This weekend Tyler Perry once again showed why he is the King (and Madea his Queen) of the box office as Madea Goes to Jail slaughtered the competition this weekend. Holdovers were mixed and the only other new release landed with a soft thud.
Taking his rightful place atop the box office charts, Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail ruled the roost this weekend bringing in a stunning $41.2M, according to estimates, for a per screen average of $20,236. Perry’s fans have obviously been hungering for another round of Madea and they came out in droves to see her. Madea Goes to Jail replaces Madea’s Family Reunion as Perry’s biggest opening weekend gross. That film opened three years ago to a $30M bow and $13,688 average. Perry’s last two films have been relative disappointments (relative only within the Perry universe) but Madea has set him back on track. In fact, Madea Goes to Jail this weekend alone has made more money than Perry’s last film The Family That Preys, did in its entire run late last year, when it finished with $37.1M.
Continuing its impressive run and refusing to let go of second place was the Liam Neeson action-thriller Taken fell 40% from last weekend’s three-day totals to an estimated $11.4M bringing its cume to within a hair of the century club at $95.1M. The family film Coraline came in third this weekend, dropping a small 25% for an estimated weekend take of $11M. Its cume now stands at $53.4M for Focus Features.
Fourth place belonged to the chick lit pic He’s Just Not That Into You which fell 56% from last weekend’s Valentine’s Day fueled total to $8.5M, according to estimates. Its cume now stands at $70.1M with the century club still a possibility.
Fifth place belonged to multiple Oscar hopeful Slumdog Millionaire which saw its gross increase by 10% from last weekend to an estimated $8M. Its total after nearly four months in theaters is $98M and could grow much higher if it takes home the coveted Best Picture Oscar tonight.
Crashing and burning into sixth place was last weekend’s champ Friday the 13th which fell an astounding 80% to $7.8M. A big drop was expected as fans of the genre rushed out on opening weekend, but this drop gives Friday the 13th the distinction of being one of the top 10 worst second weekend drops for a wide release in history. Its total stands at $55M with a final gross somewhere in the $65-70M range. While there are two more Friday the 13ths in this year (much too soon for a sequel to hit) the only Friday the 13th in 2010 is in August, the perfect time for an end of summer horror film.
The second chick lit flick on the charts landed in seventh this weekend as Confessions of a Shopaholic took in an estimated $7M of consumer dollars bringing its cume to $27.6M. A drop of 53% from last weekend does not bode well for the Disney release. Look for a final total in the $40-45M range.
A trio of Sony releases closes out the top 10 this weekend. In eighth place was arguably the biggest surprise hit so far this season, Paul Blart: Mall Cop which fell only 36% from last weekend to an estimated $7M. Its total now stands at a terrific $121.3M. Opening poorly in ninth place was the high school not-a-cheerleading movie Fired Up! The movie starring two guys who haven’t been in high school in about 10 years took in $6M this weekend, according to estimates, for a per screen average of $3,315. And rounding out the top 10 was The International in its second weekend. The banking thriller took in $4.5M this weekend bringing its cume to a disappointing $17M. Look for a final total in the $25M range.
Three of the other four Best Picture nominees added theaters this weekend and all saw their grosses rise slightly from last weekend. The Reader grossed an estimated $2.8M this weekend, (up 25% from last weekend) bringing its total to $23.1M. Milk also saw its grosses rise 25% from last weekend, grossing an estimated $1.1M this weekend for a total of $28.1M. Frost/Nixon saw its weekend take rise 31% from last weekend, raking in $678,000 according to estimates, bringing its cume to $17M. The final nominee, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the only Best Picture nominee to lose theaters this weekend and saw its gross fall 25% from last weekend to $1.2M, bringing its total to $124.2M