Marley Pounces On Christmas Competition - Week 8 | Twilight | Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa | Quantum of Solace

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Marley Pounces On Christmas Competition - Week 8

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Quantum of Solace
Marley & Me
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Four Christmases
Bedtime Stories
Yes Man
Seven Pounds
The Tale of Despereaux
Of all the films that were coming out over the Christmas weekend, Marley & Me seemed to be the one with the least going for it. Bedtime Stories had the Night at the Museum mojo. Benjamin Button had the Brad factor. Valkyrie had the Cruise control. The Spirit had internet/comic book buzz. Marley had Owen Wilson (who's last two leading roles were Drillbit Taylor and You, Me, and Dupree) and Jennifer Anniston (who outside of The Break-Up two years ago stunk it up in Friends With Money, Rumor Has It, and Derailed). The studio so believed in this pair that they didn't even feature them on the movie posters, going instead with the dog. For all those who rail about studios not knowing what they're doing, they did this one absolutely right.

Marley & Me opened with the biggest Christmas Day opening ever ($14.4 million) and a total of $50.7 million over the weekend. This was a huge upset over the other films and caught most studio analysts by surprise. Tom Hanks couldn't even make Turner and Hooch work, so congrats to an Owen and Jen who no one thought could make it work… including the studio that made the film.

Bedtime Stories had to settle for third place and dreamed-up $38 million over the long weekend. This is probably a nightmare for those Sandler haters out there, but he's still a consistent big time draw at the box-office.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons was curious enough to attract $38.7 million during the extended weekend. Certainly, one of the better debuts for a Pitt based film (as opposed to his group ensembles a la Ocean Eleven movies), this also was a nice return for director David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) who's Zodiac earned mucho critical praise yet very little dinero.

Valkyrie should show that Tom Cruise is not the kiss of death as Hollywood Insiders would like you to think he is. I think a less crowded weekend would've been a better choice, however, a $29.5 million haul, even over the holiday weekend, is way more than Jim Carrey and Will Smith were able to manage in the previous week. While many may mock his lack of a German accent while playing a Nazi, is there any way Americans can carry a German accent that doesn't make it sound like we're watching an episode of Hogan's Heroes? Probably not.

In the "Someone had to lose" category, here's where we mention The Spirit. Acclaimed comic book writer and co-director of Sin City, Frank Miller, made a film that didn't match his own writing material or a consistent vision of even what the film was supposed to be. Managing a small $10.3 over five-days, there was little spirit to see this film and it may be awhile before he gets another chance to direct… and this may be a good thing.

The previous week's films of Yes Man, Seven Pounds, and Despereaux only slipped marginally in their second weekend and now sit with $49.8 million, $38.8 million, and $27.4 respectively. Though, this may be more respect than they deserve.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day:
#1. Madagascar 2 - $174.8 million
#2. Twilight - $167.3 million
#3. Quantum of Solace - $164.3 million
#4. Four Christmases - $111.6 million
#5. Bolt - $102.4 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/29/2008

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Bedtime Stories, Bolt, Four Christmases, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Marley & Me, Quantum of Solace, Seven Pounds, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Tale of Despereaux, Twilight, Valkyrie, Yes Man
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