Weekend Wrap-Up

Paul Blart, Valentine, Notorious Rule MLK Weekend

By John Hamann

January 18, 2009

Paul Blart is...special.

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Finishing sixth is last weekend's number two flick, Bride Wars. Dumped at the alter, Bride Wars grossed $11.8 million and was off 44% compared to last weekend. Usually over long weekends, percentage drops are subdued due to the holiday Monday, but not in this case. Bride Wars has now earned $37.6 million and should finish between $55 and $65 million.

Last weekend's horror release, finishes seventh this weekend compared to a third place finish last weekend. The Unborn earned $9.8 million and fell an okay-for-horror 50%. The Unborn now has a gross of $33.1 million against a production budget of only $16 million.

Defiance, coming off a two-screen limited release run, parlayed its small release into a decent debut in wide release this weekend. Now in 1,789 venues, Defiance earned a not bad $9.2 million this weekend, good for a venue average of $5,146. Starring Bond himself Daniel Craig, Defiance didn't receive the reviews it needed for award consideration, but considering the subject matter, Paramount Vantage has to be happy with this kind of gross. The production budget here was $50 million, so this one is going to need some amazing legs to match its budget domestically.

Marley & Me has a better frame this weekend than last, when it fell 53% and a had an $11.3 million gross. This weekend, the comedy fell 44% and earned $6.3 million, not bad considering the competition from Hotel For Dogs. The winner of the holiday sweepstakes, Marley & Me now has a running total of $132.7 million, and could see as much as $155 million.


Tenth goes to the Best Picture -Drama winner last weekend in Slumdog Millionaire, which will be looking for a number of Academy Award nominations this week. After winning every Globe for which it was nominated, Slumdog Millionaire took in another $5.9 million for the weekend, a remarkable 56% increase over last week. With a current total of $42.7 million, this one has the chance to earn quite a bit more.

That means Oscar contender The Curious Case of Benjamin Button falls out of the top ten this weekend, as it earned $5.6 million and fell 39%. Other award favorites included Last Chance Harvey, which moved to 1,054 venues and earned $4.7 million; The Wrestler with a gross of $1.8 million, Revolutionary Road with $1.7 million and Milk with $764,218.

Overall, the box office really has a lot to crow about. The top 12 films this weekend earned $170.6 million over three days, which was more than the top 12 earned last year over four days ($158.9 million, a former record for the MLK weekend). The early lead over last year continues to stack up, as we now have three consecutive weekends in 2009 that were much higher than those of 2008. Next weekend should provide another $20 million plus opener in the form of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, with potential also coming from Inkheart, the new children's film with Brendan Fraser.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/16/09-1/18/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Columbia Pictures (Sony) $33,800,000 $31,832,636 New $39,234,238
2 Gran Torino Warner Bros. Pictures $22,235,000 $21,979,069 - 25.5% $76,603,810
3 My Bloody Valentine 3D Lionsgate $21,900,000 $21,241,456 New $24,103,962
4 Notorious Fox Searchlight Pictures $21,500,000 $20,497,596 New $23,393,472
5 Hotel for Dogs DreamWorks $17,707,000 $17,012,212 New $22,865,512
6 Bride Wars Twentieth Century Fox $11,750,000 $11,651,553 - 44.7% $39,705,852
7 The Unborn Rogue Pictures $9,848,825 $9,341,985 - 52.8% $33,784,230
8 Defiance Paramount Vantage $9,206,000 $8,911,827 +12970% $10,850,710
9 Marley & Me Twentieth Century Fox $6,325,000 $6,138,859 - 46.1% $133,923,935
10 Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $5,900,000 $5,849,157 + 54.6% $43,858,932
11 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Paramount $5,599,000 $5,576,862 - 39.5% $103,610,033
12 Bedtime Stories Walt Disney Pictures $4,848,000 $4,726,059 - 46.3% $105,073,339
  Also Opening/Notables
  Chandni Chowk to China Warner Bros. Pictures $651,000 $629,921 New $685,798
  Last Chance Harvey Overture Films $4,655,000 $4,299,805 +2935.% $5,602,513
  Valkyrie United Artists $3,872,000 $3,802,679 - 42.5% $78,276,485
  Revolutionary Road Paramount Vantage $1,744,000 $1,783,093 + 25.1% $6,109,157
  Yes Man Warner Bros. $2,705,000 $2,597,519 - 56.9% $94,043,254
  The Wrestler Fox Searchlight $1,750,000 $1,702,695 +100.7% $5,356,214
  Doubt Miramax Films $1,325,000 $1,231,332 - 51.2% $25,506,742
  The Reader The Weinstein Company $1,222,000 $1,285,036 - 4.6% $7,808,169
  Frost/Nixon Universal $706,095 $669,425 - 24.9% $8,777,776
  Twilight Summit Entertainment $1,743,000 $1,742,920 - 38.7% $184,585,393
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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