Weekend Wrap-Up

Sony Dominates With Zombieland and Meatballs

By John Hamann

October 4, 2009

Aw, the poor zombies just need a ride.

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Tied for sixth is Michael Moore's latest, Capitalism: A Love Story. After opening on four screens last weekend and earning $230,000, Overture Films expanded the run to 962 venues this weekend, and the expansion paid off. Capitalism earned $4.9 million and had a venue average of $5,042. This is the fastest a Michael Moore film has gone into wide release – his last feature, Sicko, earned $4.5 million from only 447 venues in its second weekend, before going to 702 venues in its third frame when it earned $3.6 million. I'm not sure if taking it wide so quickly was the best bet, but in a world of Internet movie downloads, it might have been the best course of action. Is Michael Moore slipping? He seems to be somewhat, however his legions of fans still make his cheap-to-produce documentaries a capitalist's dream. Sicko finished with about $25 million – I see this one coming up somewhat short of that total.

Eighth spot goes to Fame, last weekend's quiet disaster from MGM. The struggling production company needed a big hit - and ironically failed to get it with Fame after the musical opened to a quiet $10 million. This weekend, the news is worse, as this one tumbled 53%, earning only $4.8 million. If there's good news for MGM, it's that Fame cost only $18 million to make, so the disaster here won't be of epic proportions. Give Fame $16.6 million after two weekends of release.


Ninth spot goes to Matt Damon's The Informant!, the three-week old oddball from Steven Soderbergh and Warner Bros. The Informant! earned $3.8 million in its third frame, and drops 43% compared to last weekend. Considering the style and the subject matter, I think Warner Bros. will be happy with a gross so far of $26.6 million, against a $22 million budget.

Love Happens takes and deserves the basement spot this weekend, as the Jennifer Aniston flick could have been called Failure Happens. The comedy earned $2.8 million in its last weekend in the top ten and falls 36%. It has a total now of $18.9 million.

Overall, things are holding up well compared to last year - about the same financially, but moving forward, things should be a lot better. A year ago this weekend, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Eagle Eye were the top two films, and the top 12 finished with $94.7 million. This year, with better movies on top in Zombieland and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the top 12 finished with an almost identical $94.5 million. Next weekend, there is only one new release, Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, which leaves room for all of the good movies released this weekend to gain some traction next weekend.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/2/09-10/4/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Zombieland Sony (Columbia) $25,000,000 $24,733,155 New $24,733,155
2 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Sony/Columbia $16,700,000 $15,809,039 - 36.9% $81,501,320
3 Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3d WALT DISNEY N/A $12,491,789 New $12,491,789
4 Surrogates Touchstone Pictures $7,344,000 $7,241,054 - 51.4% $26,284,134
5 The Invention of Lying Warner Bros. Pictures $7,350,000 $7,027,472 New $7,027,472
6 Whip It Fox Searchlight Pictures N/A $4,650,812 New $4,650,812
7 Fame MGM $4,754,000 $4,626,952 - 53.8% $16,507,188
8 Capitalism: A Love Story Overture Films $4,850,000 $4,447,378 +1817.3% $4,849,067
9 The Informant! Warner Bros. Pictures $3,800,000 $3,689,235 - 44.3% $26,469,331
10 Love Happens Universal Pictures $2,777,290 $2,749,026 - 36.2% $18,882,080
11 Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself Lionsgate $2,670,000 $2,599,720 - 45.4% $48,284,523
12 Pandorum Overture Films $1,923,000 $1,979,061 - 55.3% $7,874,841
  Also Opening/Notables
  A Serious Man Focus Features $251,510 $251,337 New $251,337
  More Than a Game Lionsgate $196,681 $182,943 New $182,943
  Chelsea On the Rocks Aliquot Films N/A $4,282 New $4,282
  Paranormal Activity Paramount $535,000 $532,242 New $776,763
  I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell $322,350 $305,465 - 16.7% $846,103
  Jennifer's Body 20th Century Fox $1,200,000 $1,251,643 - 65.8% $14,777,403
  9 Focus Features $1,338,324 $1,398,401 - 52.7% $29,441,230
  All About Steve 20th Century Fox $1,170,000 $1,145,890 - 49.9% $31,747,303
  Inglourious Basterds The Weinstein Company $1,472,000 $1,419,256 - 47.1% $116,894,138
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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