The children's tale of a youngster who moonlights as a hit singer grossed approximately $29m and owed much to the fact that it arrived in North American cinemas with inbuilt awareness courtesy of the hugely popular Disney Channel series.
However the storming debut underlined the irresistible march of 3-D and its commercial viability as a theatrical format that offers an immersive experience and alternative programming opportunities for the exhibition section.
3-D specialist RealD equipped most of the cinemas that screened the film. Higher tickets prices at the venues must also be acknowledged as a contributor to the three-day gross.
Amazingly, this new record for a film released over the traditionally treacherous Super Bowl weekend came from a mere 683 3-D screens. Such numbers are usually generated from a screen count in the mid-to-high 2,000 range. The previous Super Bowl weekend record was set in 2006 after When A Stranger Calls opened on $21.6m.
Sensing a wave of repeat visits, Disney was quick to announce today [Feb 3] that it would extend the length of the theatrical run and allow cinema owners to keep Hannah on screen as long as they liked. Hannah produced the biggest digital launch in history and averaged $42,000 per screen.
Way behind in second place on $13m came Lionsgate's Asian horror remake The Eye, starring Jessica Alba as a blind concert violinist beset by disturbing visions following a corneal transplant.
In its ninth weekend, Fox Searchlight's Oscar nominated Juno once again delivered the goods as it overtook last weekend's top two Meet The Spartans and Rambo and surged three places to fourth on $7.5m for $110.3m. The distributor's towering achievement will only continue to grow during the 'Oscar corridor' leading up to the 80th Academy Awards on Feb 24.
Paramount's Cloverfield is slipping out of the top 10 and stands at $71.9m after three weekends. The profitable monster movie is on the cusp of crossing $100m around the world and finished the weekend as the number one overseas release.
Overall the year's box office remained bullish as the top 12 films of the weekend took $101.5m to climb 43% on last year's Super Bowl weekend.
Estimated Top 10 North America Feb 1-3, 2007
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour
(Buena Vista) WDSMPI $29m -
2 (-) The Eye (Lionsgate) Mandate Int'l/Paramount Vantage $13m -
3 (3) 27 Dresses (Fox) Fox Int'l $8.4m $57.1m
4 (7) Juno (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int'l $7.5m $110.3m
5 (1) Meet The Spartans (Fox) Fox Int'l $7.1m $28.3m
6 (2) Rambo (Lionsgate/TWC) NU Image $7m $29.8m
7 (6) The Bucket List (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.9m $67.7m
8 (5) Untraceable (Sony) Lakeshore Entertainment $5.4m $19.5m
9 (4) Cloverfield (Paramount) PPI $4.9m $71.9m
10 (9) There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) Miramax $4.8m $21.1m