Golden Compass Doesn’t Point to Moviegoers

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

New Line’s fantasy-adventure The Golden Compass topped the box office with an estimated $26.1 million from 3,528 theaters. It’s another disappointing debut for the studio this year, as expectations had the opening between $30-40 million. The movie cost at least $180 million to make plus promotions. New Line’s biggest film of the year was Rush Hour 3, which collected $140.1 million, about $86 million below the total of Rush Hour 2 domestically. Written and directed by Chris Weitz, The Golden Compass stars Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green and Dakota Blue Richards, and features the voices of Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Freddie Highmore and Kathy Bates. It is based on author Philip Pullman’s bestselling and award-winning novel. “Compass” did have a strong international debut, grossing an estimated $55 million from 25 countries, but New Line sold off all international territories, meaning that the studio’s take will be capped.

After being the champ for two weeks in a row, Disney’s family hit Enchanted, starring Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden and Susan Sarandon, dipped just 35% in sales in second place. The comedy added $10.7 million in its third weekend and has reached $83.9 million.

Screen Gems holiday dramedy This Christmas remained in third with $5 million. The movie, produced for $13 million, has earned $42.8 million in three weeks.

The Vince Vaughn holiday comedy Fred Claus gained two spots to fourth, making $4.7 million in its fifth weekend for a sum of $65.6 million.

Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf rounded out the top five, adding $4.4 million for a total of $76.98 million. The Paramount release cost $150 million to make.

Miramax added 329 theaters for No Country for Old Men, and the critically-acclaimed pic garnered $4.2 million from 1,324 theaters. It has made $28.9 million in five weeks.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s Juno earned an impressive $420,113 from just seven theaters for a strong average of $60,016. The Jason Reitman dramedy, written by Diablo Cody, stars Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. Likewise, Focus Features’ Atonement impressed with $816,883 from 32 locations for an average of $25,528. The Joe Wright romance stars Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Blethyn.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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