Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Girlpower Rules Over Super Bowl Weekend

America gets The Best of Both Worlds.

by | February 3, 2008 | Comments

Tween girls sacked the competition over Super Bowl weekend as the music pic Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
shattered records and opened at number one at the North American box office.
Debuting in second with solid results of its own was the Jessica Alba
creepfest The Eye,
but the comedies Over Her Dead Body
and Strange Wilderness
debuted outside of the top ten with more modest results. Overall, the
marketplace stayed strong with the top ten beating year-ago levels by more than
30% for the third consecutive weekend.

Shooting higher than the loftiest of expectations, Disney’s
Hannah Montana
film commanded an estimated $29M in ticket sales this
weekend from only 683 theaters for an eye-popping $42,460 average setting a new
record for the Super Bowl frame. Presented in digital 3D cinemas, with 96% of
the sites featuring RealD technology, the grosses were boosted by most
exhibitors charging $15 per ticket instead of the usual admission charges.
Still, the G-rated film more than doubled its nearest competitor and sold out
over a thousand showtimes during the weekend. The release was not as wide as
other films since Disney was limited to only those auditoriums equipped with the
necessary facilities to project in digital 3D.

Hannah Montana set a number of new box office milestones although
asterisks will need to be added to the record books since it had the advantage
of the higher-priced tickets. It was the largest opening ever over Super Bowl
weekend beating the $21.6M of 2006’s horror entry
When a Stranger
Calls
, and the largest overall weekend gross over this frame surpassing
Titanic
which banked $25.2M in 1998 in its sixth weekend. The gross for the iceberg
romance would be over $36M at today’s regular prices. Hannah also set the
record for the smallest amount of theaters for a film debuting at number one.

Best of Both Worlds offered fans many reasons to rush out and grab a
seat. Given the star’s 69-city sold-out concert tour, the film allowed Hannah
lovers an easier way to see their favorite singer locally without having to get
parents to buy scalped tickets. Add in the digital 3D presentation and the
promotion of an exclusive one-week-only run and ticket buyers wasted no time in
making sure they got their stubs and showed up. An event film was born. Due to
the incredible demand, the studio has now announced that the film will be
open-ended and will play beyond the initial seven-day run.

Sales were exceptional right out of the gate with Friday delivering a stunning
$8.6M in business. Saturday saw incredible strength with matinee business from
kids going on their parents’ first day off from work with sales surging an
amazing 52% to $13.1M. The studio has estimated that Sunday’s grosses will drop
by 45% to $7.3M. Most studios are estimating larger-than-normal declines of
60-65% on Sunday for their films because of the Super Bowl, however Hannah
Montana
‘s young female audience is least likely to care about the big game
so its drop should be lighter.

Studio research indicated few surprises in the audience turnout. Females made up
a whopping 84% of the crowd and those under the age of 25 accounted for 70%.
Reviews were generally upbeat for the trim 74-minute concert film which allowed
theaters to schedule plenty of showtimes over the weekend to absorb demand.

Hollywood’s annual Super Bowl weekend horror offering had to settle for the
runnerup prize. The Eye,
a remake of a Hong Kong horror hit with Jessica Alba
anchoring the U.S. version, bowed to an estimated $13M from 2,436 locations for
a solid $5,357 average. The PG-13 pic about a blind violinist who gains
supernatural visions of death after an eye transplant played slightly more to
young women as the audience was 56% female, according to studio research.
Lionsgate grossed $4.9M on Friday, edged up 16% to $5.7M on Saturday, and
estimated a 58% drop on Sunday to $2.4M. The Eye debuted with more than
twice as much as Alba’s last thriller
Awake ($5.9M) and was in
line with the $13.7M launch of her recent romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck
.


 

Fox’s 27 Dresses
held steady in third place and played as a great non-football alternative for
women by grossing an estimated $8.4M in its third weekend. Katherine Heigl‘s
hit comedy dipped by just 37%. Cume for Dresses now sits at $57.1M.
Another funny gal from the Fox stable, Oscar nominee and Entertainment Weekly
covergirl Ellen Page, rose three notches to fourth with Juno
which collected an estimated $7.5M, off only 27%, for a robust $110.3M total.


The studio’s spoof comedy Meet the Spartans
tumbled by 62% in its second session and placed fifth with an estimated $7.1M.
Budgeted at $18M, the PG-13 laugher has taken in $28.3M in ten days and should
conclude with $40-45M putting it in the same neighborhood as the creative team’s Epic Movie
which grossed $39.7M at this same exact time last year. Close behind was
Sylvester Stallone‘s
action pic Rambo
with an estimated $7M falling an identical 62% from its debut. Lionsgate has
taken in $29.8M in ten days and may finish with close to $45M.


 

Taking in an estimated $6.9M was the  Jack Nicholson
and Morgan Freeman
joint venture The Bucket List
which slipped 35% pushing the cume to $67.7M for Warner Bros.
Diane Lane‘s
crime thriller Untraceable
suffered a sizable sophomore slump falling 52% to an estimated $5.4M for a sum
of $19.5M after ten days. Produced for over $30M, the R-rated pic is set to end
with a mediocre $30-35M.


 

Cloverfield
crumbled another 62% in its third weekend to an estimated $4.9M. Paramount
has made $72M to date. The studio’s specialty division Paramount Vantage
expanded its Academy Award contender
There Will Be
Blood
from 885 to 1,507 theaters and rounded out the top ten with an
estimated $4.8M. Off a scant 2%, the
Daniel
Day-Lewis
drama upped its total to $21.1M.




 

A pair of new comedies opened to disappointing results outside of the top
ten.
Eva Longoria Parker
headlined the pic Over Her Dead Body
and bowed to an estimated $3.6M from 1,977 sites for a weak $1,821 average. The
New Line release about a ghost who haunts her fiance’s new squeeze marked the
first headlining role in a feature film for the Desperate Housewives
star. Paramount Classics countered with the nature flick Strange Wilderness
starring Steve Zahn
which debuted to just $3.1M, according to estimates. The R-rated title averaged
only $2,525 from 1,208 locations. Both films were trashed by critics, to
nobody’s surprise.


 

Two other films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The
Nicolas Cage
blockbuster sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets
took in an estimated $3.1M, off 38%, for a $209.9M cume after its seventh
session. The adventure saga ranks as the ninth biggest hit released in 2007 and
will surpass 300’s $210.6M by the end of the week to climb one more spot. Look
for Book of Secrets to conclude with $215-218M domestically representing
a 25% increase over the first
National Treasure
‘s
$173M from 2004. Worldwide, Secrets has already hauled in over $375M to
date.




 

Not collecting as much treasure was the heist comedy Mad Money
which fell 56% to an estimated $2M in its third weekend. With $18.6M in 17 days,
the Overture Films release should finish with roughly $22M.



 

The top ten films grossed an estimated $93.9M which was up a sensational 42%
from last year when
The Messengers

opened at number one with $14.7M; and up 23% from 2006 when
When a Stranger
Calls
debuted in the top spot with $21.6M.

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