Monday, October 23, 2006

Eastwood's Latest Falters At The Box Office

I was pretty stunned when I went to see "Flags Of OUr Fathers" at the Ziegfeld on Saturday afternoon. That's primetime for an epic war film and the Ziegfeld -- a huge, old-time mvie palace -- would be the first theater in Manhattan you'd want to see it in. But the place was about three-quarters empty. Now, the Ziegfeld has been struggling, going weeks or longer without any new movies, so I wasn't sure if this had to do with the movie itself or Ziegfeld's faltering audience. It was the movie. Box Office Prophets shows "Flags" doing pretty weakly, especially given Clint Eastwood's recent run. The reviews were terrific -- but I was a bit disappointed in the movie and I don't think it has anywhere near the emotional impact of Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River. So don't expect long legs for this one and while it was pegged as an Oscar front runner, I don't know. Certainly a performance or two could be singled out, notably the flashy work of Adam Beach as Ira Hayes. And it's certainly an Oscar-ish movie and Eastwood does tend to play well over the long haul. But not this time, I think. "Little Children," "The Queen" and "Running Withn Scissors" all did well in limited release. And the best news of all is the 3-D reissue of "Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. I love the film and it did terrific business -- grossing almost $20,000 per screen and taking in $3.3 million on just 168 venues. The Top 10 per BOP:

1. The Prestige - $14.8 million
2. The Departed -- $13.7 million ($77.1 million total)
3. Flags Of Our Fathers -- $10.2 million
4. Open Season -- $8 million ($69.6 million total)
5. Flicka -- $7.7 million
6. The Grudge 2 -- $7.7 million ($31.4 million total)
7. Man Of The Year -- $7.0 million ($22.5 million total)
8. Marie Antoinette -- $5.3 million
9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning -- $3.9 million ($36 million total)
10. The Marine -- $3.7 million ($12.5 million total)

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