“Hannah” added an extra dimension to the domestic boxoffice this weekend. With an estimated $29 million opening from just 683 venues, Disney’s “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” proved to be every bit the magnificent tweens magnet that eager 3-D exhibitors had anticipated, as it took the weekend box office crown.
“Hannah” follows closely on the heel of a live tour by 15-year-old actress and singer Cyrus, star of the popular Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana.” The 3-D concert film is set to run for just two weeks at this point, though exhibitors can request longer runs.
Its first weekend featured widespread sellouts and grosses that amounted to an eye-popping $42,460 per screen, with the film playing only in digital 3-D auditoriums.
“We were very lucky,” Disney distribution president Chuck Viane said. “We had a very charismatic young lady who was fabulous (in) helping push the movie.”
The “Hannah” opening was the best ever for Super Bowl weekend, outpacing 2006’s $21.6 million performance by Sony’s “When a Stranger Calls,” Nielsen EDI said.
Disney film group president Mark Zoradi said the decision to offer exhibitors a chance to extend “Hannah” over coming weekends was made after it became apparent there was an outsized interest in the barely wide 3-D release. Disney is constrained from broadening the film’s playdates, as it’s already playing in virtually every digital auditorium in existence, expect for a handful deemed noncompetitive because of their locations near other digital screens.
“The extra playing time will give more fans a chance to see their favorite performer, (and) it will also accommodate those fans who want to come and enjoy the experience again,” Zoradi said. “Miley is clearly one of today’s most exciting, talented and charismatic performers.”
A spokesman for the Fandango online-ticketing service said that strong Sunday orders showed no let up in the huge “Hannah” interest.
Almost one-third of the opening-weekend tickets for “Hannah” were sold by Fandango, which rated the film as its best-ever February seller, outdistancing 2004’s “The Passion of the Christ.” “Hannah” marked the fifth-best opening sales of any title handled by the online ticketer, with May 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” the best-ever advance ticket seller for Fandango.