Go Head We Going
1 The Day the Clown Cried $31,000,000 $8,708 $31,000,000
2 Four Christmases $13,270,000 (-20.8%) $3,749 $87,972,000
3 Twilight $8,013,000 (-38.6%) $2,196 $150,108,000
4 Bolt $7,506,000 (-23.4%) $2,396 $88,891,000
5 Australia $4,285,000 (-39.2%) $1,585 $37,883,000
6 Quantum of Solace $3,800,000 (-43.7%) $1,442 $157,668,000
7 Nothing Like the Holidays $3,500,000 $2,095 $3,500,000
8 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $3,250,000 (-36.0%) $1,174 $170,006,000
9 Milk $2,636,000 (+43.7%) $8,037 $7,630,000
10 Transporter 3 $2,250,000 (-51.8%) $885 $29,276,000

This Just in: Texas Hold-em. It’s the Cadillac of poker.

Fox advertising has always been the great secret weapon of the company. If anyone knows how to polish a turd, it’s these guys. And so they were able to get The Day the Earth Stood Still open to $30 Million. Since audiences – for the most part – thought that it stunk, it’s likely that next weekend it’ll take the 60% drop or more. The picture will likely then finish out in the $60 to $80 range, which means it’ll need super strong international numbers to be considered profitable, if the listed production budget of $80 is accurate. Considering the anemic competition for the next couple weeks, it may play longer than the drop would suggest. But such is life. Regardless if the film is a barely break-even, that’s not going to make up for the fourth quarter cash sinkhole that is Australia. Will Marley and Me find an audience? How much heat will Fox take? Will Wolverine help or hurt? or Night at the Museum 2? Questions, questions.

You want to know how badly Punisher War Zone bombed? It’s #14 (behind Role Models). The only other new picture was Nothing Like the Holidays which should be available next Christmas at a Wal-mart near you for a very reasonable price. As will Four Christmases, which is still playing strong, though the clock on that one ends when 12/25 hits. But by then it’ll safely be over the hundred million mark. Think about it, the director of King of Kong directed a film that made nine figures and no one will care.

Normally if a film makes $150 domestic, the studio might do something nice for the director. You know what Summit did for Twilight‘s director? Slapped some grease paint on her, cause she got clowned, and the picture is still playing. Chris Weitz got out of director jail for The Golden Compass sooner than I thought.

Bolt is playing well considering it’s been a bit slow going, while Quantum is going to do almost the same amount of business as the last Bond. Started stronger, ended weaker. Always the way.

There’s a symbiotic circle with awards and box office. A film like Milk starts limited and does great per screen, but then keeps getting prizes, and goes wider, and keeps playing strong in the bottom half of the box office and can sometimes lead to a $50 Million gross or higher, even if it never makes a million in a state like Oklahoma. Milk is looking good for more nominations, and a steady Box Office run through February, if the heat keeps up.