Saturday, December 30, 2006
"Dreamgirls" Hits False Note At Box Office
Box Office Prophets has spent the week exploring how movies behave between Christmas and New Year's, a strange atypical week in which almost every day feels like a Friday at the box office because everyone is off from work and going to the movies in a mad frenzy. (I saw two today myself, both disappointing -- Curse of the Golden Flower and Little Children). "Dreamgirls" was always going to behave differently because it only opened on Monday, Christmas Day, with huge pent-up demand and is clearly more of a nighttime drama than an any time of the day comedy. But with all those caveats and even ignoring the opening numbers on Monday, from Tuesday to Thursday "Dreamgirls" has had the steepest drop of any movie in the Top 10 percentage-wise. Given the rave reviews, numerous nominations and easy accessability, this should NOT be happening. It's at $23 million after Thursday and this weekend will demonstrate how word of mouth is working. Hopefully, it can lay low on 800+ screens until Oscar nominations give it a boost. $100 million is looking awfully far in the distance right now, but it should play for a long time with all those Oscar boosts, assuming the bottom doesn't fall out. That might actually help it at the Oscars. "Dreamgirls" just went from looking inevitable to a likable underdog.