Friday, December 15, 2006
The Dallas Morning News (MCT)
MAYA GOODNESS: Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" crashed the birds and Bond party that had held court atop the box-office chart for three weeks. Sure, it opened a scant $68 million less than Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" did in 2004. But a $15 million opening weekend isn't bad for a foreign-language film.
THE UP SIDE: "The Nativity Story" disappointed in week one, but as Christmas nears, it's looking like this one has a prayer for profitability. Its week two gross was just 27 percent lower than last week, trailing only the juggernaut "Happy Feet" among films in the top 20. With nearly $16 mil in the bank and a $35 million price tag, it might be a Merry Christmas after all.
BOMB SQUAD: Leonardo DiCaprio is on an impressive three-game winning streak of $100 million grosses ("Catch Me If You Can," "The Aviator" and "The Departed"). Don't count on the run hitting four, as "Blood Diamond" opened at just $8.6 million on a budget of $100 mil. This one's in desperate need of some Academy love, but the wind has not been blowing that direction so far.
SWAMI SEZ: A not so happy "Holiday."
Prediction: "The Holiday," at $22 million, ends the three-week stranglehold of "Happy Feet." Result: It only missed "Happy Feet's" haul by $120,000, but it only manages No. 3 at $12.7 million.
Prediction: "Apocalypto" barely cracks the top 5 at $12 million. Result: Close on the total, but this one went to No. 1
TANGLED `WEB': That Dakota Fanning can open a movie. Four of her last five wide-release films have topped the $20 million mark. Of course, she had some high-profile stars helping out (Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, etc.). How will she do on her own with nothing but a barn full of animals?
Prediction: "Charlotte's Web" brings in fans young and old, but falls short of Dakota's standard at $15 million.
MAGIC DRAGON?: "Eragon," aka "Lord of the Rings Lite," also swoops in this week, battling for a piece of the book-turned-movie pie. This one doesn't look to be in the "LOTR" class, but that audience is hungry.
Prediction: "Eragon" takes the pole position at more than $25 million.
Stephen Becker: firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) 2006, The Dallas Morning News.
Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at http://www.dallasnews.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.