Weekend Box Office

Box Office Wrapup: Sexytime for "Borat" Once Again!

by | November 12, 2006 | Comments

There was no stopping the Kazakh sensation Borat which expanded nationally this weekend after a stunning debut and remained at the top of the North American box office once again.

In fact, the top three spots remained unchanged as ticket buyers ignored most of the new offerings aimed at them this weekend. Will Ferrell‘s new comedy Stranger Than Fiction posted a respectable opening, but Hollywood stars Russell Crowe and Sarah Michelle Gellar suffered some of the worst openings of their careers this weekend as their new films, A Good Year and The Return respectively, were both dead on arrival. The overall marketplace struggled to keep pace with previous years as for the first time since 1997, the first half of November failed to deliver a single film with a weekend gross of at least $30M.

Borat crushed its competitors for a second straight weekend as the raunchy docu-comedy expanded from 837 to 2,566 theaters and grossed a stellar $29M, according to studio estimates. By more than tripling its theater count, Fox put its hit into full nationwide release and actually saw its three-day take climb 10% over the debut frame. Borat’s per-theater average understandably dropped by two-thirds this weekend to a still strong $11,302. The ten-day cume stands at an amazing $67.8M and at its current pace, the $18M movie-film could find its way to the $140M mark from the domestic market alone.

Thanks to a wave of media hype this fall, the Sacha Baron Cohen creation has become a national phenomenon and is already make benefit from glorious word-of-mouth and repeat business, according to the studio. Holdover theaters witnessed drops of about 30% from last weekend which is encouraging as it moves forward to fight off James Bond and other holiday pics armed with a war chest full of marketing dollars. Borat has become the first film to spend back-to-back weekends at number one since the football drama Invincible which opened in August, and has generated the best ten-day start of any movie since the Will Ferrell blockbuster Talladega Nights which also co-starred Cohen. Both comedies saw their main stars appearing on talk shows in-character to generate publicity.

Holding steady in the runnerup spot was Disney’s Christmas flick The Santa Clause 3 which dipped only 13% to an estimated $16.9M. After ten days, the Tim Allen sequel has grossed $41.1M putting it behind the pace of the last installment in the franchise. In 2002, The Santa Clause 2 also bowed on the first weekend of November and dropped 15% to $24.7M in its sophomore session. Its ten-day cume of $60M repped 43% of its eventual $139.2M gross. Clause 3 looks to be on course to erode at a similar pace which would allow it to reach the vicinity of $90M.

Also staying put for a second weekend was the animated comedy Flushed Away which remained in third place with an estimated $16.7M. Off only 11%, the Paramount release has upped its cume to $39.9M and remains just a step behind Santa. With better buzz and a slightly slimmer decline, Flushed could also reach the same region and conclude its run near the $90M level.

Santa and Flushed opened last weekend and split the family audience almost evenly with only a $700,000 difference in their weekend debuts. This frame, the gap was cut down to only $200,000. Per-theater averages were also close with Santa averaging $4,885 from 3,458 and Flushed averaging $4,508 from 3,707 sites. But both films will face stiff competition on Friday when Warner Bros. goes after the exact same crowd with its heavily-hyped penguin toon Happy Feet which has been backed by a sizable marketing push.

Will Ferrell‘s newest comedy Stranger Than Fiction led the frame’s new releases and bowed in fourth place with an estimated $14.1M from 2,264 theaters. Averaging a solid $6,228, the PG-13 film about a man who discovers his life is being narrated by an author earned good reviews and co-starred Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The production budget for the Sony release was under $30M. According to studio data, Fiction’s audience was 55% female while 53% were under 30. As a smart comedy aimed at young adults, the film did not open like Ferrell’s bigger smashes like Talladega Nights ($47M), but it does hope to have good legs.

The horror sequel Saw III fell hard once again dropping 55% in its third weekend to an estimated $6.6M pushing the 17-day cume to $69.9M. The third installment in the popular torture franchise is running a bit behind the pace of last year’s Saw II which enjoyed a third-weekend take of $9.1M for a total of $73.9M over the same number of days.

After two successful weeks in limited release, Paramount Vantage’s cross-continent drama Babel expanded nationally to mixed results with an estimated $5.7M. The Brad PittCate Blanchett pic averaged a decent $4,517 from 1,251 locations and raised its sum to $7.5M. Last weekend, Babel grossed just under $1M from 35 theaters for a potent $26,264 average, but arthouse films don’t always remain powerful after expanding into all regions of North America.

Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed took in an estimated $5.2M in its sixth mission, down 32%, giving Warner Bros. $109.8M to date. With $58M overseas, the Leonardo DiCaprioMatt Damon cop drama sits at more than $168M worldwide and counting. Opening close behind in eighth place was the horror pic The Return with an estimated $4.8M from 1,986 theaters for a weak $2,405 average. For Sarah Michelle Gellar, the PG-13 film’s debut represented her second worst opening ever in a lead role after 1999’s Simply Irresistible with $2.2M. Focus Features was the distributor.

The magician pic The Prestige followed with an estimated $4.6M, off 38%, for a $46M cume to date for Buena Vista. Like Gellar, Russell Crowe also bombed with his new entry. The romantic comedy A Good Year bowed to just $3.8M, according to estimates, averaging a poor $1,827 per theater from 2,066 sites. Fox’s PG-13 pic barely entered the top ten as Crowe suffered his worst opening since Mystery, Alaska‘s $3.1M launch in 1999. Like so many other fall films targeting mature adults, Year just did not have room to breathe and flopped instantly. Poor reviews also hurt the Ridley Scott-directed picture which played mostly to older women.

Another new release that failed to excite paying customers was MGM’s action thriller Harsh Times which debuted outside of the top ten with an estimated $1.8M from 956 locations. Averaging a sluggish $1,913 per site, the R-rated pic finds Christian Bale playing a bad cop on the streets of South Central.

Four films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Clint Eastwood‘s war saga Flags of Our Fathers grossed an estimated $2.8M falling 36% in its fourth attack. The $90M Paramount release has amassed only $31M to date and looks headed for an underwhelming $38-40M finish. Miramax’s awards contender The Queen continued to expand, but faced the first weekend decline of its seven-week run. The Helen Mirren film collected an estimated $2.6M from 484 venues for a decent $5,372 average. The Queen was playing in 387 theaters last week and bumped its cume to $13.8M while its average declined by 29%.

Sony’s hit toon Open Season tumbled 53% to an estimated $1.4M. With $83.5M in the bank, the $85M film should end its season with around $86M. Just a week away from giving audiences a dual voice role in the Warner Bros. toon Happy Feet, funnyman Robin Williams saw his political comedy Man of the Year pass the $36M mark. A final tally of just under $40M seems likely for the not-so-stellar Universal title.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $107.4M which was dead even with last year when Chicken Little remained at number one with $31.7M; and down 18% from 2004 when The Incredibles stayed in the top spot with $50.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

