Weekend Wrap-Up

Paranormal Active, Saw Lacks Teeth

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

October 25, 2009

They're laughing at you, Jigsaw. You must be spinning in your grave.

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Finishing just outside the top ten are a couple of films that had been perceived as awards season contenders. Amelia, the Mira Nair film about legendary pilot Amelia Earhart, looks to be a disaster. Despite starring Hilary Swank in what appears to be another great opportunity for her to win an Oscar, Amelia's reviews are nothing short of hostile. Only 17% fresh at RottenTomatoes and only 12% with top critics, the film offered only moderate appeal to consumers. Its $4 million opening weekend reflects a per-location average of $4,921, probably not good enough to justify much expansion beyond its current 818 locations. This one feels like a miss all the way around. Meanwhile, the Coen Brothers are back with A Serious Man, a Focus Features release that is slowly creeping its way up the charts. After finishing in 15th place last weekend with $842,000, it bumps up 34% to $1.1 million this frame. The primary difference between the two films is that critics can't get enough of A Serious Man. It is currently 84% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and may stick around for a portion of awards season if it's memorable enough.


Box office for the top 12 films this weekend is estimated at $109.9 million, a solid total given the relative failure of Saw VI. We are down just under $10 million from 2008's $120.0 million, however, a decline of 8.4%. Next weekend sees the release of Michael Jackson's This Is It, which is a title you shouldn't sleep on. You may be prone to brush it off as just a concert film, but this result should prove to be much different from the Jonas Brothers' recent disappointment. A few grown-ups actually care about the King of Pop. Expect strong box office next weekend and an interminable amount of Thriller dances at any Halloween parties you attend this week.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/23/09-10/25/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Paranormal Activity Paramount Pictures $22,000,000 $21,104,070 + 7.6% $61,580,588
2 Saw VI Lionsgate $14,800,000 $14,118,444 New $14,118,444
3 Where the Wild Things Are Warner Bros. $14,420,000 $14,019,406 - 57.1% $53,558,981
4 Law Abiding Citizen Overture Films $12,713,000 $12,403,888 - 41.0% $40,008,703
5 Couples Retreat Universal $11,097,140 $10,620,685 - 38.4% $77,736,885
6 Astro Boy Summit Entertainment $7,017,000 $6,702,923 New $6,702,923
7 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Universal Pictures $6,347,970 $6,293,205 New $6,293,205
8 The Stepfather Screen Gems $6,500,000 $6,230,969 - 46.2% $20,082,652
9 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Sony/Columbia $5,600,000 $5,250,541 - 34.5% $114,854,877
10 Zombieland Sony (Columbia) $4,300,000 $4,205,812 - 44.8% $67,213,384
11 Amelia Fox Searchlight $4,025,000 $3,904,047 New $3,904,047
12 A Serious Man Focus Features $1,128,636 $1,093,217 + 29.8% $3,196,496
  Also Opening/Notables
  Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas 3d WALT DISNEY $131,000 $143,289 New $143,289
  Antichrist IFC Films N/A $71,397 New $71,397
  Motherhood Freestyle Releasing $57,744 $50,081 New $50,081
  Ong Bak 2: the Beginning Magnolia N/A $26,564 New $26,564
  (untitled) Samuel Goldwyn $19,145 $18,002 New $18,002
  Toy Story/toy Story 2 30d WALT DISNEY N/A $1,009,900 New $30,144,903
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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