Box Office Guru Wrapup: Jodie Struggles But Still Hits #1

The Brave One emerges on top.

For the second straight weekend, a star-driven action drama aimed at adult audiences opened at number one with $14M in ticket sales from roughly 2,700 theaters. This time it was Jodie Foster's The Brave One which topped the charts bumping former champ 3:10 to Yuma to the runner-up spot. Billy Bob Thornton's new comedy Mr. Woodcock opened respectably in third while the fantasy actioner Dragon Wars bowed to weak results in fourth place.

Warner Bros. captured the top spot with the vigilante thriller The Brave One this weekend averaging a solid $5,087 from 2,755 theaters. The Jodie Foster film's gross was enough to claim the number one spot, but was a far cry from the numbers that the Oscar-winning actress has seen from recent films. The R-rated pic's bow was 43% weaker than her last film Flightplan's $24.6M launch in September 2005 and down 53% from the $30.1M debut of Panic Room in March 2002. All were adult-skewing thrillers anchored solo by Foster playing a strong woman who takes care of problems on her own.
 

Two elements that may have dampened the grosses for Brave were lukewarm reviews and a better-than-expected hold from 3:10 to Yuma which is also playing to a mature adult crowd. Foster was aggressively promoting the Neil Jordan-directed film on every TV and print outlet over the past two weeks but that did little to prevent the revenge pic from posting one of her worst openings in recent years. In fact, over the last decade, her only wide release to debut weaker was 1999's Anna and the King with $5.2M.
 

The Brave One was the first number one hit of the year to be anchored by a woman. It could be followed by another next weekend when Milla Jovovich's action sequel Resident Evil: Extinction attacks.
 

Audiences kept lining up for Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the Western 3:10 to Yuma which enjoyed a strong hold in its second weekend dropping only 35% to an estimated $9.2M. That gave Lionsgate a solid $28.5M after ten days with $50M possible by the end of the run which will make it one of the distributor's top-grossing non-Saw films.


Opening with a decent showing in third place was the Billy Bob Thornton-Seann William Scott comedy Mr. Woodcock with an estimated $9.1M. Averaging $4,079 from 2,231 theaters, the PG-13 pic performed slightly better than Thornton's last comedy School for Scoundrels which bowed to $8.6M despite playing in 773 more theaters last September. Critics were understandably harsh.


The fantasy adventure film Dragon Wars debuted with weak results in fourth with an estimated $5.4M from 2,269 sites for a poor $2,371 average. The PG-13 film from Freestyle Releasing attracted poor reviews.

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