Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Nov. 6: I'm Borat! My Movie No. 1!

By:
Nov 06, 2006 | 5:32am EST

Sacha Baron Cohen’s much-buzzed about comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan defied the odds to take the top spot at the North American box office this weekend with $26.3 million.

Only opening in 837 theaters, the film’s per theater average was $31,511, one of the biggest so far this year for a moderate release.

"This picture was playing to full houses," Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox told The Associated Press. "The planets aligned, the moons aligned, the stars aligned, and everything came together perfectly for us on this weekend."

Box office prognosticators expected The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, the third in the Tim Allen franchise, to come out on top, but instead the G-rated kiddie flick--which opened in second place with $20 million--split the family audience with the clay-animated Flushed Away--which debuted in third with $19.1 million.

Santa Clause 3 wasn’t able to outdo its predecessor, Santa Clause 2, which opened on 2002 with $29 million but did just manage to squeak by the original Santa Clause, which opened in 1994 with $19.3 million.

The Top 12 movies grossed $116.1 million this weekend, down 2.87 percent from last year’s draw of $119.5 but up 32.39 percent from last weekend’s total of $87.7 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Buena Vista’s Chicken Little, which opened at No. 1 with $40 million in 2,949 theaters, averaging $13,581 per theater; Universal’s Jarhead, which opened in second place with $27.7 million in 3,520 theaters, averaging $7,877 per theaters; and Lionsgate’s Saw II, which dropped to third place with $16.8 million in 1,827 theaters, averaging $9,225 per theaters (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Borat (20th Century Fox, R)

• Gross: $26.3 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 837

• Per-theater average: $31,511

No. 2: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (Buena Vista, G)

• Gross: $20 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,458

• Per-theater average: $5,784

No. 3: Flushed Away (Paramount, PG)

• Gross: $19.1 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,707

• Per-theater average: $5,152

No. 4: Saw III (Lionsgate, R)

• Gross: $15.5 million (-54%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,167 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $4,894

No. 5: The Departed (Warner Bros., R)

• Gross: $8 million (-19%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,785 (-166)

• Per-theater average: $2,873

• Cume to date: $102.2 million

No. 6: The Prestige (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $7.7 million (-19%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,305 (+24)

• Per-theater average: $3,377

• Cume to date: $39.4 million

No. 7: Flags of Our Fathers (Paramount, R)

• Gross: $4.5 million (-29%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,375

• Per-theater average: $1,895

• Cume to date: $26.6 million

No. 8: Man of the Year (Universal, PG-3)

• Gross: $3.8 million (-19%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,388 (-238)

• Per-theater average: $1,600

• Cume to date: $34 million

No. 9: Open Season (Sony Pictures, PG)

• Gross: $3.1 million (-47%)

• Weeks opened: 6

• Theaters: 2,458 (-601)

• Per-theater average: $1,261

• Cume to date: $81.3 million

No. 10: The Queen (Miramax, PG-13)

• Gross: $3 million (+58%)

• Weeks opened: 6

• Theaters: 387 (+235)

• Per-theater average: $7,778

• Cume to date: $10 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Volver (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

• Gross: $202,243

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 5

• Per-theater average: $40,449

More Box Office News