January 27, 2009

Box Office Update 1/23-1/25: Paul Blart Fends off the Lycans

To say this weekend surprised me would be a bit of an understatement. Of course, I was surprised last week too. Who would have thought that an unassuming comedy with Kevin James would take the top spot at the box office not once but two straight times? Not me. Fortunately, I am not upset (well, why would I? These numbers have no direct impact on me), I actually think the movie is pretty good. It is nice to see a comedy that is genuinely endearing and does not rely on innuendo and bodily fluid humor.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is going a long way towards moving Kevin James' career forward onto the big screen. No, I never watched his show that much, but I like what I saw, not to mention his stand up routine. The way it is going, it looks to have a shot at crossing the century mark, and be the first film of the year to do that.

A pair of new releases made their way onto the top ten and neither one finished in their expected positions. First up is Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, the expected number one film. It fell a little bit short of its expectations as it made its way to second place. As for the movie, it was fun but not great and definitely worth checking out for fans of the series. Falling a little further down the list is Inkheart, a family fantasy that was expected to do stronger than its seventh place finish. I did not help it out, although I would like to check out the Brendan Fraser vehicle.

This week's top ten even saw a film make a return to the top ten, the David Fincher directed Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the biggest hit of his career. The near three-hour film is definitely one worth taking the time to absorb.

The remaining returning films all did quite well, save for Notorious (2009), which took a step 72% dive dropping it down to a precarious perch in tenth place.

Next weekend will see new competition from the new Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick Jr. romantic comedy New in Town, the horror film The Uninvited, and the Liam Neeson thriller Taken.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Defiance (11), The Unborn (13), and Marley and Me (22).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11Paul Blart: Mall Cop$21,623,182$64,923,3802
2NUnderworld: Rise of the Lycans$20,828,511$20,828,5111
32Gran Torino$16,244,462$97,819,9757
45Hotel for Dogs$12,860,944$37,455,7592
510Slumdog Millionaire$10,699,629$56,065,24511
63My Bloody Valentine 3D$10,012,658$37,687,3942
86Bride Wars$6,868,664$48,570,9283
911The Curious Case of Benjamin Button$6,085,919$111,129,4825
104Notorious (2009)$5,779,692$31,874,5382

Box Office Predictions Recap
Unlike the box office figures, my ability to come anywhere near guessing the reality of the box office has not been going up. I have been on a slide for a few weeks now. It is interesting to see how well the box office is doing considering the direction of our economy. It shows that even in the face of economic uncertainty entertainment is an absolutely essential part of our survival (or people just like movies).

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
21Underworld: Rise of the Lycans$20,828,511$22 million
12Paul Blart: Mall Cop$21,623,182$17 million


3Inkheart$7,601,379$14 million
34Gran Torino$16,244,462$12.5 million
65My Bloody Valentine 3D$10,012,658$11 million
46Hotel for Dogs$12,860,944$8.5 million
107Notorious (2009)$5,779,692$8 million
58Slumdog Millionaire$10,699,629$7.5 million
129Revolutionary Road$5,185,146$7.5 million
1610Frost/Nixon$3,022,250$6 million


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