Box Office Retreats
After remaining slightly ahead of 2007's total grosses through most of the year, due largely to increased ticket prices, the box office slipped behind last year as ticket sales plunged 46 percent last weekend. It suffered an identical drop in comparison to last year a week ago. According to box-office trackers Media by Numbers, total revenue for the year now stands at $9.23 billion, versus $9.25 billion a year ago, a drop of 0.2 percent. Attendance is down 4.6 percent. The two top films at the box office, Warner Bros.' Yes Man with Jim Carrey and Sony's Seven Pounds with Will Smith, each came in far below analysts' expectations, with Yes Man earning $18.3 million and Seven Pounds , just $14.85 million (much lower than the studio's original estimate on Sunday). Some analysts blamed the icy weather in much of the country, but others pointed out that the weather appeared to have had little effect on so-called specialty fare like Fox Searchlight's The Wrestler , starring Mickey Rourke, which took in $202,714 in just four theaters, or an average of $50,679 per theater -- nearly ten times the per-theater earnings of Yes Man.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. Yes Man , Warner Bros., $18,262,471, (New); 2. Seven Pounds , Sony, $14,851,136, (New); 3 . The Tale of Despereaux, Universal, $10,103,675, (New); 4. The Day the Earth Stood Still, 20th Century Fox, $9,890,105, 2 Wks. ($48,366,989); 5. Four Christmases , Warner Bros., $7,701,375, 4 Wks. ($10,011,0827); 6 . Twilight, Summit Ent. $5,189,319, 5 Wks. ($15,842,3218); 7 . Bolt, Disney, $4,146,856, 5 Wks. ($94,900,059); 8 . Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, $3,053,760, 6 Wks. ($12,037,510); 9. Australia, 20th Century Fox, $2,174,188, 4 Wks. ($41,796,525); 10. Quantum of Solace, Sony/MGM, $2,051,882, 6 Wks. ($16,120,0412).