Dreamgirls (2006): Commercial Success

Bill Condon’s musical strikes a cord with enthusiastic audiences. “Dreamgirls” first week in wide release was a huge success, the film expanded from 3 to 852 theatres on Christmas Day.

After earning $8.7 million on Christmas Day, the film has gone on to rack up $43.31 million in its first 8 days of wide release. The film took in an estimated $15.5 million for the three day week-end with a per screen average of $18,200 and the studio is projecting $20.35 million for the
four day week-end.

“Dreamgirls'” $8.7 million Christmas Day bow generated the best single day ever for a musical. This Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures co-production, directed by Bill Condon and starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy represents the third-biggest box office total for a film that opened or went national on Christmas Day, bested only by2001’s “Ali” and 2002’s “Catch Me if You Can,” both of which opened in more than 2,000 theatres, compared to “Dreamgirls’ more limited release in 852 theatres.

This holiday-season film has been playing to very enthusiastic crowds. Audiences have been applauding and cheering after musical numbers and even giving the film standing ovations while it plays. In exit surveys, moviegoers across the country have given the film a 95% favorable rating. “That’s the highest I’ve ever seen,” said Rob Moore, Paramount Pictures president and worldwide marketing and distribution, adding, “not only have audiences responded to surveys with spectacular scores, we’ve seen them respond to the movie in a remarkable way with ovations during the performance of the film.”

That sentiment was echoed by distribution executives from major national chains. Muvico theater chain’s corporate communications VP John J. Spano said, “The audience reaction to ‘Dreamgirls’ at our Egyptian 24 location in Hanover, Maryland and Paradise 24 in Davie, Florida have been remarkable. Our theater management reports they rarely receive as many positive comments about a film as they have with this one and they are seeing many guests come back again and again to see this film! They tell us that at the conclusion of the musical numbers our guests have been applauding, cheering and on several occasions we have seen standing ovations. From our guest reactions to ‘Dreamgirls’ it is apparent that the musical genre of film is alive and well and has a place at the top of the box office.”

And Greg Dunn, President and COO of the Regal Entertainment Group said, “Regal Entertainment Group has seen an enthusiastic response to ‘Dreamgirls’ all over the country. In downtown Philadelphia crowds on Christmas Day were giving the movie a standing ovation. In Long Beach, California some audiences applauded after every musical number. And in St. Louis people leaving ‘Dreamgirls’ were so excited that they stopped strangers, encouraging them to see the film. The combination of storytelling and musical excellence is certainly hitting a chord with Regal audiences.”

The popular groundswell for the movie combined with a slew of awards nominations and critics’ association kudos, including five Golden Globe nominations and seven Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations should bode well for the box office performance when “Dreamgirls” expands its release to approximately 1800 theatres on Friday, January 12.