Monday, January 08, 2007

Weekend Box Office: "Dreamgirls" Chugging Along

Evey week seems like a hurdle for "Dreamgirls." It opened on a Monday, showed weak sales during weekdays and stayed on a limited number of screens. But through it all, it's already grossed $54.5 million, with an expansion and Oscar nominations as likely boosters in the next few weeks. It's going to go from 852 screens to 1800 screens this Friday and I kind of wish it wouldn't. Like "Borat," this film has proven that super-wide releases are not always a good thing. Repeated breakdowns show that 90% of the grosses come from 1200 screens, with the rest of the box office trickling in from the other 1000-2000 screens. And that doesn't take into account the fun factor. It's a lot more fun to see "Borat" or "Dreamgirls" (or most movies) when the theater is fairly full. The audience reaction to comedy or big musical numbers is contagious. Personally, I would have expanded a little more modestly to 1200 screens to make sure most cities had a chance to see it and then waited for the Oscar nominations. But it's another chance for "Dreamgirls" to prove the naysayers wrong. Meanwhile, "Eragon" has done smashing business overseas, grossing more than double its US take for a total of $200 million worldwide and still going strong. A sequel now seems likely. And sometime this week "Casino Royale" will become the top-grossing Bond film ever in the US. The Top 10, per Box Office Prophets:

1. Night At The Museum -- $24 million ($164.1 million total)
2. The Pursuit Of Happyness -- $13 million ($124.2 million)
3. Children Of Men -- $10.3 million ($11.9 million)
4. Freedom Writers -- $9.7 million
5. Dreamgirls -- $8.8 million ($54.5 million total)
6. Happily N'Ever After -- $6.8 million
7. Charlotte's Web -- $6.6 million ($67 million)
8. The Good Shepherd -- $6.5 million ($48.4 million)
9. Rocky Balboa -- $6.3 million ($60.9 million)
10. We Are Marshall -- $5.1 million ($35.4 million)

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