Last week’s tepid box office numbers came with the even grimmer news that last month posted the worst attendance figures of any November in 15 years. Unfortunately for Hollywood, December isn’t offering any relief. This week’s winner, The Chronic-what-cles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, may have landed at #1, but $24.5 million isn’t that great a chunk of the $155 million budget. Then again, the only reason we’re seeing another Narnia movie at all is that the rest of the world seems interested: The last entry, Prince Caspian took a relatively iffy $141 million domestically, only to add another $278 million in other countries around the world. The Tourist, on the other hand, was a less ambiguous failure. Long tagged as a troubled production, the film opened to dismal reviews and a mere $17 million for second place, despite the pairing of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, two of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
But fall is supposed to be a time for prestige pictures to shine, and arthouse business was as robust as it’s ever been. In its second week, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan broke into the Top 10 despite being on only 90 screens, earning a $37,000 per screen average for $5.6 million total. With Oscar talk swirling around Natalie Portman and further expansion down the line, expect those numbers to continue to increase. Also doing big business was the Mark Wahlberg-Christian Bale boxing movie The Fighter, which made $80,000 per screen on four screens. No telling how it will hold up once it expands, but the film’s conventionally satisfying sports-movie arc suggests that it won’t alienate Joe and Jane Multiplex quite as much as Black Swan will. Julie Taymor’s take on The Tempest fared less well: $9,000 per screen on five screens is awfully weak for high-profile director backed by a studio boutique label like Miramax. And the shaky reviews won’t help its long-term prospects.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.