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Following weeks of tremendous buzz and critical raves, Sony's The Social Network led the box office this weekend bringing in an estimated $23M from 2,771 screens for a per screen average of $8,300. The film, which follows the creation of the popular social networking site Facebook through the eyes of those involved, has gotten some of the loudest buzz of any movie of 2010. Already considered an early front-runner in the Oscar race, the tale of Mark Zuckerberg and company opened with around the same numbers as other adult films released this same time of year. Just a few weeks ago The Town opened with $23.8M and an almost identical per screen average. And four years ago another early Oscar heavyweight, The Departed, opened the first weekend of October to $26.9M on its way to a total gross of $132.4M and of course, a Best Picture win. Exit surveys for The Social Network showed the audience was 53% female and 55% were over the age of 25. A solid B+ from Cinemascore shows that so far audiences are enjoying what they're seeing, but only time will tell if the movie can carry this momentum throughout the rest of the year.
This weekend, Michael Douglas and director Oliver Stone reteamed for the financial crisis drama Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and scored the best openings of their careers with an estimated $19M topping a sluggish box office that saw the top ten fail to break $90M for the fifth consecutive weekend. The PG-13 film marking the return of corporate raider Gordon Gekko (a role that won Douglas the Best Actor Oscar) averaged a decent $5,330 from 3,565 theaters for Fox. Stone's previous best opening was $18.7M for World Trade Center which bowed on a Wednesday in August 2006 while Douglas beat his previous high (in a lead role) of $17.1M for the kidnapping thriller Don't Say A Word which bowed this very weekend in 2001 when it led a box office resurgence just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
This weekend, moviegoers listened to film critics as the acclaimed new releases The Town starring Ben Affleck and Easy A with Emma Stone debuted in the top two spots with strong ticket sales by appealing to older men and younger women, respectively. Meanwhile, the new Hollywood offerings with bad reviews - the horror pic Devil and the 3D animated film Alpha and Omega - struggled to find ticket buyers over what was a relatively active weekend for mid-September.
The 3D zombie sequel Resident Evil: Afterlife easily topped the North American box office on its opening frame leading a sluggish marketplace that delivered the worst ticket sales in over two years. Grossing more than the next six films combined, the R-rated action pic from Sony's Screen Gems unit debuted to an estimated $27.7M helped, of course, by 3D surcharges. The fourth in the successful line of Milla Jovovich films averaged a muscular $8,648 from 3,203 theaters outgunning the $23.7M of the last film in the series, 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction, which was the previous franchise high. Admissions remained mostly the same with just over three million tickets sold.
This weekend, the summer movie season closed quietly as the top ten slumped to its worst performance of 2010 with audiences finding other ways to spend their Labor Day holiday weekend. Two of the three new releases - George Clooney's assassin pic The American and Robert Rodriguez's violent revenge actioner Machete - met with moderate bows while Drew Barrymore's romantic comedy Going the Distance failed to attract business. The top ten films tumbled to less than $75M (over the Friday-to-Sunday period) making for the lowest performance in nearly one year giving the marketplace very little momentum going into the fall season.
This weekend, the summer movie season saw its first - and last - horror title to debut at number one with the devilish thriller The Last Exorcism which edged out an equally impressive debut by the heist thriller Takers which enjoyed a solid bow of its own in second place while playing in fewer theaters. With a razor-thin $300,000 margin between the two, rankings could change on Monday when final grosses are counted. Characteristic of the final weekend of August, box office sales slumped to their worst level of the entire summer with the top ten failing to break the $100M mark - and even the $90M mark - for the first time all season.
In a battle of the sexes, Sylvester Stallone's testosterone-filled action flick opened impressively at number one beating out the Julia Roberts globe-trotting drama which enjoyed a solid debut of its own in the number two spot. The teen offering flopped landing in fifth place in its first weekend of release while the overall marketplace was up versus last year despite being the first frame since October to not have any 3D movies in the Top Five.
Moviegoers were in the mood for a laugh as the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg action-comedy The Other Guys debuted at number one ending the three-week run at the top of the popular crime thriller Inception which still attracted strong business in second place. The dance sequel Step Up 3D opened in third with the lowest debut of the series while the overall marketplace lagged behind year-ago levels.
Three new intruders couldn't keep fans away from Leonardo DiCaprio's hit thriller Inception which captured the number one spot in North America for the third straight time. Among new releases, the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy Dinner for Schmucks delivered a good opening in the runnerup spot while the 3D family film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and the teen melodrama Charlie St. Cloud both disappointed in their debuts. Christopher Nolan's mind games on moviegoers continued with Inception pulling in an estimated $27.5M in its third weekend to rule the box office once again. The Warner Bros. sensation dropped only 36% and boosted its 17-day total to a stellar $193.3M with the $200M barrier set to fall on Tuesday in its 19th day of release.
This weekend, Warner Bros. enjoyed a sensational second weekend for its sci-fi thriller Inception which capitalized on amazing buzz to remain the most popular film in North America. Angelina Jolie's new action pic Salt had to settle for second place but the spy thriller still generated a healthy opening. Like last weekend, funny films had the best holds while everything else dropped harder.
