Weekend Box Office (April 6 - 8, 2007)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Will Ferrell and Jon Heder skated to another gold medal victory over the Easter holiday as the comedy Blades of Glory remained atop the charts despite the arrival of a handful of new pictures. The Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez experiment Grindhouse opened well below expectations and finished with disappointing results in fourth place. Overall, moviegoers were in the mood for existing films as the top holdovers all dipped by less than 35%. The top ten delivered more than $100M in ticket sales for the sixth consecutive frame giving the marketplace continued strength.

Comedy was king of the box office once again as Blades of Glory grossed $22.5M in its second weekend, according to final studio figures, slipping only 32%. The Paramount release has now laughed up an impressive $67.9M in just ten days and looks headed north of $120M. The gross was slightly bigger than the $22.1M sophomore weekend take of Ferrell's last hit Talladega Nights which tumbled by a larger 53% in its second lap last summer. With no major comedy competition this month, Blades should continue to pull in healthy numbers in the weeks ahead.

Also holding up well in its second weekend was Disney's animated pic Meet the Robinsons with $16.7M, off 34%. Still attracting solid business from its 3D engagements, the G-rated toon has banked $51.9M in its first ten days and is also hoping to join the century club.

Leading the crop of new flicks was the Ice Cube comedy Are We Done Yet? with $14.3M for a third place finish. The Sony followup to the 2005 sleeper hit Are We There Yet? averaged a solid $4,957 from 2,877 sites and has grossed $18.5M since opening on Wednesday. Done's extended five-day opening was almost identical to There's three-day bow of $18.6M from January 2005. That film went on to collect $82.3M and still stands as Cube's top-grossing picture ever. Like the first one, the PG-rated Done played primarily to a family audience.

The weekend's big shocker was the violent two-for-one pic Grindhouse which debuted in fourth place with a gross of only $11.6M. The three-hour-plus homage to the B movies of the 1970s averaged a decent $4,419 from 2,624 locations but did not come close to the opening weekend tallies of previous films from directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The long running time for the $53M production forced theaters to offer fewer showtimes and a lack of female appeal may also have contributed to the less-than-stellar bow. Openings for other R-rated offerings from the maverick filmmakers include $29.1M for Rodriguez's Sin City and $22.1M and $25.1M for Tarantino's Kill Bill installments. Reviews for Grindhouse were very positive but The Weinstein Co. may not find much long-term success as most fans of the directors probably planned to see it sooner rather than later.

Hilary Swank's new horror flick The Reaping came in fifth place in its debut grossing $10M from 2,603 locations for a moderate $3,851 average. The R-rated tale of a scientist investigating supernatural occurances in a small Louisiana town launched on Thursday and scared up $12M over four days. The Reaping also took off in 16 international markets and grossed $7.1M overseas.

The year's biggest blockbuster 300 followed in sixth place with $8.4M in its fifth battle, down just 27%, lifting the overall domestic haul to $193.4M. Overseas, the Spartan smash pulled in another $32M over the weekend boosting the international total to $173M and the global gross to a stunning $366M. Wild Hogs, the second largest hit of 2007, dipped 23% to $6.6M giving Buena Vista a fantastic $145.3M to date.

Dropping to eighth was Mark Wahlberg's action pic Shooter with $5.9M, off 30%, for a cume of $36.7M. Falling 48% to $4.8M was the Warner Bros. toon TMNT which put its total at $46.6M thus far.

Fox's family drama Firehouse Dog opened in tenth place with dismal results grossing $3.8M from 2,860 theaters. Averaging a weak $1,342, the PG-rated film about a boy and his celebrity pooch bowed on Wednesday and collected $5.1M over five days. With so many other films courting the family crowd over Easter weekend, Dog was completely overlooked.

The top ten films grossed $104.7M which was off 2% from last year's Easter frame when Scary Movie 4 opened at number one with $40.2M; but up 20% from 2005's holiday in March when Guess Who debuted on top with $20.7M.

Compared to projections, Are We Done Yet? debuted close to my $13M forecast while Grindhouse opened with half of my $25M prediction. The Reaping bowed below my $14M projection and Firehouse Dog came in under my $7M forecast as well.

For a NEW review of The Reaping and DVD reviews of Happy Feet and Black Christmas, visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Perfect Stranger, Disturbia, Redline, and Pathfinder all open.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines

# Title Apr 6 - 8 Mar 30 - Apr 1 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Blades of Glory $ 22,522,330 $ 33,014,202 -31.8 3,410 2 $ 6,605 $ 67,905,237 Paramount
2 Meet the Robinsons 16,715,437 25,123,781 -33.5 3,435 2 4,866 51,947,271 Buena Vista
3 Are We Done Yet? 14,262,724 2,877 1 4,957 18,517,017 Sony
4 Grindhouse 11,596,613 2,624 1 4,419 11,596,613 Weinstein Co.
5 The Reaping 10,025,203 2,603 1 3,851 11,958,518 Warner Bros.
6 300 8,368,382 11,434,437 -26.8 2,674 5 3,130 193,402,459 Warner Bros.
7 Wild Hogs 6,644,971 8,662,893 -23.3 2,825 6 2,352 145,260,566 Buena Vista
8 Shooter 5,856,494 8,364,413 -30.0 2,353 3 2,489 36,712,076 Paramount
9 TMNT 4,825,445 9,232,362 -47.7 2,811 3 1,717 46,607,331 Warner Bros.
10 Firehouse Dog 3,838,916 2,860 1 1,342 5,101,907 Fox
11 Premonition 3,091,107 5,213,264 -40.7 1,752 4 1,764 44,510,378 Sony
12 Reign Over Me 2,448,183 3,835,022 -36.2 1,747 3 1,401 17,344,515 Sony
13 The Namesake 1,715,144 1,545,971 10.9 335 5 5,120 6,881,956 Fox Searchlight
14 The Hills Have Eyes 2 1,574,291 4,186,386 -62.4 1,169 3 1,347 19,153,873 Fox
15 The Last Mimzy 1,505,951 3,815,600 -60.5 2,104 3 716 18,824,564 New Line
16 The Hoax 1,449,320 235 1 6,167 1,449,320 Miramax
17 The Lookout 1,025,652 2,017,795 -49.2 955 2 1,074 3,808,036 Miramax
18 Amazing Grace 624,442 849,050 -26.5 392 7 1,593 19,238,386 Goldwyn / Roadside
19 The Lives of Others 590,779 610,325 -3.2 213 9 2,774 7,427,381 Sony Classics
20 Night at the Museum 540,423 602,610 -10.3 367 16 1,473 248,532,584 Fox
Top 5 $ 75,122,307 $ 87,467,675 -14.1
Top 10 104,656,515 112,882,360 -7.3
Top 20 119,221,807 123,288,200 -3.3
Top 20 vs. 2006 119,221,807 110,225,955 8.2

Last Updated: April 9, 2007 at 7:30PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Friday at 9:50am ET.