Wednesday, January 02, 2008

'The Great Debaters' doing mild business

"The Great Debaters" landed in 11th place this weekend at the box office. It made $6 million, according to, from Dec. 28 through Dec. 30.

As I've mentioned before, it's only on 1,171 screens, which is less than a third of the screens being used for each of this week's top three.

Through Jan. 1, "Debaters" made a bit more than $16.4 million. Not too shabby for an 8-day total. But certainly not overwhelming, either.

While it's weekend per screen average was a healthy $5,128, it was lagging well behind "National Treasure," "Chipmunks" and "I Am Legend" in that department.

The performance can be considered a bit disappointing for a flick starring two of Hollywood's A-list talents: Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Granted, it's a drama inspired by a little known subject, but the star power should be attracting more attention than it has so far. On average, a Denzel pic brings in about $44 million in domestic box office.

Perhaps the Golden Globes can give it a little boost. It was nominated in the best dramatic pic category.

And how's 'The Mist?'

Shreveport's previous big release, "The Mist," has also performed modestly at the box office: $25.3M to date, according to

For "The Mist," what's interesting to note is that the pairing of Frank Darabont (director) and Stephen King produced mixed results in the past. "The Shawshank Redemption" only made $28.3 million in the domestic box office, but it's been on cable seemingly every minute since its 1994 release.

"The Green Mile" (1999) on the other hand, was box office gold: $136.8 million.

Will "The Mist" find its audience on cable or DVD? Perhaps. Time will tell.

Needless to say, Shreveport hasn't produced a blockbuster yet ($100 million threshhold). What will eclipse the mark first? "Mad Money?" "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins?" Or do we have to wait until "Year One?"

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