Audiences Flock to District 9
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
August 16, 2009
It does appear that there was somewhat of a rush factor on The Time Traveler's Wife, as its weekend multiplier (total three-day box office divided by Friday box office) came in at 2.49, just a bit worse than The Notebook. Since its Fresh Rating at RottenTomatoes currently sits at 37%, there's also cause for concern about its longevity. Frequently, female-targeted weepers will perform strongly in the long run, but given the fact that fans of the novel will likely be disappointed in the adaptation, it's facing some hurdles in the weeks to come.
Ordinarily, we might say that a 38% drop for a female-targeted movie such as Julie & Julia is worrisome, but given the fact that it was in direct competition for the same demographic as The Time Traveler's Wife, the decline could reasonably have been expected to be as much as 50%. Its holding power is more than likely a credit to the combined star power of Meryl Streep and to a lesser degree Amy Adams, not to mention the fact that the story and subject matter are rather delicious, if you can pardon the pun. In its second weekend, Julie & Julia earned $12.4 million, good enough for fourth place. Since there was some tracking that would indicate that the movie would open in the $15 million range, Sony has to be pleased that its total so far is $43.7 million. In the coming weeks, Julie & Julia's hold should improve, and Meryl Streep already is being positioned as a potential Academy Award nominee for the role.
Hanging around in fifth place is the Jerry Bruckheimer guinea pig movie G-Force, which has a solid hold based on the fact that it's the only real 3-D offering in theaters at the moment, and also is one of the few mainstream kid offerings out there. Disney's G-Force, which for some reason features the awesome Bill Nighy, earned another $6.9 million and dropped 30%. The movie is just shy of $100 million (it sits at $99 million even), which puts it about $50 million shy of its reported budget. Of course, with overseas revenue and ancillary income, it's going to be a nice money maker for the studio, which means we can probably look for some straight-to-DVD movies featuring the little critters at the minimum.
Down in sixth, we find an attempted star vehicle for Jeremy Piven, star of HBO's Entourage. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard brought in $5.4 million from 1,838 theaters, good(?) for a venue average of $1,860. It wasn't like Paramount Vantage didn't try to market this one. Ads were everywhere, and Piven participated in a variety of stunts intended to draw attention to the movie's impending release, including guest hosting WWE's Raw. Even though this was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, The Goods just never looked particularly funny, and the ads had the stink of desperation about them, almost akin to what happened with Semi-Pro a year and a half ago. Piven doesn't really seem like the type of actor who can open a film, and the performance of The Goods bears that notion out. Perhaps it's time for Ferrell and McKay to try some new tricks, because the old ones are starting to get a little stale.