The Top Five
#1 “Stomp the Yard” ($22 million)
#2 “Night at the Museum” ($17.1 million)
#3 “The Pursuit of Happyness” ($9.1 million)
#4 “Dreamgirls” ($8.1 million)
#5 “Freedom Writers” ($7.1 million)
Finally, a movie that lives up to its title. While the new release, “Stomp the Yard,” didn’t exactly stomp the competition — its first weekend only topped “Night at the Museum’s fourth by $5 million — it certainly made some noise. With most box-office watchers expecting another weekend of dominance by the Ben Stiller-led holiday juggernaut, the teen flick starring Columbus Short and Chris Brown stepped to the forefront, winning the top spot with $22 million (and a $26.4 million total for the four-day weekend).
Despite falling to second, “Night at the Museum” continues to show strong legs, earning $21.5 million over the extended weekend. That brings its total to a gargantuan $190 million. The family comedy will soon pass “Madagascar” as the second-biggest film featuring Stiller. Whether “Museum” can overtake Stiller’s mega-grossing “Meet the Fockers” ($279 million) remains to be seen, but it will clearly take a strong second wind for the special-effects-heavy romp.
Sliding into the third spot is Will Smith’s feel good flick, “The Pursuit of Happyness” — which despite never leading the weekend box-office in five weeks of release, has earned a robust $138 million.
“Dreamgirls,” a big winner at Monday’s Golden Globes (see “’Dream’ Night: Jennifer Hudson, Borat Win Big At Golden Globes” ), enjoyed the benefits of a wide release with a decent fourth place haul of $8.1 million. With a slew of Oscar nods likely next week, the big-budget musical looks like it will be in the top 10 for a long while.
Three new releases couldn’t quite crack the top five and look destined for disappointing totals. Justin Timberlake’s “Alpha Dog” failed to establish his box-office cred, earning only $6.1 million in its first weekend. Killer crocodile flick “Primeval” failed to scare up much business, landing in eighth place. All the way down in ninth place, earning a measly $4.3 million, was the live-action/animation blend, “Arthur and the Invisibles.” Does this mean that even the voice of Madonna can doom a flick to box-office oblivion?
How’d We Do?
This writer has never been so giddy to see Ben Stiller usurped from his box-office throne. You see, with “Night at the Museum” falling to second and “Stomp the Yard” debuting at the top of the heap, one lone prognosticator emerged victorious — and it wasn’t Mandy Moore (see “Projection Booth: Can Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown Silence ’Night’?” ).
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies Editor (6)
Larry Carroll, MTV News Writer (5)
Celebrity guests (1)
Six years ago, the extended Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend was won by another unlikely teen flick with a dance angle. “Save the Last Dance” came out of nowhere and proved that January movies can indeed make some noise. Here’s a look at the all-time top performers over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
· “Titanic (1997) $36 million
· “Black Hawk Down” (2002) $33.6 million
· “Along Came Polly” (2004) $32.4 million
· “Coach Carter” (2005) $29.1 million
· “Save the Last Dance” (2001) $27.5 million
It’s a wide-open highway of a release schedule for the lone new flick opening up: “The Hitcher.” This horror/thriller remake (what a novel idea!) stars Sean Bean in the title role and Sophia Bush (“One Tree Hill”) as a teenager who picks up the wrong guy.
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