Liam Neeson’s latest European-set single-word-titled action thriller
Unknown debuted at number one over the long four-day Presidents’ Day
frame while the hit 3D toon Gnomeo & Juliet gave the Oscar-nominated
star a run for his money thanks to terrific staying power that allowed it
to follow close behind in second. The sci-fi alien flick I Am Number
Four debuted in third place while fellow newcomer Big Mommas: Like
Father, Like Son launched in fifth with each averaging roughly $7,000.
Overall ticket sales fell behind the same holiday frames from the last two
years. It was the first Presidents’ Day weekend in five years with no films
Debuting to an estimated $25.6M over the Friday-to-Monday holiday span,
Neeson’s Unknown took the top spot and averaged a solid $8,419 over
four days from 3,043 sites. The PG-13 film about an American in Berlin
whose identity has been taken after a car accident leaves him in a coma
played to a mature adult crowd and performed much like his 2009 sleeper hit
Taken which opened on top over Super Bowl weekend to $24.7M over three days
ahead of a $145M run. With Oscar-nominated dramas being the only other
films playing to the over-30 set in recent weeks, Unknown arrived as an
exciting-looking alternative with a well-liked star. Reviews were mixed but
on the same level as those for Taken.
Jumping up one spot to number two was the animated hit Gnomeo &
Juliet which dipped to an estimated $24.8M over four days. With strong
word-of-mouth, more kids available because of the school holiday, and no
competition from any other kidpics, Gnomeo held up incredibly well pushing
its 11-day total to $55.8M and now seems likely to break the $100M mark.
Gnomeo actually beat Unknown on Monday with estimated one-day sales
of $5.6M vs. $3.9M.
The sci-fi actioner I Am Number Four, Disney’s first release of a
DreamWorks production, opened in third place with an estimated $22.6M
playing to teens and young adults. Averaging a decent $7,166 from 3,154
locations, the PG-13 adaptation of the popular novel featured no major
stars and relied on fans of the book and on teens interested in a high
school tale. Reviews were not too kind. It was expected by many to open at
Dropping from first to fourth in its second weekend was the Adam
Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It which grossed an
estimated $21.7M. Sony’s latest pic from the bankable funnyman upped its
sum to $64.3M in ten days and has a good shot of hitting $100M. That would
allow Sandler to claim nine-digit hits in nine of the last ten years.
Martin Lawrence’s return to the fat suit brought him a fifth place debut
for the Fox comedy sequel Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son which
grossed an estimated $19M over four days. Averaging $6,735 from 2,821
locations, the PG-13 film fell well short of the three-day $25.7M opening
of Big Momma’s House from June 2000 as well as the $27.7M of its
followup in January 2006. The new Momma, which features
second-generation cross-dressing, was not screened for critics by their
deadlines, but once reviews started appearing they were among the worst for
any film in months.
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never fell 55% in its sophomore frame which
was not too bad given that it is a 3D concert biopic meant to draw
hysterical fans upfront. Paramount kept the publicity attacks going past
the opening weekend allowing the 11-day total to climb to $51.4M. Produced
for just $13M, the G-rated pic looks set to finish its run with $70M or so.
Oscar favorite The King’s Speech crossed the $100M mark this weekend
and enjoyed another remarkable hold dipping to an estimated $7.9M. That
pushed the cume for The Weinstein Co. to a stellar $104.7M with $125M or
more possible by the end of the run. Sony’s college thriller The
Roommate followed with an estimated $4.5M for a $33.1M total.
Audiences fled from Channing Tatum as his historical action epic The
Eagle tumbled to an estimated $4.3M for a weak tally of $15.8M after 11
days for Focus. Natalie Portman rounded out the top ten with her comedy
No Strings Attached which took in an estimated $3.7M for $66.6M to
date. Her Oscar contender Black Swan broke the $100M barrier right
before the start of the weekend.
The top ten films over four days grossed an estimated $150.7M which was
down 29% from last year’s Presidents’ Day frame when Valentine’s Day
opened in the top spot with $63.1M over four days; and down 14% from 2009’s
holiday when Friday the 13th debuted at number one with $43.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!