Box Office Guru Wrapup: Rock Defeats Heartbreak Kid To Defend Box Office Title
Cooking up another box office win.
The weekend's most notable fireworks came in limited release as the increasingly
crowded arthouse scene saw some red hot numbers from awards hopefuls.
George Clooney led the way with his legal thriller
Michael Clayton which bowed in only 15 theaters but grossed an estimated $704,000 for an astounding $46,933 average. Powered by strong reviews and starpower from the Oscar-winning actor, the R-rated film is hoping to keep the momentum going when it expands nationally on Friday into more than 2,400 theaters.
A pair of acclaimed filmmakers enjoyed encouraging sophomore expansions with
their latest efforts and delivered the next best averages.
Wes Anderson's comedy
Limited widened from two New York houses to 19 locations in seven
markets and grossed an estimated $553,000 for a powerful $29,099
average. Fox Searchlight will continue to open in more cities over the next two
weekends before going nationwide into more than 800 playdates at the end of the
month. Ang Lee's NC-17 romantic thriller
Lust, Caution also held up very well as
it entered new cities. The Focus release went from a solo Manhattan house to
17 venues and collected an estimated $369,000 for a potent $21,696 average.
Totals stand at $$477,000 for Lust and $781,000 for Darjeeling.
Also expanding and still generating good averages in their third frames were
Into the Wild and
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Paramount Vantage widened
Wild from 33 to 135 houses and
grossed an estimated $1.3M for an impressive $9,593 average. Warner
Bros. made a leap from five to 61 locations with Jesse and made off with an
estimated $408,000 for a respectable $6,689 average. Cumes are $2.5M and
$746,000 respectively and each film will continue to add more cities and
theaters in the weeks ahead.
Not faring well in its national expansion was the drama The
Jane Austen Book Club which grossed an estimated $1.5M from 1,232 sites for a weak $1,247
average. Last weekend, the Sony Classics release averaged $4,700 from only 41
venues. Total sits at $2M.
Three films fell out of the top ten over the weekend. The Focus mob thriller Eastern Promises dipped 33% to an estimated $2M giving the David Cronenberg pic $14.3M overall. A decent $20M final seems likely which would put it about one-third below the $31.5M of the director's last film A History of Violence which also starred Viggo Mortensen.
Sony's Beatles-themed musical feature
Universe continued to have
great legs easing a mere 8% in its fourth outing to an estimated $1.9M. With $8M
in the bank from limited release, the Julie Taymor-directed pic goes wide on
Friday into more than 700 sites. Universe joins the music-themed films
Once as movies with some of the best legs at the box office over the last
several months. But it was a sad tune for Universal's teen comedy
which tumbled 49% to an estimated $1.3M for a weak total of just $10.2M. Look
for a poor $13M finish.
The top ten films grossed a disappointing estimate of $61.9M which was down a substantial 37% from last year when The Departed debuted in first place with $26.9M; and off 23% from 2005 when Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit opened in the top spot with $16M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com