2007 Holiday Movie Pool Final Report | I am Legend | National Treasure: The Book of Secrets | Alvin and the Chipmunks

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2007 Holiday Movie Pool Final Report

I am Legend
National Treasure: The Book of Secrets
Alvin and the Chipmunks
American Gangster
Enchanted
Bee Movie
Beowulf
Fred Claus
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
Charlie Wilson's War
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem
Hitman
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
The Mist
The Kite Runner
Well, while the industry is abuzz about Cloverfield having the biggest January opening ever (which is about as big as saying you're the highest rated show on The CW), let's take a look at what that really meant to the end of the 2007 Holiday Movie Season… and more importantly, what that means to the poolers in the pool.

The season started with the double bang of American Gladiators, oops, I mean Gangsters and Bee Movie. Then everything was pretty much drawn into a partial vacuum for the following seven weeks, a.k.a. sucked, until the big boys of December came to play. Let's look at how it all came down for the films people put in their Top Five.

The Wannabe's
(It's really sad when I looked at people's lists and said, "Holy crap, that film came out two months ago?! I complete forgot about it.")

The Mist dissipated quicker than a DUI jail time sentence in L.A.

The Great Debaters may have played a lot better 50 years ago when people won debates on content and not on one-liners. These days whoever says "That's what she said" at the end typically wins.

Hitman scored a Bond Babe casting for its female lead, yet fired blanks in pretty much every other area.

Requiem may have been the perfect title for Alien vs. Predator 2 as this movie put an end to all Alien and Predator movies for quite awhile… or at least until Rob Zombie tries to remake it.

The Kite Runner served as further proof that Starbucks as a movie company is a coffee house. But hey, those leftover DVDs will serve as nice coasters in another couple months.

The financers of Lions for Lambs received dimes for dollars.

The only good thing about Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story is that it doesn't have to change its name for the porn version.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium was about as fantastical as Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Perfect Holiday would've been if this film had come out a month earlier and was called This Christmas which actually made $50 million.


The Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda's
Even Angelina Jolie's animated backside couldn't help Beowulf audiences get past the same creepy face syndrome that plagued Polar Express. I don't even know why they spend that much time and money to make faces look like that when Thandie Newton can do it without even trying.

Maybe it's time for Vince Vaughn to give Jennifer Aniston a call since his pairing with Paul Giamatti didn't create as much tabloid fodder. Fred Claus was clearly the "almost everyone put it on their list" film that didn't even come close to expectations.

If Sweeny Todd was the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, are there other Demon Barbers I should worry about on other streets? Regardless, Tim Burton's claymation musicals seem to do better than his live action ones.

Charlie Wilson's War didn't win the box-office battle and after getting snubbed in the Oscar nominees (outside of a Best Supporting nod to Philip Seymour Hoffman) it didn't win the war either.

The Golden Compass has actually made $300 million worldwide. However, with only $67 million made in the US (which is the world's biggest movie market) and the perceptions here of it being a flop, do the producers roll the dice to keep the series alive for foreign market interests only? If they do, can they just clearly mark it as Golden Compass 2, so I'll make sure not to pick it.

Finally, a film that literally was one weekend away from cracking the Top Five: Enchanted. Only a million shy now and it has enough legs (and now Oscar nominations for songs) that Enchanted is certainly going to bypass the #5 (and maybe #4) by the end of its run. Yet, that's why we have a cut-off date and Enchanted only enchanted so much in the two months it had.

So, without further ado…

The Top Five Because Monday Was Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance:

#5. Bee Movie - $126 million
The good news is that it's perceived as a hit. Still, for all the hype and promotion that went into this movie, this total is far below the Pixars, the Shreks, and the Ice Ages of the world. I mean, if Ratatooie (yes, I still refuse to actually learn how to spell it) was almost seen as a disappointment when it made $200 mill (since The Incredibles and Cars made about $275 and $250), that can't be good for this flick, can it?

#4. American Gangster - $130 million
This was a good solid performance that mined The Departed territory perfectly (which also earned about $130 million during its run). Top names, check. Quality director, check. Filmgoers ready to see something that seems like it's actually good, check. Everything fell into place here, especially the lack of competing films for a whole seven weeks.

#3. Alvin & The Chipmunks - $198.8 million
There are surprises and then there are surprises… and then there's Alvin and the Chipmunks. This film's going to clear $200 million and has to be the biggest surprise hit to come out of the Holiday Season since the first Home Alone. I don't think the words "You've got to be kidding me!" have come out of my mouth so often about one film. And since there's no end to the number of songs that are infinitely funnier when sung by chipmunks, this is a series that can go on for a long time.

#2. National Treasure 2 - $199.5 million
While the first National Treasure was a surprise smash, the second delivered just about what everyone thought it would as it'll join the $200 million dollar club soon. I think there's a much greater chance of there being a National Treasure 3 than Ghost Rider 2, but either way, it's gotta be nice for Nicholas Cage to have options that don't include Wicker Man 2.

#1. I Am Legend - $248.5 million
Will Smith has topped the Summer Movie Pool before but this is his first Holiday Movie Pool crown. He might be the only actor period that's pulled this off during the 11 years of the pool (Oh goody, I'm finding more things to research). As the film's about to cross the $250 million level, Will Smith's shown he can try to save the world while making jokes and without making jokes. That's also a feat I'm not sure anyone else has ever succeed at.


by Matt Neuenburg on 12/31/2007

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, Alvin and the Chipmunks, American Gangster, Bee Movie, Beowulf, Charlie Wilson's War, Enchanted, Fred Claus, His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, Hitman, I am Legend, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, National Treasure: The Book of Secrets, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Kite Runner, The Mist
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