October 6, 2009

Box Office Update 10/2-10/4: Zombieland Rules!

Zombieland outdid expectations on its way to a decisive victory in this week's cinematic battle for supreme popularity. The horror/comedy loaded up its shotgun, grabbed a chainsaw and went to work entertaining audiences around the country. As it turns out, all of the good word that was swirling around web leading up to its release was true. The movie is incredibly entertaining, it brings laughs and blood together under one banner and even folds in a little heart to round out the mixture. It may be short, but it makes the most of its time.

Slipping to second place is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It had another good showing, slipping just 37%, which is pretty good considering it probably lost a bunch of its screens to the Toy Story double feature, which is in 3D. In any case, Meatballs is a good family film that exceeded my expectations. It is worth it whether you get to see it in 3D or not.

Speaking of Toy Story, the 3D re-working of the classic Pixar films came in 3rd place. I saw this at a sold out screening and it was an absolute blast. The crowd cheered when it began, and I felt like I was a kid. I had not seen these in years and it was great to see them again, I had forgotten just how good they are. Make sure you see it before it goes away!

Fourth place is owned by Bruce Willis' latest Surrogates. This is a dumb action film that wants to be smart. Well, I am not sure it wants to be smart, but it has some unexplored smart ideas. If all you want is dumb action, this is for you, just try not to over think it.

The Invention of Lying opened to moderate numbers, placing fifth. I have not seen it yet, so I cannot comment on its quality, but my guess is that the American audience is not all that familiar with Ricky Gervais, the same thing afflicted Ghost Town last year. I think this looks pretty funny and hope to catch it soon.

Drew Barrymore's return to the box office charts was not as strong as had been expected. It is her directorial debut and it failed to crack the $5 million barrier. Whip It is a very well made coming of age tale that does not bring anything new to the table, but it does do a wonderful job of making everything feel fresh. It has an infectious quality that deserves to be experienced.

The latter portions of the list is not all that exciting. The only thing of note is the arrival of Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. Love him or hate him, he is the only documentary film maker who can open on a national scale.

Next will see a new batch of films hit the national stage, well, it will see one movie at least. Couples Retreat arrives, the comedy stars Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Malin Ackerman, Kristen Stewart, and Faizon Love. It was also directed by A Christmas Story, Peter Billingsley.

Five movies dropped off the top ten this week: Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (11), Pandorum (12), Inglourious Basterds (13), 9 (14), and Jennifer's Body (15).
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
21Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs$15,809,039$81,501,3203
3NToy Story 1 & 2 3D$12,491,789$12,491,7891
5NThe Invention of Lying$7,027,472$7,027,4721
6NWhip It$4,650,812$4,650,8121
73Fame (2009)$4,626,952$16,507,1882
831Capitalism: A Love Story$4,447,378$4,849,0672
94The Informant!$3,689,235$26,469,3313
107Love Happens$2,749,025$18,882,0803

Box Office Predictions Recap
Another week where I started strong on the top few placings before beginning to hiccup a little bit. Still, I am rather pleased with how my guesses matched up with reality this week. My biggest mistakes were on the gross prediction side of the table. I underestimated the strength of Zombieland, sure I new it would be number one, but it pulled a good chunk more than I thought. That makes me happy. On the other hand, I expected Drew Barrymore's directorial debut to open stronger. Hopefully positive word of mouth will help this one out in coming weeks.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Zombieland$24,733,155$17.5 million
22Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs$15,809,039$16.5 million


3Toy Story 1 & 2 3D$12,491,789$13 million
46Whip It$4,650,812$10 million

$7.5 million

65The Invention of Lying$7,027,472$6 million
78Capitalism: A Love Story$4,447,378$5.5 million
87Fame (2009)$4,626,952$4.5 million
99The Informant!$3,689,235$2.5 million
1012Pandorum$1,979,061$2 million


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