Box Office Guru Wrapup: 10,000 B.C. Averages $10,478 For #1 Spot

In the year 10,000...

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Moviegoers went back in time and powered the prehistoric adventure 10,000 B.C. to the top spot at the North American box office making it the latest film panned by critics to shoot straight to number one with the paying public. The Warner Bros. release bowed in 3,410 theaters to an estimated $35.7M and averaged a sturdy $10,478 per site. A strong marketing push led by a brilliantly exciting trailer helped to draw in a sizable audience which disregarded the dismal reviews.

The opening was about half of the colossal $70.9M debut that the studio saw one year ago this weekend with its other historical epic adventure 300. However, that was a more stylized actioner which generated much more buzz and so B.C. was never expected to come close to the Spartan heights. Instead, the prehistoric pic opened stronger than many other big-budget spring action films like V For Vendetta ($25.6M), Constantine ($29.8M), and Hidalgo ($18.8M).

Overseas, 10,000 B.C. conquered the box office in 19 of its 20 markets grossing a combined $25.3M from 3,600 prints this weekend to boost the international cume to $61M. The global take will break the $100M barrier within days.

Disney claimed the runnerup spot with its kidpic College Road Trip which grossed an estimated $14M from 2,706 theaters. Averaging a respectable $5,174 per site, the G-rated film stars Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone as a father-daughter pair on a trip to see prospective universities. The performance fell short of other Disney vehicles that tried to make a family man out of macho stars. The studio's Vin Diesel pic The Pacifier bowed to $30.6M in March 2005 while The Rock's The Game Plan debuted to $23M last September. Trip used the starpower that Raven-Symone has with young girls to help bring in its target audience.

Sony's hit action thriller Vantage Point held up well again in its third frame and grossed an estimated $7.5M, off 42%, for a cume to date of $51.7M. The Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro got clobbered in its second weekend tripping 62% to an estimated $5.8M. With only $24.7M in ten days, New Line should end up with a disappointing $35M or so.

The new Jason Statham heist pic The Bank Job debuted in fifth place with an estimated $5.7M from 1,603 locations. Averaging a mild $3,562 per theater, the R-rated actioner fell short of the actor's recent films like War and Crank which both opened in the neighborhood of $10M.

Kidpic The Spiderwick Chronicles suffered a larger decline thanks to new family competition from Martin and Raven. The Paramount title dropped 45% to an estimated $4.8M lifting the cume to $61.7M. Sony's The Other Boleyn Girl followed with an estimated $4M, down 51%, for a $14.6M total. A $22-24M final seems likely.

Three of the year's top-grossing films rounded out the top ten. The Fox sci-fi flick Jumper dropped 51% to an estimated $3.8M boosting the tally to $72.5M. Buena Vista's Step Up 2 The Streets fell 47% to an estimated $3M while the Warner Bros. adventure comedy Fool's Gold dipped 37% to an estimated $2.8M. Cumulative totals stand at $53M and $62.8M, respectively.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $87.1M which was down 36% from last year when 300 opened at number one with $70.9M; and off 2% from 2006 when Failure to Launch debuted in the top spot with $24.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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