2008 Holiday Movie Pool Final Report | Twilight | Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa | Quantum of Solace

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2008 Holiday Movie Pool Final Report

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Quantum of Solace
Marley & Me
Four Christmases
Bedtime Stories
Man, is the Holiday season about to expand until President's Day weekend? Typically January is the dumping ground for movies that weren't good enough for the Nov-Dec season, but the other week Bride Wars and The Unborn outdid the opening weekends for Yes Man and Seven Pounds. To top it off, Paul Blart: Mall Cop just outdid all but three films during the Holiday Pool with a $39.2 million opening… Paul Blart!... Mall Cop!... Why do I suddenly feel old enough to be the target demographic for Turner Classic Movies?!

Well, it was an eventful season nonetheless. No real bombs (outside of The Spirit), a few films had higher hopes (such as Australia, Seven Pounds and The Day the Earth Stood Still), and still eight films topped the $100 million mark in a two and a half month period. Not too shabby. It was a very "share the wealth" type season and out of these January films, Paul Blart and Gran Torino look like they'll be there shortly. Even in uncertain economic times people sure haven't stopped going to the movies unless they star Paris Hilton.

So, since last Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance, here were the Top Five Movies of the Holiday Season!!!

#5. Four Christmases - $119.7 million
Well, Vince Vaughn sure needed a hit after last years Fred Claus dud and he delivered one in spades. I guess the same could be said of Reese Witherspoon, but you see her as someone who can always do an indy film anytime she wants to make a buck. Big budget success is just a luxury to her. Of course, in a million years he never saw that two of his old co-stars would come back to wallop him in the same holiday season.

#4. Marley & Me - $133.9 million
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston showed that Vince wasn't the only thing that made Wedding Crashers and The Break-Up successes. Of course, it took an adorable Labrador Retriever to prove that point. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised by this film's success since I've been consistently surprised by some films during the Holiday Season (Alvin & the Chipmunks, Cheaper By The Dozen, etc.), but I didn't see this one coming at all. And though a sequel to this film seems implausible, don't put it past Owen and Jennifer's agents to try and push it through. It certainly holds a higher potential than Drillbit Taylor 2 or Derailed Again.

#3. Quantum of Solace - $168.1 million
Every year I tell myself not to pick a James Bond film as the #1 film. They always do well but never "that" well. That leads me to talking myself into other films and as a result I picked Charlotte's Web to be the top film two pools ago. As penance I decided to roll the dice with Bond this time and sure enough, not one but two films topped it. Still, it made even more than Casino Royale and if the action scenes weren't as confusing as the plot it probably would've done even better. Considering Daniel Craig's Defiance just opened to the tune of $10 million, I don't think he's going to be itching to quit his day job anytime soon.

#2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - 178.3 million
Despite the ridiculousness of the title (I mean, Madagascar is a part of the African continent. They didn't escape to Africa, they were already in Africa! What, was Madagascar: Escape 2 The Mainland of Africa too long to fit on the poster?) , this animated sequel did everything it was supposed to do. It made almost as much as the original, extended the brand (as Mad 3 is now in the works), and they can now sell Madagascar 1 & 2 packs to try and resell the first Madagascar movie all over again. It's a marketers dream. However, for those people who like fresh ideas and new entertainment, it's a very mediocre reality.

#1. Twilight - $184.6 million
Well, unlike Marley & Me, I did think this film would do well… I just had no idea how well. My idea that it would fall somewhere between the box-office totals of High School Musical 3 and Sex In the City got completely blown away and now the Twilight series has a shot at back-to-back Holiday Pool victories since the next film will be out in November '09. Sure, there are those who will dismiss this flick as some mindless teenage girl fantasy shoddily thrown together by a third-tier studio, but there have been a ton of movies guys love that have been just as shoddily thrown together by smaller studios. Women have as much right to throw away their money as men do… and apparently they did… a lot.

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/31/2008

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Bedtime Stories, Bolt, Four Christmases, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Marley & Me, Quantum of Solace, Twilight
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