Sony Pictures godzilla docuseries crime drama award winner Dark Horse Comics transformers NBA crime comedies Epix AMC Plus obi wan Summer Creative Arts Emmys Tomatazos Discovery Channel Spectrum Originals Hollywood Foreign Press Association parents Oscar medical drama Image Comics Election 73rd Emmy Awards japanese Black Mirror nbcuniversal Binge Guide El Rey international Nickelodeon Apple TV+ summer TV preview CMT latino Heroines TV movies Columbia Pictures Alien scary child's play fresh 4/20 Fox Searchlight cancelled Best Picture Acorn TV zombies Logo IFC The Witch politics Emmys superman VOD posters RT History debate TV gangster SundanceTV video on demand Biopics CBS stoner nfl South by Southwest Film Festival Toys leaderboard marvel cinematic universe scene in color film series festival Television Critics Association PaleyFest X-Men revenge President spinoff Drama Writers Guild of America Disney Plus Best Actress MGM cancelled television trailers New York Comic Con Turner Rocketman FOX Reality Competition live action all-time CNN basketball finale stand-up comedy chucky Animation versus Ellie Kemper HBO Turner Classic Movies Spring TV name the review Adult Swim Fantasy concert TIFF Brie Larson National Geographic HFPA blockbuster comic book movies 93rd Oscars canceled TV shows king arthur Oscars batman blockbusters teaser HBO Go ABC Family Broadway 90s Netflix Christmas movies Vudu unscripted monster movies Ghostbusters Arrowverse mob Neflix Paramount Plus Funimation comic books Stephen King comiccon Mary poppins miniseries wonder woman Red Carpet boxoffice cancelled TV series Polls and Games laika rt labs Watching Series casting twilight Kids & Family best Film Festival canceled screen actors guild Lionsgate Amazon Studios toy story CW Seed Rom-Com Holiday dceu Comics on TV social media BAFTA witnail trophy supernatural IMDb TV robots TCA 2017 dogs BBC America DC Universe BET Awards rom-coms DGA ESPN Quiz political drama ITV TV Land Britbox TCA emmy awards NBC Song of Ice and Fire boxing breaking bad Extras HBO Max Paramount Network VH1 SXSW natural history king kong adventure Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Opinion American Society of Cinematographers Pacific Islander Amazon APB Pixar space television asian-american summer preview dc NYCC MCU Cannes australia obituary saw feel good art house 99% Reality doctor who heist movie Holidays Photos razzies free movies cults Black History Month Countdown The Walt Disney Company YouTube composers criterion vampires a nightmare on elm street Shondaland Film GoT FX on Hulu slasher 94th Oscars Travel Channel Universal genre Sundance Now Sundance crossover MSNBC theme song Academy Awards streaming movies critic resources Martial Arts cooking Star Trek Best and Worst Infographic Paramount Women's History Month Sneak Peek streaming LGBTQ Calendar Emmy Nominations young adult psychological thriller crime thriller Sci-Fi ViacomCBS Superheroes halloween tv Christmas children's TV Instagram Live Interview rotten YouTube Premium documentaries Lifetime Christmas movies 21st Century Fox Crunchyroll halloween Peacock Tumblr black comedy animated Musicals know your critic TNT ratings superhero true crime PlayStation biopic Classic Film dexter diversity black renewed TV shows Nominations Comic-Con@Home 2021 Star Wars Pop BBC Awards Mindy Kaling Disney Esquire book 2021 Warner Bros. venice classics films Fox News The Walking Dead movie Walt Disney Pictures new york RT21 royal family joker Grammys 79th Golden Globes Awards suspense Fargo Country telelvision talk show nature The CW Box Office summer TV Tarantino thriller slashers First Reviews docudrama The Purge A24 Set visit historical drama Hallmark Christmas movies independent Premiere Dates Lifetime ABC vs. 2016 DirecTV Sundance TV christmas movies comic book movie 007 Pride Month science fiction deadpool psycho The Arrangement Anna Paquin Best Actor LGBT cancelled TV shows Marathons Family prank hispanic heritage month directors Super Bowl OWN TCA Awards Amazon Prime PBS Indigenous OneApp spanish legend YouTube Red Teen USA Network golden globes Marvel Television Freeform aapi BET green book Apple satire spider-verse BBC One FX TBS VICE GIFs Avengers cats Pirates 71st Emmy Awards war Native technology police drama IFC Films sag awards Disney Channel disaster justice league Comedy Central hist dark new zealand San Diego Comic-Con SXSW 2022 AMC Showtime kong french broadcast YA mission: impossible strong female leads Chernobyl binge movies screenings documentary rt archives critics TV renewals Video Games worst movies blaxploitation target scene in color werewolf game of thrones Winners sequels Character Guide Awards Tour 24 frames Music die hard kaiju Universal Pictures discovery sequel Horror singing competition Musical History First Look Mystery interviews book adaptation Focus Features DC streaming service Superheroe adenture Tubi 20th Century Fox sopranos Netflix Tokyo Olympics Pet Sematary worst action-comedy Certified Fresh Marvel Studios south america Pop TV 2015 Disney streaming service toronto Spike sitcom dramedy Cartoon Network TLC mutant scene in color 72 Emmy Awards franchise quibi Starz DC Comics period drama Rock james bond olympics Year in Review Hear Us Out target Legendary mockumentary 2017 scary movies scene in color series Television Academy indie anthology TV One Chilling Adventures of Sabrina SDCC 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Hulu Lucasfilm Apple TV Plus E3 hidden camera reviews romantic comedy Prime Video stop motion 1990s serial killer sports 2020 elevated horror Masterpiece TruTV Geeked Week tv talk scorecard jamie lee curtis popular new star wars movies Syfy fast and furious TCA Winter 2020 Thanksgiving Nat Geo Shudder italian richard e. Grant dreamworks Rocky adaptation cops women A&E high school Tags: Comedy video Valentine's Day Western Amazon Prime Video marvel comics 2019 cartoon Comic Book USA what to watch cars Trivia Paramount Pictures Fall TV ID CBS All Access streamig kids pirates of the caribbean Action harry potter The Academy comics Schedule MTV Hallmark series ghosts facebook mcc reboot Baby Yoda Exclusive Video hollywood spider-man Ovation 2018 ABC Signature spain Mudbound Podcast 45 GLAAD remakes Sony japan aliens golden globe awards TCM lord of the rings indiana jones Trophy Talk hispanic WarnerMedia game show Wes Anderson FXX Trailer rt labs critics edition live event zombie Crackle Mary Poppins Returns travel Bravo jurassic park spy thriller archives Best Director cinemax Comedy dragons anime Marvel based on movie Winter TV E! Cosplay news See It Skip It festivals Disney+ Disney Plus foreign romance comic WGN biography football universal monsters Mary Tyler Moore rotten movies we love Endgame spanish language Elton John Food Network Star Wars Celebration zero dark thirty Captain marvel