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Box Office Analysis, Feb. 6: ‘When a Stranger Calls’ in First

The horror genre continued to prove its mettle at the box office this Super Bowl weekend.

The remake When a Stranger Calls, about a babysitter terrorized by a psychotic caller, debuted on top of the North American box office with $22 million, knocking last week’s champ Big Mommas House 2 down to second place with $13.3 million. The weekend’s other new wide release, the romantic comedy Something New, opened at No. 7 with $5 million.

With fans staying home Sunday for the big game, theaters were typically quiet, though key Academy Awards contenders including Best Picture front-runner Brokeback Mountain benefited from last week’s nominations.

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“The Super Bowl is one of those television events like the Academy Awards that really dominates and monopolizes the audience,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press.

The Top 12 films grossed an estimated total of $81.6 million, down 18.43 percent from last weekend’s total of $100.1 million and down 6.68 percent from last year’s draw of $87.5 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Sony/Screen Gems’ PG-13 Boogeyman, which premiered at No. 1 with $19 million in 3,052 theaters, averaging $6,232 per theaters; Universal’s PG-13 The Wedding Date, which opened in second place with $11.1 million in 1,695 theaters, averaging $6,566 per theater; and Sony Pictures’ PG-rated Are We There Yet?, which dropped to third in its third week of release with $10.6 million in 2,790 theaters, averaging $3,804 per theater. (Click here to read last year’s box office report)

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: When a Stranger Calls (Sony/Screen Gems, PG-13)

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• Gross: $22 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,999

• Per-theater average: $7,336

No. 2: Big Mommas House 2 (Fox, PG-13)

• Gross: $13.5 million (-52%)

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• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,261(unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $4,094

• Cume to date: $45.4 million

No. 3: Nanny McPhee (Universal, PG)

• Gross: $9.9 million (-32%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,146 (+151)

• Per-theater average: $4,613

• Cume to date: $26.6 million

No. 4: Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features, R)

• Gross: $5.6 million (-13%)

• Weeks opened: 9

• Theaters: 2,089 (+435)

• Per-theater average: $2,719

• Cume to date: $59.7 million

No. 5: Hoodwinked (Weinstein Co., PG)

• Gross: $5.3 million (-29%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,907 (-113)

• Per-theater average: $1,823

• Cume to date: $44 million

No. 6: Underworld: Evolution (Sony, R)

• Gross: $5.1 million (-55%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,870 (-337)

• Per-theater average: $1,777

• Cume to date: $52.7 million

No. 7: Something New (Focus Features, PG-13)

• Gross: $5 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,266

• Per-theater average: $3,962

No. 8: Annapolis (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.4 million (-55%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 1,607

• Per-theater average: $2,163

• Cume to date: $12.9 million

No. 9: Walk the Line (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.4 million (+13%)

• Weeks opened: 12

• Theaters: 1,577 (+376)

• Per-theater average: $2,172

• Cume to date: $110.7 million

No. 10: Glory Road (Buena Vista, PG)

• Gross: $3 million (-44%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,141 (-256)

• Per-theater average: $1,404

• Cume to date: $39 million

OTHER OPENINGS

A Good Woman (Lions Gate, PG)

• Gross: $105,000

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 35

• Per-theater average: $3,000

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