September 18, 2007

Box Office Update 9/14-9/16: The Brave One Shoots Past 3:10 to Yuma

Jodie Foster's vigilante thriller, The Brave One, charged to the top of the weekend's box office. It overtook the well-received Russell Crowe/Christian Bale western, 3:10 to Yuma. It took the top spot rather easily despite not being overwhelming by blockbuster standards. Although, they must be happy with the opening, especially considering the rather lackluster reception that the similarly themed Death Sentence received a few weeks back.

The Brave One is a strong film that attempts to elevate its B level inspirations with A level aspirations. Director Neil Jordan does an admirable job of injecting some substance into a genre film that, more often than not, is more focused on the deeds of death being handed out by the wronged man/woman. It is also helped by the strong performances from its leads, Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard. It will be interesting to see if it has any legs in the face of upcoming competition. This is generally a low grossing time of year, so it may slip quickly.

Last week's top film, 3:10 to Yuma, fell to number two with a solid hold. It slipped a mere 36%. Some critics say that it is the best western since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven way back in 1992. This is most likely true, but I cannot believe that it has had much competition. The last western I can recall was 2003's Open Range, which was likely the best western since Unforgiven at its time. Yuma is carried by a pair of strong lead performances from Crowe and Bale. However, if you look ahead, its "best since..." tag may be short lived with the impending Brad Pitt starring film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Time will tell.

Two other films entered the top ten this week, placing third and fifth. First up is the Billy Bob Thornton/Seann William Scott comedy, Mr. Woodcock. Here is a film that is surprisingly good. Well, not that good. It has a lot more going on than the trailers would have you believe, although it never takes that final leap into potential excellence. Still, I found it to be worth spending some time with. Immediately following it is Korean export Dragon Wars. It is the first major film export from the nation, and it is not a terribly good one. It's a shame too, as I know there are good films coming from Korea. Now, if they made a push a few years ago with JSA it may have gone much better. As it is, we get a film that is MST3K bad, but worthy of watching for the unintentional comedy factor.

Among the returning films, The Bourne Ultimatum continues to impress. Six weeks out from its debut and it is dropped less than 28% from last week, finishing in seventh place. It's gross so far lies just north of $216 million which puts it in sixth place for the year so far. Pretty impressive if you ask me (I know, you didn't). This closes out the Ludlum trilogy of tales, but other authors have picked up for continuing stories. One can only hope that they come back for a fourth film. Superbad is still doing well in its fifth weekend. Last weekend saw its gross cross the century mark, which has to be a surprise for most. Then there is the Halloween retooling, it is still doing well for a horror film, and seems to be poised to overtake the original film for top grosser of the franchise, although I doubt it will sell more admissions. It is also, by far, the biggest opening of Rob Zombie's young directing career.

Next week will see new competition from Dane Cook and Jessica Alba in Good Luck Chuck, a horde of zombies in Resident Evil: Extinction, Amanda Bynes in Sydney White, and the wide expansion of People's Choice Award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Shoot 'Em Up (11), The Nanny Diaries(12), and Stardust (13).
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NThe Brave One$13,471,488$13,471,4881
213:10 to Yuma$8,930,889$28,330,2282
3NMr. Woodcock$8,761,369$8,761,3691
5NDragon Wars$5,041,239$5,041,2391
75The Bourne Ultimatum$4,125,380$216,167,2607
86Balls of Fury$3,324,001$28,859,4513
97Rush Hour 3$3,303,341$133,158,9326
108Mr. Bean's Holiday$2,726,475$28,545,4704

Box Office Predictions Recap
Not too bad this week. I was able to get the top three correct and a bunch of others in the general vicinity. Even my gross predictions were pretty close. This week came in a bit lower than last week, and if we drop much farther there will be no place to go but up. This is going to be par for the course as we build into the Fall holiday sequence. We will have to wait and see if my guesses continue to be pretty close or not.

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11The Brave One$13,471,488$14.5 million
223:10 to Yuma$8,930,889$9.5 million
33Mr. Woodcock$8,761,369$8.5 million
54Dragon Wars$5,041,239$7 million


$4,867,522$4.5 million
46Superbad$5,105,184$4 million
77The Bourne Ultimatum$4,125,380$3 million
118Shoot 'Em Up$2,602,115$2.5 million
89Balls of Fury$3,324,001$2.25 million
910Rush Hour 3$3,303,341$2 million


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