Weekend Wrap-Up

Monster vs. Aliens Jolts Box Office

By John Hamann

March 29, 2009

But how do they...um, let's just not even think about it.

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Fourth goes to Paramount's second film in the top five, I Love You Man. As expected, the Paul Rudd comedy held well, earning $12.6 million and dropping a not bad 20%. Paul Rudd is the antithesis of Nic Cage when it comes to second weekend holds. Role Models, Rudd's last film, fell 42% after a surprisingly large opening of $19 million; Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which also starred Rudd's I Love You Man co-star Jason Segel) dropped a slim 38%; and Knocked Up, which again starred both Rudd and Segel, dropped 36%. I Love You, Man is going to finish as a strong entry again, as it has a total so far of $37 million.

Duplicity falls to fifth, and doesn't have the hold that Universal was looking for. The Julia Roberts/Clive Owen flick earned $7.6 milllion in its second frame, and was off a larger than expected 46%. A busy marketplace condemned Duplicity, and it has a total so far of $25.6 million.

As expected, Race to Witch Mountain got hammered by Monsters vs. Aliens, and the Disney live action feature tumbles from fourth last weekend to a distant sixth this weekend. Race earned only $5.6 million in its third weekend and was off a large 56%. Race has not turned into the hit Disney thought it would be, as it has a gross so far of $53.3 million.

Our last newcomer, 12 Rounds, finishes seventh, and was the weak sister in our opening crop. Showcasing John Cena, WWE star, and produced by WWE films, 12 Rounds earned only $5.3 million over opening weekend from 2,331 venues. WWE Films hasn't had much luck since The Rock stopped doing their projects. Recent outings have shown poor results, like The Condemned with Steve Austin ($3.8 million opening, $7 million finish), The Marine which was also with John Cena ($7.1 million opening, $18.8 million finish), and See No Evil with Kane ($4.6 million opening, $15 million finish). 12 Rounds cost the WWE and Fox $20 million to make, and there is no way this will finish with a domestic total higher than the budget.


Eighth, ninth and tenth had extremely low grosses. Eighth place belonged to Watchmen, with a $2.8 million gross, a painful 59% drop and a total to date of $103.3 million. Ninth was Taken, with a gross of $2.7 million, a drop of 33%, and a gross so far of $137.1 million. Tenth went to Last House on the Left, which earned $2.6 milllion, was off 55% and has a total of $28.5 million.

Overall, there is a lot to be happy about at the box office. A year ago the box office was not performing well. Over the same weekend in March 2008, four films opened, with only the gambling flick 21 grossing more than $20 million. The top 12 films earned a lowly $90.2 million. This year, with Monsters vs. Aliens at number one, the top 12 films at the box office earned an extremely strong $137.6 million. Next weekend should provide more big scores at the box office, as Vin Diesel is back in Fast and Furious from Universal, and Miramax provides counter-programming with Adventureland a teen comedy from Superbad director Greg Mottola.

Top Weekend Box Office for 3/27/09-3/29/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Monsters vs. Aliens DreamWorks $58,200,000 $59,321,095 New $59,321,095
2 The Haunting in Connecticut Lionsgate $23,010,000 $23,004,765 New $23,004,765
3 Knowing Summit Entertainment $14,705,000 $14,702,187 - 40.2% $46,217,199
4 I Love You, Man DreamWorks Pictures $12,600,000 $12,671,533 - 28.9% $37,078,306
5 Duplicity Universal $7,556,470 $7,672,485 - 45.1% $25,754,865
6 Race to Witch Mountain Walt Disney Pictures $5,637,000 $5,801,775 - 54.6% $53,459,752
7 12 Rounds 20th Century Fox $5,300,000 $5,329,240 New $5,329,240
8 Watchmen Warner Bros. $2,755,000 $2,732,439 - 59.8% $103,273,462
9 Taken Twentieth Century Fox $2,700,000 $2,695,342 - 33.6% $137,068,886
10 The Last House on the Left Rogue Pictures $2,611,160 $2,644,295 - 54.2% $28,492,330
11 Sunshine Cleaning Overture Films $1,344,000 $1,274,007 + 89.7% $2,477,704
12 Slumdog Millionaire Warner Independent Pictures $1,135,000 $1,164,903 - 56.5% $139,341,484
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Cross $300,000 $309,455 New $309,455
  Goodbye Solo Roadside Attractions N/A $38,042 New $38,042
  Shall We Kiss? Music Box $30,984 $28,680 New $28,680
  American Swing Magnolia N/A $10,174 New $10,174
  The Education of Charlie Banks N/A $8,538 New $8,538
  The Country Teacher Film Movement N/A $8,192 New $8,192
  Sin Nombre Focus Features $68,512 $70,167 - 13.8% $185,874
  Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail Lionsgate $1,090,000 $1,133,085 - 55.9% $89,067,436
  He's Just Not That Into You New Line Cinema $470,000 $473,269 - 62.1% $92,510,829
  Coraline Focus Features $300,871 $305,114 - 85.7% $73,929,936
  Paul Blart: Mall Cop Columbia Pictures (Sony) $835,000 $840,596 - 54.4% $142,503,850
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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