November 18, 2008

Box Office Update 11/14-11/16: James Bond Finds His Quantum of Solace

This weekend James Bond was off to the races. The highly anticipated sequel to the 2006 hit Casino Royale proved to be a big hit with audiences. Although, it needs to be said that it seems that the film's esteem among Bond-o-philes is coming in lower than among non-die hards. I understand where the sentiment is coming from, although I also believe they may be coming down on the film too hard and will find their opinion soften down the line upon multiple viewings. That said, the film is an exciting ride and a strong companion to Casino Royale. They are two halves of the same story, connecting to each other and creating a compelling "origin" for one of cinema's top super spys.

Quantum of Solace left to the top of the charts with a strong opening, more than doubling the take of its nearest competitor, last week's top film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. It became the fifth biggest November opening, passing, again, the Madagascar sequel and trailing The Incredibles and three Harry Potter films. In its opening weekend it also became the biggest Bond opening ever, surpassing Die Another Day and looks poised to at least make a run for the top grossing Bond of all time (Casino Royale's $167 million). It becomes even more impressive when you look at its worldwide take, the film has already crossed the $300 million barrier. Not too shabby.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa had a strong second weekend showing, taking in more than $35 million. It will be interesting to see how much of an effect Bolt will have on it. I suspect that the new Disney film will have an opening in a similar neighborhood. It is not a sequel, but the commercials have been good and it has that Disney branding.

With only the one new film in wide release this weekend, the field had a pretty flat drop rate. Most falling in the vicinity of 45%, and only two falling north of 50%. The two that dropped the most were Soul Men, which is sadly not doing as well as it should, and Saw V, which had to be expected considering its specific appeal and an expiration date for theatrical revenue (meaning, once Thanksgiving starts to kick up the horror season is over). At the other end of the spectrum is High School Musical, the film that just keeps going, each week sees small drops and plenty of added revenue as it steams towards $100 million. How long before we get another one?

Next week will see the arrival of the previously mentioned Bolt as well as Twilight, the teen-targeted vampire romance. The latter film has already had hundreds of sell-outs well in advance of its premiere date and could be looking at a very potent opening weekend, but will it be enough to outshine the House of Mouse?

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Eagle Eye (11) and The Haunting of Molly Hartley (12).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NQuantum of Solace$67,528,882$67,528,8821
21Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa$35,017,301$116,905,1952
32Role Models$11,150,030$37,577,2452
43High School Musical 3: Senior Year$5,656,162$84,169,2164
65Zack and Miri Make a Porno$3,146,312$26,465,4823
76Soul Men$2,350,141$9,370,9252
89The Secret Life of Bees$2,338,279$33,627,3595
97Saw V$1,767,405$55,380,4884
1011Beverly Hills Chihuahua$1,579,080$90,878,1277

Box Office Predictions Recap
Wow, great start for the new Bond film, and an overall decent week for my predictions. I was able to accurately predict the top seven places and my gross predictions were not too far off either. Although, as we moved towards the middle, the drop off was slightly steeper than I had anticipated, not by much, but it is there. It will be interesting to see how the charts fall with next week's offerings, which appear to have the potential to be very big as we head into Thanksgiving week.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Quantum of Solace$67,528,882$64 million
22Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa$35,017,301$33 million


3Role Models$11,150,030$9.5 million
44High School Musical 3: Senior Year$5,656,162$6.5 million
55Changeling$4,254,080$5.75 million
66Zack and Miri Make a Porno$3,146,312$4.5 million
77Soul Men$2,350,141$3.75 million
98Saw V$1,767,405$2 million
89The Secret Life of Bees$2,338,279$2 million
1210The Haunting of Molly Hartley$1,438,561$1.5 million


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