In a fierce head-to-head battle,
family comedy The
Game Plan upset
action thriller The
Kingdom this weekend and became the first PG-rated film since June to
open at number one. The wrestler-turned-actor collected an estimated $22.7M in
ticket sales for his first kidpic and exceeded industry expectations going into
the weekend. Disney’s latest hit comedy averaged a solid $7,307 from 3,103
theaters. Game marked The Rock’s second biggest opening ever in a lead role
after 2002’s The Scorpion King which bowed to $36.1M.
The film is the latest to take a macho action star and put him in a
family-friendly situation involving kids. In
The Game Plan,
The Rock plays a superstar quarterback and stylish bachelor who finds out he has
a daughter. The studio found success with the same formula two years ago with
which debuted much better than expected with $30.6M on its way to an amazing
$113.1M. Game Plan also tapped into a family audience starving for
entertainment as the past several weeks have been dominated by adult fare and
R-rated movies for older teens. Studio research showed that 52% of the audience
was female, 53% was under 25, and two-thirds of the crowd consisted of families.
With a CinemaScore grade of A, and most October releases offering nothing
exciting for kids, Disney should expect playability for many weeks to come.
Settling for the runnerup spot but still generating solid results was
The Kingdom which
premiered to an estimated $17.7M. The Universal release averaged an impressive
$6,335 from 2,793 locations. Carrying the R rating, the
film finds Jamie Foxx leading a team of FBI agents into Saudi Arabia to
investigate an attack on Americans living there. Critics were mixed in their
and Jeremy Piven
co-star. Unlike Game Plan, Kingdom faced plenty of competition
given that the marketplace offered several other serious films aimed at adult
Last weekend’s top film
Evil: Extinction collapsed in its second frame tumbling 66% to an
estimated $8M for a ten-day tally of $36.8M. The Sony threequel should finish up
in the same neighborhood as its predecessor
Evil: Apocalypse which grossed $50.7M three years ago at the same time
Lionsgate followed with a pair of pics. The romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck
fell 54% to an estimated $6.3M for a cume of $23.6M in ten days. A $35M final
seems likely. The Western
3:10 to Yuma
grossed an estimated $4.2M, off only 32%, for a $43.9M total.
crime thriller The Brave
One dropped 49% to an estimated $3.7M and raised its sum to $30.8M for
Warner Bros. New Line’s
Mr. Woodcock followed in seventh place with an estimated $3M, down 39%,
giving the pic $19.6M to date.
Jumping into the top ten was the musical film
Universe which grossed an estimated $2.1M from only 339 theaters for a
solid $6,047 average. Sony widened the release slightly from 276 locations and
will continue to expand in the weeks ahead. Universe has banked $5.5M to
date in limited release.
Two films from acclaimed directors enjoyed sizzling platform debuts in New
York City this weekend. Fox Searchlight’s
Darjeeling Limited debuted on Saturday and grossed an estimated $140,000
from only two theaters for a powerful two-day average of $70,000. The distrib
will add 17 more theaters in six additional markets on Friday.
Ang Lee, the
first non-white man to win the Oscar for Best Director, debuted his latest film
Lust, Caution in one
Manhattan location and was greeted with an estimated $62,000. Focus will expand
the NC-17 film throughout October.
Among arthouse titles expanding,
Into the Wild
grossed an estimated $669,000 from 33 sites for a sturdy $20,271 average for
Paramount Vantage. Warner Bros. averaged $18,400 with its
Affleck period saga
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford which took in
an estimated $92,000 from five theaters dipping 38%. Not as lucky as it widened
was the Tommy
Lee Jones drama
In the Valley
of Elah which brought in an estimated $1.5M from 762 locations for a
weak $2,008 average. Cume is $3.5M for Warner Independent.
Three movies fell out of the top ten over the weekend. Universal’s smash
Bourne Ultimatum dropped 39% to an estimated $1.7M for a superb $222.8M
domestic total. The Matt Damon hit is the year’s only threequel to surpass the
grosses of both of its two predecessors. A final North American gross of around
$229M should result. Overseas, Ultimatum has also overpowered the two
prior Bourne pics with its international gross of $161.7M putting the
global gross at a stellar $384.5M.
The smash teen comedy
Superbad dropped 47% to an estimated $1.7M boosting the cume to an
amazing $118.9M. Sony should end up with roughly $123M. On the other hand,
Freestyle Releasing has captured a mere $10M with its fantasy adventure
Dragon Wars which is
fading fast and should conclude with only $12M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $73.2M which was down 13% from last
year when Open Season
debuted in first place with $23.6M; but up 3% from 2005 when
in the top spot with $14.8M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,