Strangely, the two movies that got shoved down America’s collective food hole in the weeks and months leading up to their release (Push and The Pink Panther 2) got absolutely destroyed by the least advertised of the movies. The competition was trounced by the surprise hit, He’s Just Not That Into You. The ensemble comedy brought in an impressive 27.4 million bucks off of the strength of Jennifer Aniston, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, and Kevin Connolly, among many others. I did not see that coming, considering also released this weekend was my probable winner, a lowest-common denominator comedy (Pink Panther 2 landed in fourth place with $12 million).
Second place this weekend is the impressively strong hold-over, Liam Neeson’s Taken, which took in $20.3 million. It’s amazing that, in this day and age, a film that’s already out on DVD in Europe can be a wild success in the US. You’d think that piracy would have nipped at the theater success, but I guess not.
Coraline, the lovely picture I reviewed this weekend, debuts in third place with a nice 16.3 million dollars. I wish it was higher, so I’m going to recommend to everyone that you go see this movie in 3-D. It’s really a stellar piece of work, and a gorgeous testament to what stop-motion animation can do in the hands of a master of the art.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop, marches onward. Destination: 100 million dollars domestic box office. This smash hit comedy passed $97 this weekend, thanks to an additional $11 million and a fifth place landing. I didn’t see it like I told myself I was going to, but that’s okay. From the way it continues to rake in the dough, I’ll have plenty of time to get out and see it in theaters.
The week’s disappointment has to be Push. It was incredibly hyped, with the trailer showing up on TV about a dozen times per night in very expensive prime-time slots. That might be one of the things that turned people off, or maybe people were turned off by the complicated-looking plot. Either way, sixth place on a take of 10.2 million dollars isn’t terrible, but it’s not very good. You don’t have to be psychic to see that Push might find itself pushed out of the top 10 in a hurry. Not every Dakota Fanning picture can be a success.
Gran Torino has been a massive success. It passed $120 million this weekend. Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial triumph brought in an additional $7.42 million this weekend, hanging onto seventh place at the box office. Narrowly edged out by Torino is Slumdog Millionaire, which brought in an even $7.4 million. The film probably won’t get surpass Torino in US box office, but it’s been a huge success for Danny Boyle. Its $77 million is significantly better than his second-highest grossing flick, the 45 million dollar 28 Days Later.
The Uninvited finds itself an unwelcome guest in theaters this weekend, as the film falls from third place to ninth place with a take of $6.4 million. Horror generally performs pretty well this time of year, but it’s a quick in, quick out sort of proposition. This one’s going to get a quick out.
Hotel for Dogs will be concluding its box office run after this weekend. Another $5.8 million goes to the dogs. Hotel for Dogs was another surprising hit, bringing in 55.2 million dollars thus far. It could pass $65 million, depending on how long it hangs around at the fringes of the box office, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Next weekend, there’s going to be a pretty tight competition for top debut, with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in The International (directed by Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run fame) facing off with the romantic comedy Confession Of A Shopaholic and the delightful little picture starring Jason Voorhees, Confession of a Chopaholic (also called Friday The 13th). Given just how successful Marcus Nispel has been with his previous horror remake, and just how strongly Freddy Vs. Jason performed, I figure Friday will find itself in the top spot this Friday the 13th.
Valentine’s Day notwithstanding, Shopaholic was one of the least-funny trailers I’ve ever seen, making Bride Wars look LOL-worthy, so if Friday isn’t in the lead by Monday I’ll be very surprised. So, given my track record, that means Shopaholic is going to make $100 million this weekend and Friday The 13th won’t even make the top 50.