Moviegoers were in the mood for using their brains as the smart sci-fi thriller Inception debuted atop the North American box office chart while the generic effects-driven action pic The Sorcerer's Apprentice was utterly rejected stumbling into third place with a weak showing. Funny holdovers held up well while most others fell sharply as the overall marketplace remained strong. Following much anticipation, Warner Bros. unleashed its Leonardo DiCaprio-led crime thriller Inception and was met with a strong response from ticket buyers taking in an estimated $60.4M in its opening weekend. The studio released the Christopher Nolan-directed pic in 3,792 theaters including a record 197 IMAX sites and averaged a sizzling $15,928 per location.
This weekend, moviegoers flooded the multiplexes spending plenty of cash on a variety of movies led by the better-than-expected opening for the 3D animated comedy Despicable Me which easily took control of the number one spot. The sci-fi action pic Predators also debuted well taking third place while most holdovers showed considerable strength suffering only small declines. The top ten surged to its second best showing of the year with a powerful $191M in ticket sales.
Vampires and werewolves, and a certain mortal gal in between, ruled the Independence Day holiday frame as The Twilight Saga: Eclipse exploded with a massive top spot debut. Also generating muscular results by bringing a property with a large built-in fan base to the big screen was The Last Airbender which counter-programmed Bella and company by appealing to boys resulting in a strong finish in the runner-up spot despite some of the year's worst reviews. With Toy Story 3 still attracting large crowds, the overall marketplace swelled delivering spectacular results to kick off the second half of 2010.
This weekend Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise hit the multiplexes with their newest summer offerings, but neither was able to topple the 3D animated smash "Toy Story 3" which topped the North American box office for a second frame in a row. Sandler won the runner-up spot with a strong debut for his latest comedy "Grown Ups" while Cruise struggled with his action-comedy "Knight and Day" which posted only moderate results in third place.
This weekend, Pixar once again showed off its box office muscle with the record opening for Toy Story 3 which delivered the best debut in company history. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the comic book-inspired Jonah Hex was shot dead on arrival suffering one of the worst openings ever for a summer action film. The overall marketplace bounced back after a few sluggish weeks with the top ten reaching a stellar $184M -- the second best performance of 2010 including holiday frames. Disney and Pixar scored their eleventh consecutive hit with Toy Story 3 which bowed at number one with a staggering $109M, according to estimates.
This weekend, eleven-year-old Jaden Smith defeated four grown men in a battle of the 1980s remakes as The Karate Kid soared above expectations easily outgunning The A-Team at the North American box office. Kid powered its way to an estimated $56M over the weekend from 3,663 theaters for a sensational $15,288 average.
The summer box office slump spilled into a new month as the North American box office delivered the worst June frame in five years. Four new releases targeting different audiences were sprinkled throughout the top ten but none managed to unseat reigning chart king Shrek Forever After which held the number one spot for the third straight time. Ticket sales were once again down sharply compared to last year as the films Hollywood has programmed are still not generating the usual summer excitement.
With both of the big new Memorial Day weekend openers debuting to disappointing results, the 3D animated sequel Shrek Forever After remained at number one for a second straight weekend thanks to only a moderate decline. After claiming the top spot on Thursday and Friday, the much-hyped comedy sequel Sex and the City 2 settled for second place for the weekend while the big-budget adventure pic Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time finished third. If estimates hold, the Friday-to-Sunday period will slump to the worst showing for Memorial Day weekend in nine years despite theaters charging record-high prices for tickets. Audiences sent a strong message to Hollywood studios - if you keep releasing subpar films and charge us more and more for them, we'll get our entertainment elsewhere.
This weekend The fourth film in the Shrek series took the box office crown in the fourth weekend of the 2010 summer movie season, but with a much smaller gross than anticipated. Meanwhile, the SNL curse continued as Universal's MacGruber crashed and burned on impact. Shrek Forever After took charge of the box office this weekend, debuting to $71.3M from 4,359 locations (which includes 194 IMAX and 2373 3D screens) for a per screen average of $16,345. The opening, while extremely good for most movies, is a big let down for the franchise. Read on to get all the box office details!
In a battle of dueling heroes, the man in the suit of iron defeated the English archer as Iron Man 2 held on in its second frame to take down Russell Crowe's Robin Hood, although Robin Hood did open at #1 internationally this weekend. Falling 58.6% from its blockbuster opening, Paramount's Iron Man 2 collected an estimated $53M this weekend, bringing its cume to $212.1M. The second weekend was only $2M ahead of the original Iron Man which fell 48% from its opening weekend to $51.2M. Sequels are generally front-loaded so this second weekend fall was expected. With strong mid-week grosses, the weekend drops should start to level out over the next few weeks. After its first two weeks, Iron Man had grossed $177.8M on its way to a final total of $318.4M. If Iron Man 2 plays out in the same manner, it could end up with a final gross in the $350M range, which, while spectacular, would still be on the low end of pre-summer expectations.