February 10, 2009

Box Office Update 2/6-2/8: Audiences Taken with He's Just Not That Into You

Let me begin by saying that I am quite pleased with one aspect of this week's box office. I am happy that Pink Panther 2 did not open on top. I know, I know, that isn't a nice thing to say about a movie that I have not even seen, but it is an opinion that I also have for the next X Movie release, whatever that may be. In other words, I was suckered by earlier films and want to avoid paying that price again. Considering the first Pink Panther was an $82 million hit three years ago, with an opening north of $20 million, I was fully expecting this movie to pull similar numbers. To see that the sequel failed to cross the $12 million mark and finish in fourth place brings a smile to my face. Of course, there is always the possibility that I would like it, but I doubt it.

The weekend's top performer turned out to be the ensemble romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You, a film I have not yet had the pleasure of screening. That said, I do plan on catching somewhere down the line. I think it looks pretty good and the cast appears solid. How can you go wrong with cast members like Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, and Drew Barrymore?

Two other new releases crept onto the top ten charts this week. First is the number three finisher, Coraline, which proved to be much more potent than I was expecting and could not be happier for it. The Henry Selick directed and adapted stop-motion feature is simply spectacular, not to mention the familiar, yet completely fresh and magical story! It is an absolute wonder of animation and could be the finest 3D film I have seen yet. Make sure you see it soon before the Jonas Brothers steal all those 3D projectors!

The last newbie to join the charge is Push, finishing a disappointing sixth place. I actually enjoyed this film, although the universe presented was more interesting than the story told. It is a take on the X-Men style tale of superheroes without the superheroes. There are people with abilities and they do some crazy things, but without using any costumes. I wonder if everyone getting burned by Jumper last year kept anyone away from this? I do think they cover somewhat similar ground, but I have to say that Push executed it much better. Give it a shot, you may be surprised by what you find.

As for the remaining films? The mostly did quite well. It really was quite a strong weekend with Slumdog Millionaire leading the charge with a drop of less than 6%! Paul Blart continues to pull strong numbers and is poised to be the first to cross the century mark for 2009. Also, not to be left out, there is the Liam Neeson action/thriller Taken with its strong second place finish.

Next weekend brings us Valentines Day and a few movies, including the remake of Friday the 13th, the Isla Fisher comedy Confessions of a Shopaholic, and the thriller The International.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (11), New in Town (12), My Bloody Valentine (16), and Inkheart (20).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NHe's Just Not That Into You$27,785,487$27,785,4871
21Taken (2009)$20,547,346$53,610,9442
4NPink Panther 2$11,588,150$11,588,1501
52Paul Blart: Mall Cop$10,884,825$96,886,6874
6NPush (2009)$10,079,109$10,079,1091
76Slumdog Millionaire$7,177,270$77,203,05513
85Gran Torino$7,155,339$120,195,1979
93The Uninvited (2009)$6,262,651$18,242,1412
104Hotel for Dogs$5,711,229$55,125,0624

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 more than a few weeks now. I must admit that I am glad to see that I was wrong on a few titles this week. From Pink Panther 2's slipping well below my estimate while Taken and Coraline finished well over. I wonder what it is about the releases lately that have me so messed up. Oh, I know, I just have no idea what the people want to see (sometimes for the better). Perhaps next week will be a turning point.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
41Pink Panther 2$11,588,150$23 million
12He's Just Not That Into You$27,785,487$20 million


3Push (2009)$10,079,109$16 million
24Taken (2009)$20,547,346$14 million
35Coraline$16,849,640$11.5 million
56Paul Blart: Mall Cop$10,884,825$9 million
77Slumdog Millionaire$7,177,270$6.5 million
88Gran Torino$7,155,339$6 million
109Hotel for Dogs$5,711,229$5.5 million
910The Uninvited$6,262,651$5 million


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