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Weekend Wrap-Up

This IS It at the box office

By John Hamann

November 1, 2009

Aren't you the guy who directed High School Musical?

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Fifth spot goes to Saw VI, the sequel that didn't perform up to the usual Saw standards. After opening to only $14 million last weekend (less than half of the norm for the franchise), Saw VI gets kicked again by Halloween falling on Saturday, and the second weekend gross comes in at an ugly $5.6 million, a tough drop of 61%. Still, Lionsgate and the Saw producers have always known what they have, and spent accordingly. This entry into the franchise cost the producers only $11 million, so despite the low opening, it's still a profitable entry, and enough to keep the franchise going (although re-invention has to be coming). Give Saw VI $22.8 million so far.

Sixth place goes to Where the Wild Things Are, and oh, how the Wild Things have fallen. Since opening to $32.7 million three weekends ago, the Spike Jonze film has had a terrible time trying to hold onto its audience, after seeing a devastating 57% plunge last weekend with a gross of $14 million. That news gets much worse this weekend, as Wild Things earns only $5.1 million, and drops a terrifying 64%. All of sudden, a film that cost $100 million and opened to $32 million is going to be a small disaster for Warner Bros., which we thought had a hot property only a few weekends ago. The total now for Wild Things has reached $61.8 million, and finishing at $80 million is going to be a stretch.

The Stepfather from Sony/Screen Gems, who are usually quite reliable in the horror genre, finishes in seventh. After opening somewhat softly with $11.5 million, this remake fell the expected 46% against Saw VI and Paranormal Activity. This weekend, The Stepfather earns $3.4 million, and drops 45%. It has a total of $24.7 million, and despite lower scores than some of the other Screen Gems' product, this one still works, as the budget was low at only $20 million.

It's quite scary in the basement of the box office, as numbers are very low. Astro Boy takes eighth spot with $3 million. That's more bad news for a $65 million dollar production that opened to only $6 million last weekend, and now sees a drop of 55% in its second weekend. Summit Entertainment shows it's new to the movie distribution world with Astro Boy, as scheduling a film they knew had an audience the weekend before Halloween is never a good idea (see the second weekend of High School Musical 3). Astro Boy now has a running total of $10.9 million, against that very large budget.




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Fox Searchlight's Amelia, the Hillary Swank starrer about aviator Amelia Earhart, finishes in ninth. Despite expanding to over 1,000 venues this weekend, the drama didn't expand on its gross, as it earned $3 million, giving it a drop of 23%. Oscar bound this is not, and has a total so far of $8.3 million.

Tenth goes to Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, another big miss from the folks at Universal. After opening softly last weekend, The Vampire's Assistant can only conjure up an additional $2.8 million this weekend, and drops 55%. Universal paid $40 million for this one, and has a take so far of only $10.5 million.

Overall, box office was ahead of last year, which is fairly impressive given the lack of new product. Last year, with Halloween landing on a Friday, the second weekend of High School Musical 3 led the box office to a top 12 take of $74 million. This year, with This Is It providing prop, the box office earned $79.4 million from the top 12. Next weekend, things get back to normal with four big movies launching the November sweeps at the box office. Openers include Jim Carrey in an animated (3-D, naturally) A Christmas Carol, George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Box with Cameron Diaz, and Milla Jovovich in The Fourth Kind.


Top Weekend Box Office for 10/30/09-11/1/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Disney's A Christmas Carol Walt Disney Pictures N/A $30,051,075 - 3.1% $30,051,075
2 Michael Jackson's This Is It Columbia Pictures (Sony) $21,300,000 $13,157,944 - 6.0% $57,013,286
3 The Men Who Stare at Goats Overture Films N/A $12,706,654 - 4.5% $12,706,654
4 The Fourth Kind Universal Pictures N/A $12,231,160 - 2.3% $12,231,160
5 Paranormal Activity Paramount Pictures $16,540,000 $8,278,605 - 3.7% $97,108,475
6 The Box Twentieth Century Fox N/A $7,571,417 - 3.6% $7,571,417
7 Couples Retreat Universal $6,097,390 $6,129,045 - 4.7% $95,680,555
8 Law Abiding Citizen Overture Films $7,303,000 $6,003,737 - 2.7% $60,704,335
9 Where the Wild Things Are Warner Bros. $5,081,000 $4,177,249 - 1.1% $69,220,584
10 Astro Boy Summit Entertainment $3,035,000 $2,626,103 + 1.5% $15,110,804
11 Saw VI Lionsgate $5,560,000 $2,031,944 + 1.6% $26,252,386
12 Precious Lionsgate N/A $1,872,458 + 4.0% $1,872,458
  Also Opening/Notables
  La Danse Zipporah Films N/A $14,000 New $21,220
  Splinterheads N/A $10,515 - 12.4% $10,515
  Collapse Vitagraph N/A $7,800 New $7,800
  That Evening Sun Freestyle N/A $7,330 New $7,330
  The Boondock Saints II: All Saint's Day $525,000 $427,919 - 0.7% $1,244,450
  Gentlemen Broncos Fox Searchlight Pictures $10,006 $30,553 - 12.4% $48,271
  Amelia Fox Searchlight $3,000,000 $1,806,626 + 0.4% $11,346,336
  Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Universal Pictures $2,809,080 $1,143,905 + 1.9% $12,988,080
  The Stepfather Screen Gems $3,400,000 $1,800,133 - 5.3% $27,415,203
  Zombieland Sony (Columbia) $2,600,000 $1,295,685 - 4.0% $73,506,107
  Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Sony/Columbia $2,700,000 $1,316,832 - 2.5% $121,027,663
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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