Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Dec. 4: Third Time’s a Charm for Penguins and Bond

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Dec 04, 2006 | 5:20am EST

Third verse, same as the first. Happy Feet and Casino Royale continued their winning streak, holding onto the top two spots at the North American box office this weekend, earning $17 million and $15.1 million, respectively.

"It's been all about Happy Feet and Casino Royale for the past three weeks. Those films have really captured the marketplace," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers told the Associated Press. "I've never really seen two movies define the start of a holiday season in the way these two have."

A weak crop of newcomers were unable bump off the competition. Despite the holiday season, The Nativity Story, a tale of Christ's humble birth, only managed fourth place with $8 million.

Snow in the Midwest kept many movie-goers at home, undermining The Nativity Story’s opening, David Tuckerman, New Line's head of distribution told AP. "The storms in the middle of the country couldn't have hurt us more," Tuckerman said. "It's a movie made for the heartland, and it killed us in the heartland."

Also barely making the top 10 list were the horror flick Turistas, which opened in eighth with $3.5 million, and the college comedy National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, which debuted in 10th with just $2.3 million.

The Top 12 movies grossed $81.9 million over the weekend, up 6.15 percent from last year’s draw of $76.4 million but down 44.60 percent from last weekend’s total of $146.5 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which stayed at No. 1 for its third week of release with $19.8 million in 3,858 theaters, averaging $5,152 per theater; Paramount’s Aeon Flux, which opened in second place with $12.6 million in 2,608 theaters, averaging $4,855 per theater; and 20th Century Fox’s Walk the Line, which dropped to third place in its third week with $9.5 million in 3,160 theaters, averaging $3,017 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Happy Feet (Warner Bros., PG)

• Gross: $17 million (-54%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 3,804 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $4,481

• Cume to date: $121 million

No. 2: Casino Royale (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $15.1 million (-51%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 3,386 (-57)

• Per-theater average: $4,460

• Cume to date: $115.8 million

No. 3: Deja Vu (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $11 million (-46%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,108 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $3,550

• Cume to date: $44 million

No. 4: The Nativity Story (New Line, PG)

• Gross: $8 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,083

• Per-theater average: $2,603

No. 5: Deck the Halls (20th Century Fox, PG)

• Gross: $6.6 million (-45%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,205 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $2,075

• Cume to date: $24.9 million

No. 6: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (Buena Vista, G)

• Gross: $5 million (-50%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,617 (-426)

• Per-theater average: $1,913

• Cume to date: $73.1 million

No. 7: Borat (20th Century Fox, R)

• Gross: $4.8 million (-53%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,237 (-343)

• Per-theater average: $2,157

• Cume to date: $116.3 million

No. 8: Turistas (20th Century Fox, R)

• Gross: $3.5 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,570

• Per-theater average: $2,255

No. 9: Stranger Than Fiction (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.4 million (-41%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 1,804 (-454)

• Per-theater average: $1,885

• Cume to date: $36.9 million

No. 10: National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (MGM, R)

• Gross: $2.2 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,979

• Per-theater average: $1,160

OTHER OPENINGS

10 Items or Less (ThinkFilm, R)

• Gross: $40,150

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 15

• Per-theater average: $2,677

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