Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dance Movie Steps Up to Ferrell and Stone


Lots of surprises at the box office this weekend, but the one that everyone will be talking about come Monday is the success of Touchstone Pictures' dance drama Step Up, a movie that had very low expectations going into the weekend, but opened at #1 on Friday with $8.5 million.

Regardless of its victory, by the time Sunday came around, it was clear that Will Ferrell's NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby would be #1 again, grossing an estimated 23 million over the weekend to bring its total gross to $91.2 million. It was down 51% from its impressive opening weekend.

Starring Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, Step Up far exceeded all expectations this weekend as its MySpace-heavy campaign helped bring in its target teen female audience, taking in an estimated $21 million in its opening weekend for a solid second place.

Oliver Stone's 9/11 drama World Trade Center, starring Nicolas Cage, opened on Wednesday and after making roughly $7.8 in its first two days, it added another $19 million over the three-day weekend, forcing it to settle for third place behind the dance movie. Still, word-of-mouth seems to be better than Stone's 2004 movie Alexander, which also opened on a Wednesday and made more in its first two days, but only ended up with $13.7 million on the weekend.

Paramount's other movie in theatres, the animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals held up well in its second weekend, dropping 36% down to 4th place with another $10 million It has grossed a total of $34 million so far.

In fifth place, Dimension Films' remake of the Japanese thriller Pulse grossed $8.5 million in 2,323 theatres, averaging $3,640 per theatre.

Dropping down to #6, the highest grossing film of the year, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest continued to bring in solid business, grossing another $7.2 million to bring its six-week total to over $392 million. The sequel has surpassed Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ($380.3 million), to climb to the seventh spot on the all-time domestic blockbuster list.

Lionsgate's underground thriller The Descent held up well against the new horror offering, dropping 48% in its second weekend to 8th place, but adding another $4.6 million for a total of $17.5 million after ten days.

Opening just behind The Descent, Tim Allen starred in the family superhero comedy Zoom, which took its cues from movies like Sky High and Spy Kids, but failed to bring in family audiences in a market full of them. It grossed a mere $4.6 million in its debut weekend.

Michael Mann's Miami Vice took another hit in its third weekend, dropping 55% from last weekend to end up in 9th place, while Sony Pictures' animated-comedy Monster House made $3.3 million to close off the Top 10. The latter has grossed $64 million compared to Miami Vice's $55 million.

Fox's teen comedy John Tucker Must Die dropped out of the Top 10, adding another $2.9 million in its third weekend for a total of just over $35 million.

Fox Searchlight's road comedy Little Miss Sunshine added 95 theatres and continued to do decent business, entering the Top 12 with $2.6 million. Bought at the Sundance Film Festival for $10.5 million, the comedy featuring Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell has grossed $5.6 million and will expand nationwide into over 600 theatres next Friday.

In limited release, another Sundance favorite, the indie drama Half Nelson starring Ryan Gosling, opened in two theatres in New York where it made $55 thousand this weekend.