Weekend Box Office (March 7 - 9, 2008)
by Gitesh Pandya
THIS WEEKEND Moviegoers went back in time and powered the prehistoric adventure 10,000 BC to the top spot at the North American box office making it the latest film panned by critics to shoot straight to number one with the paying public. The Warner Bros. release bowed in 3,410 theaters to $35.9M, according to final studio figures, and averaged a sturdy $10,518 per site. A strong marketing push led by a brilliant trailer helped to draw in a sizable audience which disregarded the dismal reviews.
The opening was about half of the colossal $70.9M debut that the studio saw one year ago this weekend with its other historical epic adeventure 300. However, that was a more stylized actioner which generated much more buzz and so BC was never expected to come close to the Spartan heights. Instead, the prehistoric pic opened stronger than many other big-budget spring action films like V For Vendetta ($25.6M), Constantine ($29.8M), and Hidalgo ($18.8M).
Overseas, 10,000 BC conquered the box office opening at number one in 19 of its 20 markets grossing a combined $26.1M from 3,600 prints this weekend to boost the global debut to $62M.
Disney claimed the runnerup spot with its kidpic College Road Trip which grossed $13.6M from 2,706 theaters. Averaging a respectable $5,026 per site, the G-rated film stars Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone as a father-daughter pair on a trip to see prospective universities. The performance fell short of other Disney vehicles that tried to make a family man out of macho stars. The studio's Vin Diesel pic The Pacifier bowed to $30.6M in March 2005 while The Rock's The Game Plan debuted to $23M last September. Trip used the starpower that Raven-Symone has with young girls to help bring in its target audience.
Sony's hit action thriller Vantage Point held up well again in its third frame and grossed $7.4M, off 43%, for a cume to date of $51.5M. The Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro got clobbered in its second weekend tripping 62% to $5.8M. With only $24.7M in ten days, New Line should end up with a disappointing $35M or so.
The new Jason Statham heist pic The Bank Job debuted in fourth place with $5.9M from 1,603 locations. Averaging a mild $3,703 per theater, the R-rated actioner fell short of the actor's recent films like War and Crank which both opened in the neighborhood of $10M.
Kidpic The Spiderwick Chronicles suffered a larger decline thanks to new family competition from Martin and Raven. The Paramount title dropped 46% to $4.7M lifting the cume to $61.6M. Sony's The Other Boleyn Girl followed with $4M, down 51%, for a $14.7M total. A $22-24M final seems likely.
Three of the year's top-grossing films rounded out the top ten. The Fox sci-fi flick Jumper dropped 52% to $3.7M boosting the tally to $72.4M. Buena Vista's Step Up 2 The Streets fell 47% to $3.1M while the Warner Bros. adventure comedy Fool's Gold dipped 37% to $2.8M. Cumulative totals stand at $53M and $62.8M, respectively.
The top ten films grossed $86.8M which was down 36% from last year when 300 opened at number one with $70.9M; and off 2% from 2006 when Failure to Launch debuted in the top spot with $24.4M.
Compared to projections, 10,000 BC opened a bit higher than my $32M forecast while College Road Trip debuted below my $18M prediction. The Bank Job was on target with my $6M projection.
For a NEW review of 10,000 BC and NEW DVD reviews of Michael Clayton, American Gangster, and Dan in Real Life visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Horton Hears A Who, Doomsday, and Never Back Down all open.
Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:
|#||Title||Mar 7 - 9||Feb 29 - Mar 2||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||10,000 B.C.||$ 35,867,488||3,410||1||$ 10,518||$ 35,867,488||Warner Bros.|
|2||College Road Trip||13,601,419||2,706||1||5,026||13,601,419||Buena Vista|
|4||The Bank Job||5,935,256||1,603||1||3,703||5,935,256||Lionsgate|
|6||The Spiderwick Chronicles||4,712,945||8,700,378||-45.8||3,246||4||1,452||61,633,488||Paramount|
|7||The Other Boleyn Girl||4,048,026||8,203,061||-50.7||1,167||2||3,469||14,660,260||Sony|
|9||Step Up 2 The Streets||3,062,501||5,742,479||-46.7||2,251||4||1,361||53,016,888||Buena Vista|
|10||Fool's Gold||2,782,416||4,418,229||-37.0||2,322||5||1,198||62,802,900||Warner Bros.|
|11||Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day||2,490,942||535||1||4,656||2,490,942||Focus|
|15||No Country For Old Men||1,549,788||4,114,994||-62.3||1,201||18||1,290||72,607,607||Miramax|
|16||Be Kind Rewind||1,165,888||2,089,157||-44.2||746||3||1,563||8,933,178||New Line|
|17||Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins||1,139,945||2,646,570||-56.9||954||5||1,195||40,791,970||Universal|
|18||The Bucket List||1,027,423||1,693,430||-39.3||1,040||11||988||89,219,034||Warner Bros.|
|19||There Will Be Blood||649,414||1,547,177||-58.0||643||11||1,010||38,740,358||Par. Vantage|
|20||Alvin and the Chipmunks||531,479||662,436||-19.8||593||13||896||214,434,383||Fox|
|Top 5||$ 68,546,431||$ 52,366,260||30.9|
|Top 20 vs. 2007||101,124,811||146,363,124||-30.9|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: March 10, 2008 at 8:00PM ET
Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Friday at 9:50am ET.