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Box Office Update: Twilight Leads the Way

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Twilight has turned out to be quite the phenomenon, no? The tween vampire adaptation has turned into a monstrous hit, filling the hole (at least for one weekend) left by the moving of Harry Potter to warmer climates. The romance nearly topped the $70 million mark, making it the fifth biggest November open of all time. This is also the third consecutive week with a film staking claim to fifth place, following the Madagascar sequel and Quantum of Solace. It's a shame the movie wasn't better.

There was one other wide release getting some attention. The latest Disney animated release, Bolt, opened to the tune of $26.2 million, finishing in third place, merely $0.5 million behind second place finisher Quantum of Solace. I had the pleasure of taking in a 3D screening on opening night and what a blast it was. The movie has a strong Toy Story-like feel, but the similarities are not distracting. The tale is familiar but well-written and briskly paced, populated with colorful characters, and animated in a loose, comfortable manner that easily draws the viewer in.

Quantum of Solace, despite finishing in second place, took a steep hit its second weekend out. It fell just over 60%. Despite the steep hit, the film crossed the $100 million plateau easily and looks like it is on its way to a healthy final tally. This movie is not as strong as Casino Royale, but it is a good film and a good continuation of the previous film's threads, giving us a new origin for the superspy.

The rest of the top ten finishers had relatively strong holds, although High School Musical 3 did plummet more than 68%, but that is to be expected as it dropped a number of theaters and lost a lot of its audience to the phenomenon that is Twilight. Then there is Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The Kevin Smith film is flattening out and looks to finish right in the vicinity of Smith's highest grossing films. Will he ever have a film breakthrough? I suppose he has a limited audience, but it also seems like he was Judd Apatow before there was a Judd Apatow.

This week's wide releases will take advantage of the holiday weekend by opening on Wednesday. Those releases include the Baz Luhrman epic Australia, the Christmas comedy Four Christmases, and the action sequel Transporter 3. One other film goes wide, expanding its initial limited release — The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Soul Men (12), Saw V (17), and Beverly Hills Chihuahua (16).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Twilight $69,637,740 $69,637,740 1
2 1 Quantum of Solace $26,707,945 $108,790,786 2
3 N Bolt $26,223,128 $26,223,128 1
4 2 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $15,661,936 $137,109,390 3
5 3 Role Models $7,324,445 $48,133,020 3
6 5 Changeling $2,695,450 $31,665,332 5
7 4 High School Musical 3: Senior Year $2,049,144 $86,864,082 5
8 19 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas $1,647,514 $2,628,053 3
9 6 Zack and Miri Make a Porno $1,605,579 $29,256,029 4
10 8 The Secret Life of Bees $1,264,991 $35,638,795 6

Box Office Predictions Recap

I am actually a little bit surprised that Twilight came in under my predictions. With the reports of sellouts and lines I saw throughout the weekend, I was beginning to think it may challenge $80 million. I was wrong; still, there is no denying the dent it made in the charts in its first week out. On the other hand, Bolt fell well below my expectations. Too bad, as it is quite the entertaining film. Likewise, the latest Bond film took a steep hit in its second weekend, falling well below my estimate, yet still hanging onto second place. It turns out I did a better job guessing the positions than I did the dollars. Well, there is always next week.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Twilight $69,637,740 $75 million
3 2 Bolt $26,223,128 $38 million

2

3 Quantum of Solace $26,707,945 $34 million
4 4 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $15,661,936 $18 million
5 5 Role Models $7,324,445 $6.5 million
7 6 High School Musical 3: Senior Year $2,049,144 $4.5 million
6 7 Changeling $2,695,450 $3.25 million
9 8 Zack and Miri Make a Porno $1,605,579 $2.25 million
10 9 The Secret Life of Bees $1,264,991 $2 million
16 10 Beverly Hills Chihuahua $468,078 $1 million

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