Weekend Wrap-Up

Labor Day Drops Movie World Back to Reality

By Kim Hollis

September 6, 2009

If she hadn't had The Proposal, this would be a real serious consideration for Ms. Bullock.

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Fourth place goes to another of the new releases in Gamer, the futuristic actioner that stars Gerard Butler. Despite a frantic and frenetic advertising campaign, the violent-looking film could pretty much only hold steady with other movies that resemble it during the same release time frame, including Death Race and Crank (which is actually from the same directing/writing team. Gamer earned $9 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend, and with a 2,502 venue debut, its per-location average was a blah $3,597. Gamer did fare better than All About Steve in the reviews department, though that might be only because fewer people have seen it. Currently, it has seven positive reviews out of 26, which means its Rotten Rating is 21%. Still, since it had a very slim budget of only $12 million, it's going to be profitable for Lionsgate, to the point that we can probably look for a direct-to-video sequel at the very least.

Fifth place goes to the great aliens-have-arrived flick District 9, the surprise sensation from director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson. District 9 continues to build on its outstanding buzz, as its three-day total of $7 million represents a drop of only 32%. It crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, which has to be a real thrill for the people involved in the film's creation. Its budget was only $30 million, and it's bound to be a huge earner on video in addition to its superb theatrical take.

Sixth and seventh place host two movies that couldn't be more opposite of each other, Rob Zombie's Halloween II and the yummy Julie & Julia. Halloween II took a massive tumble in its second weekend, particularly brutal when you consider that it should have had a bit of friendly inflation thanks to the holiday. The sequel to the re-imagining of the John Carpenter franchise earned $5.6 million and fell a brutal 66%. Never let it be said that there aren't Zombie fanboys. On the other end of the spectrum is the Meryl Streep/Amy Adams starrer Julie & Julia, which has been showing some world-class legs. This trend continued, with Julie & Julia falling only 26% to a three-day total of $5.2 million. So far, the movie has earned a wonderful $78.8 million and will almost certainly secure Ms. Streep yet another Academy Award nomination.


We have a similar case of opposites attracting in the eighth and ninth positions. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra continues to hold a spot in the charts with a $5.1 million total and a very solid 34% drop. Clearly, this is a film that is appealing to its target demographic (boys) and holding up well in spite of some awful reviews. Its current total of $139.4 million is still well short of its $175 million budget, but that's not going to be a problem once ancillary revenue - including toys - is factored in. Ninth place is home to The Time Traveler's Wife, the slightly disappointing romance starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. It had a three-day total of $4.2 million, good for a drop of only 35%. It might not be the movie that fans of the book were hoping for, but it does have a respectable domestic total of $54.6 million, easily earning back its budget of $39 million.

Finally, our tenth place film is our last new wide release, Mike Judge's Extract. There's something about Judge. He has a devoted following of fans, but there just aren't enough of them to propel his films to any significant box office performance. Extract, which stars Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck, boasts a decent 64% fresh rating (74 out of 115 reviews) at RottenTomatoes. It looks like Judge has delivered the goods, but Extract will have to hope for being a cult hit along the line's of the director's previous Office Space. With a three-day total of $4.2 million and per-location average of $1,611, it will fall off the charts quickly. Don't worry, Mike Judge. We still love you.

The top 12 movies performed quite solidly at the box office, particularly considering that this same weekend last year was not Labor Day weekend. The 2009 top 12 earned $79.4 million, a massive 58% increase over 2008's $50.3 million. Next weekend, we can look forward to four new releases. There's 9, the cool-looking animated film from producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, featuring another appearance from Madea, Whiteout, a thriller based on a graphic novel, and Sorority Row, the latest horror-film-of-the-week.

Top Ten for Weekend of September 4-6, 2009
of Sites
Percent Change
Gross ($)
Gross ($)
1 The Final Destination 3,121 -55% 12.4 47.6
2 All About Steve 2,251 New 11.2 11.2
3 Inglourious Basterds 3,358 -44% 10.8 91.0
4 Gamer 2,502 New 9.0 9.0
5 District 9 3,139 -32% 7.0 101.3
6 Halloween II 3,088 -66% 5.6 25.7
7 Julie & Julia 2,528 -26% 5.2 78.8
8 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 2,846 -34% 5.1 139.4
9 The Time Traveler's Wife 2,803 -35% 4.2 54.6
10 Extract 1,611 New 4.2 4.2
11 Shorts 2,631 -42% 2.6 17.0
12 G-Force 1,477 -30% 2.0 114.6

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