Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekend Box Office -- "Borat" Rules; Scorsese Hot

"Borat" of course is the big news of the weekend, grossing $26.4 million. Fox made the right move for the wrong reasons when it cut back the # of screens the movie was playing on from 2000 to 800: "Borat" became a "hard to see" (relatively speaking) movie with sold out screenings and jammed theaters filled with people roaring with laughter. The studio execs even seem to recognize what a positive this was. As everyone knows, comedies work better with huge crowds. They might have made the same money -- or even more -- if the movie had been on three times as many screens, but the people seeing the movie wouldn't have had as much fun. Of course, the studio ignores this lesson completely by planning to expand the movie immediately to almost 2,500 screens. If they were smart (which they're not), they would have expanded to, say, 1200 and kept the phenomenon going. "Borat" is also the biggest movie overseas. Meanwhile, Scorsese's "The Departed" crossed $100 mil and sometime today or tomorrow will pass "The Aviator" to become his top-grossing movie of all time. I didn't love "The Departed," but I'd much rather see it triumph than "The Aviator," Gangs of New York" or that awful remake of "Cape Fear." Clint Eastwood's "Flags Of Our Fathers' has collapsed and Helen Mirren's "The Queen" hits the Top 10 and is the indie hit of the fall. The Top 10, per Box Office Prophets

1. Borat -- $26.4 mil total
2. Santal Clause 3: The Escape Clause -- $20.0 mil total
3. Flushed Away -- $19.1 mil total
4. Saw III -- $15.5 mil ($60.1 mil total)
5. The Departed -- $8.0 ($102.3 mil total)
6. The Prestige -- $7.8 mil ($39.4 mil total)
7. Flags Of OUr Fathers -- $4.5 mil ($26.6 mil total)
8. Man Of The Year -- $3.8 mil ($34.2 mil total)
9. Open Season -- $3.1 mil ($81.4 mil total)
10. The Queen -- $3.0 mil ($10.1 mil total)

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