Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Moviegoers So Into You

Coraline does decent business.

by | February 8, 2009 | Comments

The new romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You featuring an
all-star cast including Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck was the top choice with
North American moviegoers. Last weekend’s top entry, the kidnapping thriller Taken,
showed incredible strength in its second frame taking second place thanks to a
very low decline. The new 3D animated pic Coraline debuted with strength in
third while The Pink Panther 2 followed in fourth with an uneventful bow. The
actioner Push earned respectable numbers in its launch putting it in the number
six slot. Overall, the box office was once again on fire as the Top 20 films
grossed nearly $146M surging an amazing 41% above year-ago levels.

The New Line comedy
He’s Just
Not That Into You
scored big points with the date crowd grossing an
estimated $27.5M in its opening weekend. Released by Warner Bros., the PG-13
film based on the popular self-help book averaged a stellar $8,650 from 3,175
locations. It was the third best wide opening of 2009 after Paul Blart: Mall
Co
p’s $31.8M and Gran Torino‘s $29.5M. For New Line, You is
yet another box office winner following its collapse into its parent company
last year.
Sex and
the City
,

Journey to the Center of the Earth
,
and
Four Christmases
all came from the former mini-major and each crossed $100M domestically.
Warners made sure in its marketing reach to not just target women, but to
promote to men and couples as well. The broad appeal helped to raise the
grosses, as did the star power and with Valentine’s Day still coming up the film
should collect healthy business in the first two weeks.[rtimage]MapID=1192140&MapTypeID=2&photo=21&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Liam Neeson‘s kidnapping thriller Taken
may have dropped to second place this weekend, but the Fox hit held up
exceptionally well dipping only 18% to an estimated $20.3M. That was a
remarkable performance for an action film and now gives the PG-13 pic a shot at
reaching $100M. Taken has taken in $53.4M in its first ten days, but will
face direct competition this Friday when Sony’s bank thriller
The
International
debuts.

The 3D stop-motion animated film
Coraline
opened
impressively in third place with an estimated $16.3M. Focus averaged a solid
$7,105 from 2,299 theaters and proved once again how moviegoers are rushing out
to theaters and paying those higher ticket prices to see films in three
dimensions. With helmer Henry Selick not being a household name, the PG-rated
Coraline
instead was promoted as being from the director of The Nightmare
Before Christmas
which over the last decade and a half has become a modern
classic spawning recent 3D re-releases around Halloween time. With the
Presidents’ Day holiday next weekend and many schools taking winter breaks in
February, the Dakota Fanning-voiced pic should be able to enjoy a healthy run in
the weeks ahead. This weekend, a whopping 60% of the total gross came from Real
D’s 3D screens.[rtimage]MapID=1189949&MapTypeID=2&photo=46&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Families weren’t exactly cheering the arrival of a new Inspector Clouseau film.
The Pink Panther 2

debuted in fourth place with an estimated $12M falling 41% short of the $20.2M
first place bow of its 2006 predecessor which also launched in early February.
Sony’s comedy sequel stumbled into 3,243 locations and averaged a mild $3,700
per site. This new installment reunited Steve Martin, Jean Reno, and Emily
Mortimer while adding new cast members Andy Garcia, John Cleese, Alfred Molina,
and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The previous Panther went on to gross an
impressive $80.2M in North America and $159M worldwide prompting the development
of a sequel. Reviews were harsh.

Kevin James enjoyed another great weekend as
Paul Blart: Mall
Cop
grossed an estimated $11M in its fourth frame declining just 21%.
That gives Sony a sensational $97M to date. The sci-fi thriller
Push
posted a moderate
opening landing in sixth place with an estimated $10.2M. Summit’s first release
since the blockbuster Twilight averaged a decent $4,410 from 2,313 sites.[rtimage]MapID=1195186&MapTypeID=2&photo=9&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Slumdog
Millionaire
became the second biggest grosser in Fox Searchlight history
this weekend thanks to its estimated $7.4M take. Down a scant 3%, the Oscar
contender upped its cume to $77.4M surpassing the $71.5M of
Sideways
and now
only trails Juno‘s
$143.5M on the distributor’s all-time list of hits. Clint Eastwood followed
closely with Gran Torino which collected an estimated $7.2M, down 12%, for a
stellar $120.3M cume to date.

Falling 38% in its sophomore frame, the teen fright flick The Uninvited
grossed an estimated $6.4M giving Paramount $18.4M in ten days. A $30-35M final
seems likely. The studio’s kidpic Hotel for Dogs
dropped 33% to an estimated $5.8M and followed in tenth. Total stands at $55.2M.[rtimage]MapID=1190977&MapTypeID=2&photo=22&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Four of the five Oscar nominees for Best Picture tried to reach film aficionados
outside of the top ten, although their combined weekend grosses failed to match
Slumdog
‘s. Paramount’s
The
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
took in an estimated $2.4M, off 32%, and
lifted its tally to $120M. Dropping a mere 3% to an estimated $2.3M was Kate
Winslet’s The
Reade
r
which has banked $16.1M thus far for The Weinstein Co. Focus
watched its pic Milk
take in an estimated $1.1M, off 26%, for a $25.3M sum.
Frost/Nixon
fell 46% to an estimated $753,000 giving Universal $15.6M to
date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $124.2M which was up 49% from last year
when Fool’s
Gold
opened in the top spot with $21.6M; and up 43% from 2007 when
Norbit
debuted at
number one with $34.2M.

Written by Gitesh Pandaya, Box Office Guru

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