Steve’s Box Office Report: February 2007
Top 10 Films for the Month of February:
- Ghost Rider – $115,802,596
- Norbit – $95,673,607
- Bridge to Terabithia – $82,272,442
- Music and Lyrics – $50,572,589
- Because I Said So – $42,674,040
- The Messengers – $35,374,833
- The Number 23 – $35,193,167
- Breach – $33,231,264
- Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls – $31,366,978
- Hannibal Rising – $27,670,986
- Amazing Grace – $21,250,683
- Reno 911: Miami – $20,342,161
- Letters from Iwo Jima – $13,756,082
- The Astronaut Farmer – $11,003,643
February Winners: Norbit, Bridge to Terabithia, and Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls
So after 2007 got off to a completely terrible start, February had a lot of catching up to do to turn around the year only two months in. Thankfully, this slate of films released during the month had some decent appeal and with the holiday holdovers nearing their end, this was a good chance for some of these films to have solid runs. With that said, February becomes the first month of the year to have multiple films be included as the winners of the month. The first film released this month to be a winner of the month is the comedy Norbit, which sees Eddie Murphy in multiple roles akin to his performances in the Nutty Professor. Despite the negative reviews from critics, it would end up being a big success as it would steal customers away from Epic Movie and became the first successful comedy released this year. The next film of the month to be considered a winner of the month is the fantasy film Bridge to Terabithia, based on the children’s book of the same name. With Night at the Museum slowing down and Happily N’Ever After flopping the previous month, this was the perfect spot for Bridge to come out and it also had the advantage of coming out during the President’s Day weekend which help push it to becoming the top family film of the year to this point. The third and final film of the month to be considered a winner of the month is the Tyler Perry film Daddy’s Little Girls, a romantic comedy-drama film about a man fighting for custody of his daughters while beginning a relationship with his attorney. Despite opening to negative reviews and being one of Perry’s lowest-grossing films in his career, it still made just enough money to be considered a winner even though it finished near the bottom of the top 10 of the month. Just from these three alone, this is already a clear improvement from the previous month and 2007 has gotten back on track if only for a little bit.
February Loser: Hannibal Rising
So last month we only had one winner and three losers for the month of January and now as we come to February, we flip the script as we had three winners for this month and now we only have one loser for the month. While most of the films released this month didn’t break out like the other ones did, they at least made their budgets or finished a bit over or under to the point where they didn’t belong in either category. As such, the lone film released this month that is considered a loser of the month is the horror film Hannibal Rising, based on the novel of the same name which sees Hannibal Lecter become a serial killer. The film would receive negative reviews from critics and was unfortunate to be released the same weekend as Norbit, which resulted in it failing to find an audience and wound up finishing in 10th place for the month. However, as mentioned this was still a significant improvement over the month of January with only one loser of the month and it showed that the slate of films released this month were far superior to the slate of films released back in January.
The Surprise/Story of February 2007: Ghost Rider becomes 1st 2007 film to break $100 million
So the previous year in 2006, the first month to feature a film to finish with over $100 million in its run was the month of March which saw Ice Age 2 accomplish that feat. The previous year of 2005 would see the month of February see that and now two years later, February 2007 has a film that becomes the first film to break over $100 million and that ends up being Ghost Rider, an action film based on the Marvel character of the same name. Even though this was a time where most Marvel films sans X-Men were not as critically acclaimed as future ones, it still garnered enough interest to push itself over the $100 million mark and to also finish first for the month of February. While it would end up finishing below some of the other major films of the year 2007, no one can take away the fact that it was a success and takes this milestone as by this point either February or March would have a film be the first of the year to make over $100 million.
Overachiever of February 2007: Bridge to Terabithia
So unlike the previous month where it seemed like there was no worthy film to be the overachiever and I just had to pick one, this month there is a more clear cut candidate for this category. While Norbit was in the consideration to be declared the overachiever for February, the clear winner of this category was Bridge to Terabithia which was made on a pretty low budget considering the effects used in the movie. It also helped that Night at the Museum was nearing the end of its run and the only other family film released in 2007, Happily N’Ever After bombed so the family market was ripe for the pickings for Bridge and it would go on to have a successful run until the big family film of March was released. Coupled with the positive reviews from critics and the longevity of the novel it was based off of, it was a winning combination for Bridge and as a result it deserves the mantle of overachiever of the month of February 2007.
Underachiever of February 2007: Ghost Rider
Believe it or not, there was a time where Marvel films weren’t the hot commodity they are now and the only viable successes that they have had has been the X-Men series and Spider-Man. Most of their solo films have either flopped or have met expectations, but nothing has stood out from the pack and launched a new franchise series for Marvel. So when Ghost Rider was announced, it seemed like this was another opportunity for Marvel to start a franchise and while the film did do well to the point that it finished at the top of February, there was a feeling that it could’ve been so much more. The reviews were pretty poor and this was the point where Nicholas Cage was starting to become maligned as a draw, and that ended up leading Ghost Rider to be the sole choice as the underachiever of the month.
February 2007 Awards Watch: Ghost Rider, Norbit, Because I Said So, Hannibal Rising, Letters from Iwo Jima
The month of February is an interesting month in that this is where the Academy Awards and Golden Raspberry Awards take place, so any films that earn awards nominations come out this month they are usually included for the next year’s award shows. That being said, this month did see a few films receive award nods and would get a chance to be showcased the next year. The first film of the month to be included in this category is Ghost Rider which received one Golden Raspberry nomination (Worst Actor) though it would not win. The next film of the month to be in this category and that is the film Norbit as it would win 3 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress) while being nominated for four more (Worst Picture, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay). Despite the negative focus, Norbit would be nominated for one Academy Award (Best Makeup) though it wouldn’t win. The next film from this month to make this category would be the romantic comedy Because I Said So, and it would earn one Golden Raspberry Award nomination (Worst Actress) though it wouldn’t win and so far all the films in this category are not faring too well in terms of critical love. The next film to be included for this category is Hannibal Rising, and it would also be nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Prequel or Sequel and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie) though it wouldn’t win either award. The fifth and final film from this month to be included in this category is the war film Letters from Iwo Jima, and it would win one Academy Award (Best Sound Editing) while also receiving three nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay).The film would also win one Golden Globe Award (Best Foreign Language Film) while also receiving one more nomination (Best Director). This is an interesting month in that we did get five films receive award nods, but it is clear that most of the films released were not critically loved and the Golden Raspberries overtake the other two awards for this month.
Overall Thoughts of February 2007:
So overall, the month of February for 2007 was a pretty decent month that was much better than the previous month though there wasn’t much to praise here either. 2007 had gotten off to a very rocky start in January as the slate of films there completely bombed or underperformed, so February was already under pressure to try and ease the bleeding while trying to turn things around. As mentioned, we did have our first $100 million film released this month and there were a few other films that did pretty well which blew anything that January had out of the water. 2007 was also now a slight tick ahead of 2006 by this point since 2006 didn’t have its first $100 million film until March and 2007 already has its first, and it certainly would not be the last for the year. However, while there were some positives for February I don’t think it was enough to completely 2007 out of the hole that January dug and we will see how well March does and if that can get 2007 back on track. As for the month of February of 2007, it is miles better than what January was though it is still a pretty lackluster month and 2007 is still on somewhat shaky legs.
Final Grade: D