Sunday, March 05, 2006

Madea "Blocks" Willis and Chappelle


Contrary to the old adage, the March box office entered like a tame little lamb with the worst showing for the first weekend in March in over five years.

Despite its staggering 56% drop from its impressive opening weekend, Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion remained in the #1 spot at the box office with a second weekend take of an estimated $13 million. That would make it the lowest grossing #1 movie of the year so far, edging Disney's Glory Road, which opened slightly higher in January, out of that "honor." It is also the lowest grossing #1 movie since last October's The Fog.

The highest grossing new movie was the Bruce Willis action-drama 16 Blocks, directed by Richard Donner, which made $11.6 million its opening weekend in 2,706 theatres. The Warner Bros. film made only slightly more than Willis' 2005 offering Hostage, which opened in 600 fewer theatres.

Disney's adventure movie Eight Below continued its successful run, dropping down to 3rd place with an estimated weekend gross of $10.3 million, which brings its total box office to $58.7 million.

The top 5 was rounded out by a duo of colorful new movies, Screen Gems' sci-fi action flick Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, and 20th Century Fox's Aquamarine, starring pop singer Jo Jo, both opening in roughly 2,500 theatres. The former grossed $9 million in its inaugural weekend, an average of $3,518 per theatre, while the latter took in $7.5 million. Neither movie was screened for critics.

The remake of The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin, continued to do decent business despite dropping down to 6th place. Its fourth weekend take of $7 million brought its grand total to just over $69 million, putting it just ahead of Martin Lawrence's Big Momma's House 2 as the highest grossing movie to open in 2006.

Opening in just 1,200 theatres, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, a concert documentary filmed before his recent walkout from the third season of his popular Comedy Central show, made $6.5 million over the weekend, and though it didn't do nearly as well as most expected, it had the highest per-theatre average for a new movie in wide release.

The rest of the Top 10 consisted of returning movies like the Fox rom-com satire Date Movie with $5.1 million, Universal's animated film Curious George with $4.4 million, and Harrison Ford's Firewall,which took in $3.2 million in its fourth weekend. Final Destination 3 was knocked out of the Top 10 with its own weekend take of $3.2 million, although it has grossed the most of the four movies with $49.7 million total, just ahead of Curious George.

Going into the Oscar weekend, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, which won two Independent Spirit Awards last night, moved back into the Top 12 with an estimated weekend gross of $2.5 million, bringing its grand pre-Oscar total to $78.9 million.

Last week's other two new movies, Doogal and Running Scared, were both bumped out of the Top 12 after disappointing openings.

In addition, Warner Bros. released their big screen documentary Deep Sea 3D, narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, onto 43 IMAX screens on Friday where it earned $713 thousand, a respectable average of $16.5 thousand per theatre.

Another Oscar nominated foreign film opened in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, as the French film Joyeux Noel brought in $50 thousand in 6 theatres, less than the Oscar favorite Tsotsi in its own opening weekend last week.