Once again, the Sacha Baron Cohen creation, Borat, has topped the box office charts. Fox has got to be happy with the return on that investment. They worked a thing of magic with the build-up and anticipation of the release of the film last week, coaxing it to the top spot amidst excellent reviews and tales of sold out theaters around the country. This week they rolled the movie out to three times as many theaters and managed to grab an even bigger piece of the pie. Its per screen average dropped from $30,000 to $11,000, but no matter, it clearly topped the top ten. I have yet to see the film, but rest assured I will.
While Borat took the top spot, the first two runners up were exactly the same as last week. Both the number two and three films posted very slight decreases in their box office take. Number two was the home for The Santa Clause 3; granted it is not a terribly good film, but it is a strong draw for families. Speaking of families, the number three film also pulls from that demographic, only without the holiday slant. Flushed Away hung on, nearly taking the number two place, narrowly missing it by just $321,000.
There were three new releases entering the charts, and one film that went wide which pushed it way up the list. The top new release was the Will Ferrell vehicle Stranger Than Fiction, a movie that has received some good reviews, some going as far as to suggest possible awards season nominations for Ferrell. The other two newcomers pulled up the rear at nine and ten; they were The Return and A Good Year, respectively. I must voice an opinion regarding the former — it is a dull, dry, and pointless film that seems destined for the year's worst lists (more on this to come in the near future). Then there is Ridley Scott's latest, a film that has not been received all too kindly.