Blind Side Finally Takes Top Spot
By John Hamann
December 6, 2009
Ahhh, the post-Thanksgiving weekend. Late November and early December at the box office is a trifecta of weekends: the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, where blockbusters are set up to dominate the five-day turkey frame to follow, Thanksgiving weekend itself, this year a record setter at the box office, and the post-Thanksgiving weekend, the frame where holdovers crash after a busy a couple of weekends, and openers go to die. Debuting in the post-Thanksgiving weekend this year are three films with little chance of success - Brothers, starring Toby Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal, Armored, the Reservoir Dog rip-off with Matt Dillon, and Everybody's Fine, a Robert DeNiro flick that might be a comedy. Obviously, it was going to come down to Twilight: New Moon versus The Blind Side for top spot at the weekend box office, and for once the good guys win.
Our number one film of the weekend is finally Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side, a title that has vied for the top spot for the last three weekends. After an opening frame where it got thumped by New Moon's $142.8 million to its still very strong $34.1 million, The Blind Side roared back over the Thanksgiving weekend, recording an 18% uptick over its previous frame, scoring a three-day gross of $40.1 million, narrowly missing taking over top spot from New Moon, which took in $42.9 million. Since the end of the last frame, these two films have been in a virtual tie over the week, with New Moon winning Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and The Blind Side winning Wednesday. For the last couple of days, the race has been so close the two films have been separated by as little as $25,000. It is close no more.
This weekend, The Blind Side is champ, scoring a weekend gross of $20.4 million, and a drop of only 49%, which is actually quite good considering it's coming off of the Thanksgiving weekend (last year, the average drop for a holdover in the top ten was 57%). Friday was The Blind Side's 15th day of release, and was also its third day finishing in the number one spot, as it beat New Moon by $1.6 million. From almost out of nowhere, The Blind Side has a shot at a few things that only a few weekends ago would have seemed impossible. With a solid Christmas run, The Blind Side should be a $200 million film on the domestic side, and make Bullock almost a lock for either a Golden Globe nomination or a Best Actress Oscar nomination. The Blind Side is simply an amazing story of how a movie studio dropped a no-name film into the most perfect spot on the schedule, and saw Cinderella-style success.
The Blind Side passed some interesting films on the all-time box office chart this weekend. One was Miss Congeniality, which earned $106.8 million over its entire run in 2000, along with A Time to Kill, another Bullock film, which took in $108.8 million in 1996, and Speed, which earned $121 million in 1994, and was Bullock's biggest film of her career until The Proposal came out this summer, earning $164 million. The Blind Side also got by Remember the Titans, formerly the third biggest football movie of all time, as the Denzel Washington flick earned $115.7 million. The Blind Side has now earned a simply amazing $129.3 million since opening three weekends ago. It should continue to play well as counter-programming to Avatar as it heads toward the Christmas - and award - season.