The final weekend of 2007 proved to be a profitable one for the industry, with a take that is up well over last year and even more dramatically higher than 2006. The top three films of the week all topped $25 million, and you have to go all the way down to seventh place to find a gross that fell beneath $10 million. Yes, it was a good weekend. Movie lovers turned out in droves to patronize a generally solid group of films.
The top film this weekend was also last week's champion. National Treasure: Book of Secrets is proving to be a bona fide hit. It has crossed the $124 million plateau and would seem to be well on its way to a final tally north of $200 million. Is the movie worthy? Yes and no. On one hand, this is a fun adventure that is safe for the whole family and provides plenty of big screen flash. On the other hand, it is rather silly, ludicrous, and much of the history is suspect. It truly falls under the category of popcorn flick.
Following up the Nicolas Cage vehicle is the surprise family hit Alvin and the Chipmunks. I have to assume that the studio was hoping for a take in the neighborhood of the first Garfield film ($75 million). What they are getting is much, much larger. It opened strong, north of $45 million, and is now heading across $150 million mark. I don't think anyone could have predicted the positive response. Even more surprising is that the movie is not all that bad; it could even be called good.
The third top film is currently on the cusp of $200 million. I Am Legend has proven to be another huge hit for Will Smith. The movie is quite good, at least until the too fast finish, and features an impressive performance from Smith. A final take north of $250 million is not out of the question.
While the strength of the returning films is all well and good, there were two new films entering the top ten. First, in sixth place, is Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem, sequel to the 2004 hit. It is an entertaining film that is a small step up from the original yet comes nowhere near the best of the source franchises. It opened on Christmas day with more than $9 million, but it appears to be fading fast and will likely struggle to match the $80 million take of the original. However, it will likely do well on DVD and recoup its losses there.