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Archive for Monday, January 22, 2007

Golden Globes help boost smaller films at box office

January 22, 2007

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— The dance flick "Stomp the Yard" retained its top spot at the box office for a second week, but a handful of small films were boosted by their success at the Golden Globes.

The Fox Searchlight film "The Last King of Scotland" was the biggest beneficiary as the studio shrewdly expanded the art house film from four theaters to 495, anticipating a good performance at the Globes. The movie took in an estimated $1.8 million from Friday to Sunday.

Forest Whitaker was named best actor in a drama for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He also is considered a favorite for an acting Oscar.

"The marketplace accepted the movie," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "Having Forest Whitaker win for that key role really boosted the film."

"Babel," from Paramount Vantage, increased its ticket sales 500 percent from last weekend after the film, an ensemble piece featuring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, won best drama honors at the Globes.

The film, which initially didn't make the list of top 20 box office earners, jumped to 12th place this weekend with $2.3 million, according to studio estimates, bringing its 13-week take to $24 million.

The Miramax drama "The Queen" also got a huge lift, jumping 233 percent from last week to the ninth spot after its star, Helen Mirren, won two Golden Globes - for her portrayals of Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen" and as Queen Elizabeth I in a TV miniseries.

Many of the films are expected to be nominated Tuesday for the Academy Awards.

"Stomp the Yard," which focuses on a step competition between rival college fraternities, earned $13.3 million, narrowly beating "Night at the Museum" with $13 million. The comedy starring Ben Stiller has made about $206 million.

Overall, box office receipts for the top 12 films were down 20 percent from the same weekend last year.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released today.

1. "Stomp the Yard," $13.3 million.

2. "Night at the Museum," $13 million.

3. "Dreamgirls," $8.7 million.

4. "The Hitcher," $8.2 million.

5. "The Pursuit of Happyness," $6.7 million.

6. "Freedom Writers," $5.6 million.

7. "Pan's Labyrinth," $4.7 million.

8. "Children of Men," $3.7 million.

9. "The Queen," $3.7 million.

10. "Arthur and The Invisibles," $3.1 million.

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