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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Flushed Away, Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

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This is a weekend for families. A week after the box office was led by the serial bloodfest Saw III, we are looking to a week led by a pair of films for the family. This weekend also kicks off the Christmas season, officially, with the arrival of the first holiday film. There is also something else notable about this week's releases. Sascha Baron Cohen's Borat had its wide release slashed from 2000 theaters to 800, and it looks like my town was on the cut list. I've read the reason for the cuts is that Middle America doesn't "get" the character. It is hoped the smaller release will generate positive word of mouth to allow for a wider opening in a week or two. I can only hope — the trailers look hilarious.

Flushed Away. (2006, 86 minutes, PG, animated comedy, trailer) Welcome to the underworld. This is Aardman Studios' follow up to the successful and delightful Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This time out, the story concerns an upper class rat accidentally flushed from his well to do digs and finds himself in the sewer community under London. I have to say this looks like fun. The animation looks good, and there is a great list of talent to supply voices, including Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, and Andy Serkis. Looks like a good outing for the family.

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. (2006, 98 minutes, G, comedy, trailer) I liked the first, didn't like the second, how will the third fare? I can only hope it is better than Tim Allen's last attempt at Christmas comedy, the absolutely abysmal Christmas with the Kranks. I think the trailers for this one actually look pretty good, despite the use of Nightmare Before Christmas music. What makes me actually look forward to this is the presence of Martin Short as the nefarious Jack Frost. Frost is looking to take the Claus mantle using a loophole in the Santa Clause mythos. I can only hope to be mildly entertained.

Wondrous Oblivion. (2005, 106 minutes, PG, drama, trailer) This film is beginning a run at the local art house this weekend. This is an interesting looking film. It is set in London in 1960, a short time after the race riots and concerns the son of Holocaust survivors who seeks acceptance, and finds it in the practice cricket enclosure of his new Jamaican neighbors. It looks like it could be a very good film dealing with volatile issues through the eyes of the innocent.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Borat
  • Romantico
  • Shottas
  • Snoop Doogg's Hood of Horror
  • Umrao Jaan
  • Unknown
  • Volver

Box Office Predictions

Will Saw III be able to repeat as the top movie? Somehow, I doubt it will. Horror films tend to be front loaded, meaning they will do well opening weekend but drop off drastically from there. I think it will continue to do decently for another week or two before it starts the quick decline. I am at a loss at deciding between the two films aimed at the family audience. Although, I think I have to give the edge to Tim Allen and Santa Clause 3, it has the dubious star power of Allen and the franchise name recognition. Still, I think Flushed Away will be the better of the two.


Rank Title Box Office
1 Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause $21 million
2 Saw III $18 million
3 Flushed Away $15 million
4 The Departed $6.5 million
5

The Prestige

$5 million
6 Flags of Our Fathers $4 million
7 Borat $3.5 million
8 Open Season $3.25 million
9 Flicka $3 million
10 Man of the Year $2.5 million

What are you seeing this weekend?

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About Draven99

  • http://www.fandango.com/TheaterListings.aspx?location=94107&source=cityzipsearch Reed

    Maybe San Francisco is a bad litmus test, but check out the Fandango link. It’s not even 4 PM here and every night time showing of Borat is sold out.

    3.5 million? Low-ball doesn’t begin to describe it.

  • Ty

    Yeah, Borat will EASILY be the #1 movie in America.

    You are wayyyy off this time.

  • Ty

    The ONLY reason Borat may not be #1 is because they scaled back the number of theaters for the release, but that’s it.

    Just because a movie isn’t releasing near you (where you do you live), doesn’t mean it won’t be #1.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Ya know, I never was very good at this :)
    I had to keep my expectations down due to the scaled back release. If they had moved ahead with the full schedule, I would have gone much higher. (This is also the reason I don’t get paid for predictions!)

  • http://www.imdb.com Reed

    26.4 Million, #1 movie. Only off by about 800%

    To your credit you did get Santa Clause 3 and Saw 3 pretty close

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Ever since the commercials for Santa Clause 3 started airing, my son was begging to see it. He’s less enthused about the rat movie. I want to see is Borat. When thinking in terms of how America is seen by those new to the country, we stand to learn a bit through the decidedly silly, yet keen, eyes of Borat.

  • Ty

    Not only was Chris wrong, but

    $26.45 million with only 837 THEATERS????????

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is a $31k per theater average.

    I guess the scaled back release did the film wonders.

    P.S. In major markets, there was no scale back. I suspect people didn’t get to see the film in smaller markets, but will starting this weekend.