Weekend Wrap-Up

Blind Side Finally Takes Top Spot

By John Hamann

December 6, 2009

She *really* thinks Nick Saban is attractive now.

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That means Twilight: New Moon moves down to second for the first time in its run. New Moon earned $15.7 million from 4,124 venues. It had another steep drop of 50% plus, as this weekend the teen scream dipped 63%. Summit Entertainment and its partners aren't too concerned. New Moon was made for $50 million and now has a domestic gross of $255.6 million. Add to that another $250 million coming from overseas, and Summit will be able to fund another 20 movies. Twilight: New Moon is going to earn $300 million, but not much more than that.

Brothers, the new "home from the war" drama, finishes third this weekend and is our top new release this weekend. Brothers debuted on only 2,088 venues this weekend, and turned in a gross of $9.7 million. It had a venue average of $4,646. Brothers starred Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman, and looked like Oscar bait; however, reviews, and now questionable box office, will likely finish its chances at any nominations. Brothers sits at 58% fresh at RottenTomatoes, as critics called Brothers melodrama rather than inspired film; "top critics" at the site liked it even less, scoring the film at 48% fresh. It's too bad this film wasn't better, as it does star three of the better actors working today. Maguire, beyond the Spider-Man franchise, has appeared in Cider House Rules, Seabiscuit and Wonder Boys; Portman, beyond the Star Wars films, was fantastic in Closer, Beautiful Girls and The Professional. Gyllenhaal, beyond The Day After Tomorrow, was great in Zodiac, Brokeback Mountain and The Good Girl. All three have big films on the horizon: Maguire in Spider-Man 4, Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Portman in Thor.

Disney's A Christmas Carol manages to move up a spot to fourth, but that`s where the good news ends. After a $15.8 million finish last weekend, and an increase of 28% over the previous frame, the Jim Carrey flick got knocked down to $7.5 million this weekend. That's a loss from Thanksgiving of 52%, but was expected as we came into the weekend. I still expect Christmas Carol to bounce back in the weekends to come, earning at least $10 million over the weekend closest to Christmas. Currently, the Robert Zemeckis film has earned $115 million, against a production cost of about $200 million.


Fifth spot goes to Old Dogs, the Robin Williams/John Travolta "comedy". After a three-day opening of $16.9 million over Thanksgiving, Old Dogs does not hold well in its second frame. The Disney flick earned only $6.9 million in its second frame, and drops a woeful 59% compared to last weekend. Old Dogs is certainly no Wild Hogs, the inexplicably leggy comedy that was also from Disney. It earned $168 million at the domestic box office. Give the $35 million Old Dogs a take so far of $33.9 million.

Armored finishes sixth, as the actioner failed to draw adult males to movie theaters. From the usually reliable Sony Screen Gems, Armored earned $6.6 million from 1,915 venues. It had an average of $3,446. Pre-release word on the street was that Armored was a low-rent version of Reservoir Dogs (heist film, cop taken hostage), which is probably unfair as Armored was going for a straight action type of feel. Armored was not screened for critics, which is somewhat surprising, as some of the reviews it has received so far have been decent. Currently, Armored is 57% fresh, with eight positive reviews out of a possible 14. Armored cost $25 million to make, and will be lucky to earn that much domestically.

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