Box Office: Beowulf beats Bees

BEOWULF slashed its way to the top of the box office heap this weekend, easily beating last week’s winner BEE MOVIE, which slipped to second place. BEOWULF – a computer-animated adventure based on the epic poem – made its debut on 3,153 screens, earning an estimated $28.1-million. Though good enough for first place, that total is not quite as stellar as the distributor may have liked; if there is a rapid fall-off in the second weekend, the film could fall short of recouping its extravagant investment.

The weekend’s other fantasy film debut fared even worse. MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM opened on more screens than BEOWULF (3,164) but earned only $10-million, landing in fifth place. Expect a quick exit from theatres to video.

As for the other genre films in the Top Ten…

BEE MOVIE flew down to #2 with $14.3-million, for a three-week total of $93.86-million.

FRED CLAUS took a downhill sleighride from #3 to #4 in its sophomore session, adding $12-million to its two-week total of $35.8-million.

SAW IV buzzed down three slots to #9, where it sliced its way through $2.33-million. After four weekends, the total stands at $61.85-million. Although the sequel has done better than similar films this year (e.g., HOSTEL 2, which bombed), it will fall short of the $80-million domestic box office gross of its predecessor. It will also fail to match the $71.98-million domestic gross of 1408, the ghost story starring John Cusack, which remains the most popular horror film of the year.

Read the complete U.S. Top Ten here.

UPDATE: FOREIGN BOX OFFICE

Overseas, the BEOWULF results were similar: good but not spectacular. The film came in first with $17-million., earned in 2,500 engagements in 13 territories.

STARDUST, about to wrap up its run in foreign markets, added anotehr $3.6-million to its overseas total, which now stands at a respectable $88-million – $50-million more than it earned in the U.S.

RATATOUILLE cooked up another $5.4-million in 30 markets, raising its foreign total to $396-million.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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