that much distraction and people are being pulled in every direction," said Disney prexy of distribution Chuck Viane.

While Chihuahua opened big, Flash of Genius, Blindness and How to Lose Friends & Alienate People -- who also saw wide releases this weekend -- all failed to break into the top ten.

Fortunately there was a couple indies to pick up the slack.

Both Religulous and Rachel Getting Married showed strength on the specialty market. Bill Maher's documentary earned $3.5 million for a per-location average of $6,972; the second best average (in the top 10) over the weekend.

Though not in the top ten, Rachel Getting Married saw a per-screen average of $33,659.

Thanks most in part to Beverly Hills Chihuahua's shocking numbers, the weekend box office was up a whopping 40% over the same frame last year.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Walt Disney Pictures, Variety

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