Weekend Box Office

Box Office Wrapup: Moviegoers Choose War, Not Love, as "Apocalypto" Conquers #1 Spot

by | December 11, 2006 | Comments

Mel Gibson ruled the box office once again as his latest directorial effort "Apocalypto" beat out a string of newcomers and strong holdovers this weekend to become an unlikely number one hit.

The romantic comedy "The Holiday" had to settle for a second place showing following close behind while Leonardo DiCaprio’s new actioner "Blood Diamond" finished the frame a few notches back in fifth with a not-so-sparkling bow. Overall, the marketplace was sluggish as total ticket sales fell significantly from the corresponding weekends from each of the last two years.

The ancient Mayan adventure "Apocalypto" shot to the top of the box office charts with an estimated $14.2M over the weekend giving Gibson a major industry victory just months after a scandalous summer. Playing in 2,465 theaters, the R-rated action film averaged a solid $5,747 per location. Apocalypto entered the marketplace as a tough sell given its unknown cast, subtitles, and extreme brutality. However, good reviews helped the film and the free publicity Gibson received since being arrested in July certainly boosted the overall awareness of the picture.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker’s last movie, 2004’s "The Passion of the Christ," generated tons more controversy and found itself with a colossal $125.2M opening over five days on its way to a domestic haul of $370.3M. "Apocalypto" stood as a very different film and was never expected to come close to that level. Studio research showed that 60% of the audience was male which was expected given its action story and extreme levels of torture and violence. Buena Vista has been on a roll in the second half of 2006 and "Apocalypto" should become the studio’s ninth consecutive wide release to reach past $50M domestically.

Movie patrons looking for lighter fare lined up for the new romantic comedy "The Holiday" which debuted close behind in second place with an estimated $13.5M. The PG-13 film stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two women who switch homes for the Christmas season and find love with a pair of new chaps played by Jude Law and Jack Black. Spreading cheer in 2,610 locations, "The Holiday" averaged a good $5,172 per site. Not surprisingly, adult women made up the largest part of the audience. According to studio research, 65% of the crowd was female and 57% was 25 and older. Reviews were not very kind. The film was helmed by Nancy Meyers who directed Mel Gibson in the smash hit "What Women Want" in 2000. The two went head-to-head this weekend with their new projects but it was Gibson who managed to race ahead and claim the box office crown.

The debut of "The Holiday" was on the lower end of the range reached by similar films opening in mid-December like last year’s "The Family Stone" ($12.5M), 2003’s "Something’s Gotta Give" ($16.1M), and 2002’s "Two Weeks Notice" ($14.3M). Unlike the other eleven months of the year, December usually sees movies enjoy better legs thanks to the extra time people have off from work and school. Those who miss a film on opening weekend often have time to see it later on and movies routinely reach a final gross that is five to seven times their debuts. "Stone"’s bow accounted for only 21% of its overall tally while "Something" and "Notice" enjoyed shares of 13% and 15%, respectively.

Following its three-week stint at number one, the penguin hit "Happy Feet" dropped down to third place but still witnessed a strong hold. The Warner Bros. toon enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten dipping only 28% to an estimated $12.7M and raised its cume to $137.7M. With solid word-of-mouth and the upcoming school holidays approaching, "Happy Feet" stands a good chance of reaching the $200M domestic mark. Internationally, the animated film grossed an estimated $25.4M from 37 markets this weekend boosting the overseas cume to $40.8M

For the fourth consecutive weekend, "Casino Royale" followed right behind the penguins on the box office chart. The new James Bond actioner fell 42% to an estimated $8.8M putting the domestic total at $128.9M. "Casino" is now running only 2% behind the pace of the last Agent 007 flick "Die Another Day" which had banked $131.9M after its fourth weekend. Overseas, Daniel Craig continued to shine lifting "Casino"’s international tally to $247.2M putting the global gross at a stunning $376.1M and counting. By the end of the week, the Sony smash will zoom past the worldwide tallies of "Superman Returns" ($390M) and "Mission: Impossible III" ($395M).

Opening in fifth place with mediocre results was Leonardo DiCaprio’s "Blood Diamond" with an estimated $8.5M from 1,910 sites for a decent $4,458 average. Directed by Ed Zwick ("The Last Samurai," "Glory"), the R-rated film finds the "Titanic" star playing a white African diamond smuggler hunting down a rare pink diamond found by an enslaved fisherman. Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly co-star and reviews were generally positive. "Blood" attracted media attention for its story which examines how conflict diamonds are used by rebel groups to finance their wars in parts of Africa. The opening weekend average did not reach the levels of the debuts of last year’s R-rated political thrillers set near that part of the world. "The Constant Gardener" bowed to $8.7M and a $6,444 average while "Syriana" opened nationally this weekend in 2005 to $11.7M with a $6,699 average.

Warner Bros. also opened its new family comedy "Unaccompanied Minors" but was met with weak results thanks in part to a crowded market for kidpics. The PG-rated film grossed an estimated $6.2M from 2,775 theaters for a poor $2,234 average. "Minors" finds a group of kids stranded in an airport during the holiday season.

Denzel Washington’s action thriller "Deja Vu" dropped 45% to an estimated $6.1M in its third weekend and upped its cume to $53M for Buena Vista. Following in eighth place was the Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" with an estimated $5.6M declining only 29%. With $15.8M in ten days, the New Line release may find its way to $35-40M.

More Christmas pics rounded out the top ten. Fox’s "Deck the Halls" grossed an estimated $3.9M, off 41%, to push its total to $30.1M. Disney’s "The Santa Clause 3" dipped 32% to an estimated $3.3M giving the studio $77.2M to date. The holiday comedy is running 36% behind the pace of the last Tim Allen installment which had taken in $120.1M at this same point in its run. Factor in ticket price increases since 2002 and "Clause 3" is trailing by 43%.

Four films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Fox’s smash hit "Borat" fell 46% to an estimated $2.6M giving the blockbuster comedy $120.3M to date. Budgeted at only $18M, look for the Sacha Baron Cohen concoction to finish with $125-130M domestically. Cohen’s "Talladega Nights" foe Will Ferrell has not met with the same kind of success with his latest comedy "Stranger Than Fiction." The Sony release fell 55% to an estimated $1.5M to put its cume at $39.2M. Budgeted at just under $30M, "Fiction" should end up with $40-45M.

The horror thriller "Turistas" from Fox’s new teen genre division Fox Atomic tumbled 63% in its second weekend to an estimated $1.3M. With only $5.9M in ten days, look for the R-rated film to harvest just $8-10M from its theatrical run. Fellow sophomore "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" has grossed less than $4M to date and seems headed for a finish of just $5-7M for MGM.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $82.8M which was down 27% from last year when "The Chronicles of Narnia" opened at number one with $65.6M; and down 16% from 2004 when "Ocean’s Twelve" debuted in the top spot with $39.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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