Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Golden Compass Sets Course For #1 Debut

Atonement, Juno open in limited release.

by | December 6, 2007 | Comments

New Line hopes to breathe some life into the North American box office with the launch of its pricey adventure film The Golden Compass which stands as the frame’s only new wide release. Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), the PG-13 film aims to capture a large crowd including the family audience and fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who proved in the summer flop The Invasion that their names only carry so much commercial weight, reunite to star in the effects-heavy film.

Working in its favor is the fact that all other studios have avoided programming their major offerings onto this weekend’s schedule. In fact it is quite rare to see two consecutive frames with only one national opener each. Media attention is concentrated on it this week and with multiplexes dumping their aging November flops, Compass will secure extra screens. The studio’s marketing push has been powerful and awareness is high which makes sense as New Line is hoping for a new fantasy franchise that can keep the cash rolling in for years to come. Teens and young adults who frequent the multiplexes the most should come out in solid numbers since they’ve seen every other worthy film already. Older adults will be a little harder to reach since holiday shopping is a major distraction on weekends right now plus reviews for Compass have not exactly been stellar.

Although the property will target many of the same folks who have dropped billions on fantasy smashes like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the source material is not as popular plus there is already backlash from some in the religious community for the anti-Christian material in the Philip Pullman books. Reaching the $65.6M opening of Narnia from this very weekend two years ago will be impossible. Instead, a debut closer to the $27.5M of Beowulf last month could be in order since there may be much overlap. Compass has more appeal for younger kids and females so a bigger bow should result. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Golden Compass might premiere to the tune of $33M this weekend.


Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass

With most of the big boys taking the weekend off from releasing films wide, indie distribs will once again seize the opportunity to platform their end-of-year pics and begin limited runs for possible kudos contenders. By law, you can’t have an awards season without at least one costume drama so Focus Features joins forces with Keira Knightley with Atonement which bows on Friday in 26 sites. The R-rated period piece also stars James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave and has already grossed $31M overseas with over two-thirds of that total coming from the U.K. since its launch there in early September.


James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement

Fox Searchlight counters in seven theaters with its teen pregnancy comedy Juno starring Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Page in the title role. The PG-13 coming-of-age pic opened on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and is director Jason Reitman‘s follow-up to Thank You For Smoking which grossed $24.8M for Fox Searchlight in the spring of 2006. Reviews have been strong across the board for both Juno and Atonement.


Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby in Juno

After back to back stints of wearing the box office crown, the princess comedy Enchanted is now preparing to take a step back this weekend thanks to the arrival of Queen Kidman. The Disney hit will see some formidable competition for kids, but the overall drop should not be too large. A 35% slide to around $10.5M could result. That would give Enchanted a charming $83M after 19 days of play.

With girls lining up for Giselle and company, their brothers have been taking a historical adventure with the computer-animated action pic Beowulf which has been holding its own since its debut. Golden Compass will also be a threat since there is much audience overlap. But Beowulf‘s good legs suggest that a drop of 35% could be in order here as well. That would leave the Paramount project with about $5M pushing the cume up to $76M.

Sony’s holiday reunion film This Christmas and Fox’s assassin thriller Hitman both witnessed larger sophomore declines so a fall of 40% each should occur this weekend. Christmas would take in just under $5M for a $42M total while Hitman should bank $3.5M for a $36M sum.

LAST YEAR: Mel Gibson scored his second straight number one opening for a historical foreign language film he directed with Apocalypto which debuted on top with $15M. The Buena Vista release went on to capture a solid $50.9M. Three-time champ Happy Feet was bumped down to second with $12.9M in its fourth frame. Sony’s romantic comedy The Holiday bowed in third with $12.8M for Sony. The Cameron DiazKate Winslet pic went on to gross $63.2M domestically and a stunning $200M worldwide. Studio stablemate Casino Royale slipped to fourth with $8.9M. Warner Bros. launched its action thriller Blood Diamond in fifth with a mediocre $8.6M on its way to $57.4M from North America and $171M globally. Opening in seventh was the studio’s other new wide release of the frame, the family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, with only $5.8M leading to a weak $16.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

