March 24, 2009

Box Office Update 3/20-3/22: Knowing Climbs to the Top

Color me surprised. There is no way I would have pegged the new Nicolas Cage thriller to be the top film of the weekend. This is especially surprising considering the terrible title and the fact that the trailers were, well, lame. Still, I put my money in the jar and went to see Knowing, and I must admit to being very happy to find my preconceptions to be wrong. The film is quite spectacular, intelligent, thrilling, and not at all what I expected. I am happy to see it open as well as it did.

Coming in second place, a little weaker than I was expecting/hoping, is I Love You, Man. It is the first ever bro-mance feature film, I believe. It actually makes that term a little easier to use (I never particularly cared for it). Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are the perfect comedic tandem to embark on such a journey of platonic man-love. There is so much to like in this film, from the slapstick, to the vulgar language, to the touching moments of heartfelt sincerity, plus televisions Incredible Hulk! What are you waiting for? Go see the funny.

Finishing in third place, with what has to be considered a disappointing take of less than $15 million is the star vehicle Duplicity. The Julia Roberts/Clive Owen romantic thriller did not open terribly strongly. Still, I suspect it will do all right in the long run and will have a good run on the rental market. I have not seen it, although by all accounts it appears to be a solid, fun film in the vein of the Ocean's series.

Race to Witch Mountain slipped to fourth place. It is not an unexpected fall, and one that seems to be in line with a typical second week drop. It still looks like it will do well in the long run, but it will be slow going. If only the film had just a little more substance.

Fifth place is the fast dropping Watchmen. With all of the hype and buzz that surrounded his feature you would have expected a faster rise. I do not think anyone counted on the divisive nature of the tales content creating a gap between those who love and those who hate. I loved it, but can see both sides of the coin. In the long run, the film will do well and turn a profit.

The Last House on the Left is going to fall fast. Horror films have a limited audience, and I suspect one as disconcerting as this has just about reached its limit. It is a fantastic film, but it does ask much of its audience.

Slipping to seventh is Liam Neeson's Taken. This movie has had a very impressive run. I still cannot believe its success. Do not get me wrong, I am happy, the film is fantastic and worthy of all the success it has had. It is currently sitting a $133 million and should be able t make it past $140 million.

Slumdog Millionaire holds onto eighth place and continues its post-Oscar success. The film is a delightful piece of cinema and helps bring back a little bit of uplifting magic that is missing in so many features.

The top ten is rounded out with Madea Goes to Jail, continuing its successful run as Tyler Perry's biggest hit, and Coraline, which has reclaimed many 3D screens from the slumping Jonas Brothers concert film. I would recommend seeing that in 3D as soon as you can if you haven't, as Monsters vs. Aliens will be taking them away come this weekend.

Next weekend will see new competition from the John Cena action vehicle 12 Rounds, the true-life horror of The Haunting in Connecticut, and the previously mentioned Monsters vs. Aliens.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Paul Blart: Mall Cop (11), He's Just Not That Into You (12), and Miss March (17).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
2NI Love You, Man$17,810,270$17,810,2701
41Race to Witch Mountain$12,786,041$44,496,5932
63The Last House on the Left (2009)$5,776,160$23,902,4202
74Taken (2009)$4,057,695$133,096,4038
86Slumdog Millionaire$2,676,369$137,178,17719
95Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail$2,566,535$87,264,2195

Box Office Predictions Recap
Interesting weekend. I never would have thought that the new Nic Cage flick would top the charts, hence my putting it down in third place. Well, I was proven wrong, again. Overall, I feel pretty good about my placings for the week. I was able to successfully place the core of the list, with minor mistakes at the top and bottom. As for my gross predictions, I was over on everything. I guess I should not have been quite so optimistic.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
21I Love You, Man$17,810,270$22 million
32Duplicity$13,965,110$21 million


3Knowing$24,604,751$19 million
44Race to Witch Mountain$12,786,041$15 million

$9.5 million

66The Last House on the Left$5,776,160$7 million
77Taken (2009)$4,057,695$5 million
88Slumdog Millionaire$2,676,369$4 million
119Paul Blart: Mall Cop$1,842,984$3.5 million
910Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail$2,566,535$2.5 million


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