Much like my reaction to the film, upon seeing the box office take for this week’s number one film, one word came to mind, “Wow.” Who would have thought that this highly stylized, fictionalized take on the battle of Thermopylae was going to be such a huge hit? I remember, when I saw the first trailer for 300, and I thought that it was going to be a hard sell. I was personally very excited to see the film, but I figured this would have a decent opening and then tail off from there. Man, was I wrong. 300 opened with over $70 million dollars, making it the biggest opening of the year, the biggest March opening ever, and the third biggest opening for an R rated film.

Like I said, when I saw the first ads, I was very much looking forward to it, but had no idea how it would play to the public at large. As the release date got closer and the advertising picked up, it became readily apparent that it was going to be a bit bigger than expected. That said, I thought that I was being generous n my prediction of $42 million. It then went out, got great reviews and the people responded in droves. It is a beautiful thing to see, the film outperformed everyones expectations, and turned out to be immensely entertaining. Run, don’t walk, to your local theater and take it in in all its glory!

300 was the only new wide release taking its bow this weekend, leaving the rest of the field to be fought over by last week’s crop. Wild Hogs led the pack with nearly $28 million, down a mere 30% from last week. This has proven to be a solid hit for the four stars. It may not be strong of story, but it will definitely make you laugh out loud. Both of these films left the competition way behind.

The next three spaces were quite the battle, with less than $150,000 separating third from fifth. Bridge to Terabithia weathered the battle and came out on top, bettering last week’s position, and continuing to show strong legs. This is a wonderful success story, as this is a surprisingly wonderful film, one of the finest family films of recent memory. It was followed by the enjoyable, yet flawed, Ghost Rider, and the excellent, but lengthy, David Fincher film, Zodiac.

Most of the films that placed this week had decent holds on their audience. That has to be a positive sign, especially considering all of the business that 300 siphoned off the rest of the field. Zodiac felt the biggest sting, slipping over 50%. Amazing Grace fared the best, slipping just 12%. It will be interesting to see what happens next week, when three new films enter the fray.

One film dropped from the list this week: Black Snake Moan (11).

This Week

Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N 300 $70,885,301 $70,885,301 1
2 1

Wild Hogs

$27,601,291 $77,016,616 2
3 4 Bridge to Terabithia $6,779,315 $66,934,360 4
4 3 Ghost Rider $6,670,463 $104,012,146 4
5 2 Zodiac $6,641,870 $23,595,973 2
6 6

Norbit

$4,278,099 $88,295,349 5
7 6 The Number 23 $4,082,292 $30,233,459 3
8 7 Music and Lyrics $3,744,084 $43,761,368 4
9 10 Breach $2,505,640 $29,021,080 4
10 11 Amazing Grace $2,478,036 $11,392,034 3

Box Office Predictions Recap
Went 5 for 10 this week in my position estimates. The biggest news is clearly the astronomical take of 300. I thought I was generous with my $42 million prediction, who would have guessed that it would cross the $70 million threshold? As for the rest, I knew Wild Hogs would hang on to decent numbers, but would have thought Zodiac would have hung on a little better. I still cannot get over the performance of 300. Simply amazing.

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

Actual

Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 300 $70,885,301 $42 million
2 2 Wild Hogs $27,601,291 $21 million
5 3 Zodiac $6,641,870 $9 million
3 4 Bridge to Terabithia $6,779,315 $6 million
4 5

Ghost Rider

$6,670,463

$5.5 million

7 6 The Number 23 $4,082,292 $4 million
6 7 Norbit $4,278,099 $3.5 million
8 8 Music and Lyrics $3,744,084 $2.5 million
10 9 Amazing Grace $2,478,036 $2 million
11 10 Black Snake Moan $1,884,690 $2 million

What did you see this weekend?


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