Weekend Box Office: A December Lull

Photo montage by davidskakk

Weekend Box Office: A December Lull as Openers Bust
by Eugene Novikov Dec 8th 2008 // 10:35AM

Holdovers ruled the box office as no one much cared about any of the movies that opened in wide release this weekend. Lexi Alexander's Punisher turned out to be a huge mistake, opening to a fraction of what the original Jonathan Hensleigh/Thomas Jane version did four and a half years ago. $4 million is painful, though not terribly surprising -- the film was marketed as a totally generic action movie, with no stars and no draw except the Punisher trademark. (The most recognizable name in the cast is probably Wayne Knight.)

Even worse off was the Alan Rickman-starring caper comedy Nobel Son. Tossed into 900 screens by indie Freestyle Releasing, the movie grossed all of $371,000, or $415 per screen -- a foregone conclusion. I'm not sure why Freestyle shelled out the money for such a relatively wide release, or what they were hoping for. Maybe a pre-Christmas miracle.

The "winner" among the weekend's new wide releases would have to be Cadillac Records, which managed a respectable $3.5 million on under 700 screens. That was enough for 9th place, just behind Punisher (on 2500 screens).

Leading the holdovers was Four Christmases, which took first place for a second straight weekend; it will have a tough time breaking $100 million, but should squeak to around $95. Twilight bummed around second place, and should be at $150 million by next week. Bolt finally took a hit after its excellent second weekend over Thanksgiving, and should top out around $95 million as well.

More at link: