Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Feet’ narrowly beats ‘Casino Royale’ at box office

November 20, 2006


— James Bond has met his match - not a fellow spy but a tap-dancing penguin.

The Warner Bros. animated penguin romp "Happy Feet" debuted with $42.3 million, grabbing an edge for the weekend's No. 1 slot over Sony's Bond adventure "Casino Royale," which opened with $40.6 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Casino Royale" took an early lead over "Happy Feet" on opening day because of strong adult audiences Friday night. "Happy Feet" dominated the rest of the weekend, drawing big crowds on Saturday and Sunday when family films do their best business.

"Happy Feet" features the voices of Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Robin Williams in the story of an penguin who cannot carry a tune like his brethren but can tap-dance up a storm.

"Casino Royale," introducing Daniel Craig as British super-spy Bond, fell right between the debuts of the previous two 007 flicks, which had been No. 1 and 2 among the franchise's openings.

The last Bond movie, Pierce Brosnan's "Die Another Day," holds the franchise record with $47.1 million in November 2002. Brosnan's 1999 Bond adventure "The World Is Not Enough" premiered with $35.5 million in November 1999.

Christopher Guest's Hollywood spoof "For Your Consideration" debuted strongly in limited release with $394,000 at 23 theaters, while Emilio Estevez's Robert Kennedy saga "Bobby" opened with $67,000 in just two theaters. "Bobby" and "For Your Consideration" expand to nationwide release this week.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

1. "Happy Feet," $42.3 million.

2. "Casino Royale," $40.6 million.

3. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," $14.35 million.

4. "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," $8.2 million.

5. "Flushed Away," $6.8 million.

6. "Stranger Than Fiction," $6.6 million.

7. "Babel," $2.9 million.

8. "Saw III," $2.8 million.

9. "The Departed," $2.6 million.

10. "The Queen," $2.3 million.


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