Sundance Now Trophy Talk dceu A&E TLC ABC Family First Reviews sag awards medical drama Vudu canceled Valentine's Day romance Rom-Com golden globes APB Disney Plus Fall TV Film Festival psycho 45 FOX Mary Poppins Returns green book Winter TV Rocketman Alien richard e. Grant joker The Witch cancelled TV shows cartoon twilight documentary Nat Geo Crackle Marvel Television doctor who news Box Office Lifetime dark nfl Opinion Infographic Amazon venice natural history Comics on TV Dark Horse Comics Photos 2019 SXSW Spring TV Summer directors Travel Channel halloween tv FXX Columbia Pictures TV Land Ellie Kemper spinoff Polls and Games nbcuniversal unscripted Funimation Star Trek SundanceTV Awards harry potter animated sequel french Apple travel asian-american ratings IFC Films Women's History Month Heroines Superheroe anthology Best and Worst Western Film blockbuster CBS All Access Cartoon Network Super Bowl series BET Awards blaxploitation Trailer comics anime HBO archives serial killer spy thriller Reality Competition fresh Musicals spanish deadpool Comic Book Shondaland remakes jurassic park YouTube Premium emmy awards crossover Brie Larson independent VOD Winners kids Esquire BBC America adaptation Comedy indiana jones Acorn TV Mystery based on movie batman Election TCA 2017 Marathons cooking dc Pop TV renewals Pet Sematary nature game show Peacock movies GLAAD mockumentary Mary Tyler Moore Creative Arts Emmys MCU streaming Character Guide technology festivals Amazon Prime supernatural Marvel Studios Disney+ Disney Plus canceled TV shows indie black dramedy Lifetime Christmas movies reviews science fiction AMC stand-up comedy trailers children's TV Paramount Legendary Britbox The Walt Disney Company classics Mary poppins miniseries comic books universal monsters Animation WGN rotten movies we love hidden camera Bravo Walt Disney Pictures football popular USA Network Freeform documentaries spider-man Pride Month Apple TV Plus Pop TV werewolf Disney streaming service blockbusters Hallmark Christmas movies YouTube Red king kong Captain marvel psychological thriller superhero comedies japanese halloween National Geographic Song of Ice and Fire Certified Fresh Paramount Plus Endgame El Rey BBC The CW PBS Teen elevated horror obituary slashers stop motion TV The Arrangement 2017 Marvel Hallmark ABC mission: impossible Turner Classic Movies jamie lee curtis See It Skip It YA tv talk Grammys San Diego Comic-Con comiccon ID Classic Film monster movies finale Video Games Premiere Dates stoner The Academy Tubi zombie strong female leads DirecTV best telelvision Black History Month The Walking Dead concert Countdown cancelled Spectrum Originals rotten YouTube CBS Binge Guide child's play NYCC 20th Century Fox ITV Oscars screenings Action 21st Century Fox Television Academy australia Christmas video Warner Bros. vampires cops talk show Star Wars ViacomCBS true crime cancelled TV series Superheroes Reality E3 First Look Sundance TV WarnerMedia Fox News 2015 breaking bad justice league discovery laika Food Network Television Critics Association TIFF Netflix Christmas movies biography toy story cults IFC Awards Tour 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards A24 Comedy Central CW Seed video on demand Nickelodeon renewed TV shows Sneak Peek Schedule women prank Sci-Fi HBO Max die hard Black Mirror ghosts mutant Interview Sony Pictures razzies boxing screen actors guild 2020 police drama Starz Hulu docuseries period drama Horror VICE franchise Adult Swim Holiday Shudder X-Men politics disaster Academy Awards television dragons Baby Yoda satire casting Amazon Prime Video Logo Stephen King 4/20 versus Amazon Studios RT History rom-coms TruTV History TCM BAFTA Rock Disney Apple TV+ sports superman SDCC parents Spike dogs quibi Drama Avengers game of thrones Pirates kaiju Crunchyroll Biopics chucky Trivia book worst movies political drama witnail Ghostbusters Quiz worst Cannes sitcom Family aliens Showtime LGBTQ Music films TCA Awards name the review OneApp golden globe awards cancelled television CNN teaser Toys 2016 Red Carpet sequels italian scorecard Tumblr TCA Winter 2020 hist FX toronto Netflix robots Sundance crime Musical DGA The Purge pirates of the caribbean Calendar christmas movies Syfy Mudbound historical drama Lucasfilm ABC Signature 2018 Emmys TV One facebook GoT Hear Us Out Universal thriller Cosplay VH1 Writers Guild of America what to watch NBC GIFs criterion Thanksgiving latino binge Tarantino Epix romantic comedy zero dark thirty diversity composers Broadway cinemax a nightmare on elm street HBO Go Year in Review Arrowverse kong TNT Rocky Anna Paquin revenge OWN reboot TCA Set visit 007 Pixar james bond fast and furious 99% foreign crime thriller RT21 Elton John Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt all-time FX on Hulu singing competition Extras MSNBC DC streaming service festival transformers 2021 Exclusive Video spanish language theme song scary movies Nominations cats docudrama Turner social media Mindy Kaling Country zombies LGBT spain 71st Emmy Awards Discovery Channel USA comic Emmy Nominations Chilling Adventures of Sabrina DC Comics war PlayStation BBC One hollywood south america Watching Series boxoffice ESPN President crime drama award winner rt archives MTV PaleyFest 24 frames CMT Holidays DC Universe free movies BET critics Tomatazos Ovation Martial Arts godzilla American Society of Cinematographers adventure Fantasy TBS Paramount Network Disney Channel Kids & Family Fox Searchlight New York Comic Con hispanic E! movie 72 Emmy Awards Podcast Lionsgate cars Chernobyl Masterpiece space