As indicated by the sudden rise in tracking over the last 10 days and by what my Morgan Stanley friend wrote yesterday, Borat‘s opening day was an explosion, and generally speaking the weekend’s #1 film is a monster. It’s expected to do $22,486,000 by Sunday night — a mere 837 theatres, 26,000 per print.

Fox had cut back on theatres a couple of weeks ago because of weak tracking and exhibitor concern about same, but then the numbers started to shooot up more and more starting about a week and a half ago. Obviously Fox will be expanding the shit out this puppy next weekend. They’ve obviously got a major hit on their hands.
Opening in 3458 theatres (more than four times the # of theatres Borat is playing in), The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (Disney) should have made $30 million but it will wind up with about $18,792,000. The #2 film will come in with about 5700 a print…a definite disappointment. This once-lucrative Tim Allen franchise seems to be kaput. Is one of the reasons it didn’t do better the fact that the word “the” is used twice in the title? I’m just asking.
But the reallly big disappointment is the performance of Flushed Away (DreamWorks). Playing in 3700 theatres, it will take in a projected $16,7550,00 by Sunday night with an average of $4500 a print…weak. It took in only $4,560,00 last night. The #3 film should have made at least $25 million if not more.
Saw III was #4 with a projected Sunday-night tally of $15,075,000.
The Departed, far and away Martin Scorsese‘s most successful film, has crossed the $100 million threshold — $102,400,000 to be more exact. The expected weekend tally will be about $8,118,000 in 2785 theatres.
The Prestige wil end up with $7,676,000 on Sunday night for a sixth-place finish.
The seventh-place Flags of Our Fathers added 185 theatres and still went down by 31%. (It would have been off 35%, 35% without the expansion.) The weekend tally will be about $4,370,000. A this rate it’ll be gone from theatres in a week or two.
$3,859,000 Sunday night tally for the eighth-place Man of the Year. For the weekend, I mean.
The Queen (Miramax) is now playing in 387 theatres (having added 235) and will take in an expected $3,026,000 by weekend’s end for a ninth-place showing, taking in about $7000 a print. The cume has crossed $10 million. The strategy is to keep playing as long as they can, and then enjoy the surge when and if Stephen Frears’ film gets a Best Picture nomination.
Open Season will have about 2,760,000 by Sunday night.
The limited release Babel (Paramount Vantage) expanded from 7 theatres to 35 theatres. It’ll take in about $831,000 ($23755 a print) by Sundaynight. Tracking is indicating that this is mainly an urban sophisticate attraction thus far. So far the general interest is 40 to 50 range and the definite interests are in the middle 20s It did $50,000 a print when it opened last weekend. The signs are that it’s going to perform only decently when it opens wide, but let’s see what happens.
Pedro Almodovar‘s Volver (Sony Classics) opened in 5 theatres and will do roughly 197,000,000 by Sunday night, or $39,500 a print. Obviously a very, very strong opening. Close to phenomenal.