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This weekend Moviegoers still love Nicolas Cage action flicks as the actor's latest film, the doomsday thriller Knowing, easily beat out two other new releases to capture the top spot at the North American box office. Opening in second and third respectively were the buddy comedy I Love You, Man starring Paul Rudd and the Julia Roberts-Clive Owen spy pic Duplicity. With the trio of new titles pulling in over $57M, most holdovers suffered sizable drops as the overall marketplace lagged behind last year's numbers by a slim margin.
This weekend Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the North American box office with his Disney adventure film Race to Witch Mountain which opened strongly at number one. The comic book saga Watchmen plunged in its sophomore frame settling for second place while the new horror entry The Last House on the Left bowed impressively in third. Existing films held up very well as five of the seven holdover titles in the top ten dipped by less than 30%. However, the overall marketplace fell from last year's levels for the first time in six weeks. Dwayne Johnson scored his sixth career number one opener for a lead role with Race to Witch Mountain which easily claimed the top spot with an estimated $25M. Playing to a broad audience, the PG-rated adventure averaged an impressive $7,844 from 3,187 theaters and did especially well with family audiences. The debut beat out the launch of Johnson's last Disney vehicle with director Andy Fickman The Game Plan which bowed to $23M on its way to a solid $90.6M which amounted to four times the debut weekend figure. Race was inspired by the Witch Mountain franchise Disney had in the late 1970s.
The adult-themed superhero film Watchmen seized control of the North American box office posting the biggest debut of the year with an estimated $55.7M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead), the R-rated film based on the acclaimed 1986 comic series averaged a muscular $15,413 from 3,611 theaters. It was the third best March opening ever trailing 300 ($70.9M) and Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68M) and the sixth largest bow for an R-rated film after The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8M), The Passion of the Christ ($83.8M), 300, Hannibal ($58M), and Sex and the City ($57M).
Despite the arrival of rocking teens, Tyler Perry enjoyed a back-to-back stint at number one with the hit comedy Madea Goes to Jail which led a sluggish frame despite suffering a sizable sophomore drop. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience debuted in second place while many holdovers posted small declines remaining popular with moviegoers once again.
THIS WEEKEND Tyler Perry once again showed why he is the King (and Madea his Queen) of the box office as Madea Goes to Jail slaughtered the competition this weekend. Holdovers were mixed and the only other new release landed with a soft thud. Taking his rightful place atop the box office charts, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail ruled the roost this weekend bringing in a stunning $41.2M, according to estimates, for a per screen average of $20,236. Perry's fans have obviously been hungering for another round of Madea and they came out in droves to see her. Madea Goes to Jail replaces Madea's Family Reunion as Perry's biggest opening weekend gross. That film opened three years ago to a $30M bow and $13,688 average. Perry's last two films have been relative disappointments (relative only within the Perry universe) but Madea has set him back on track. In fact, Madea Goes to Jail this weekend alone has made more money than Perry's last film The Family That Preys, did in its entire run late last year, when it finished with $37.1M.
THIS WEEKEND Masked killer Jason Voorhees was elected commander-in-chief of the box office over Presidents' Day weekend which posted a new record for the holiday frame thanks to eight different films grossing double digit millions over four days led by the horror remake Friday the 13th which hacked up a sensational debut. The new comedy Confessions of a Shopaholic enjoyed an impressive bow as well while the banking thriller The International unfortunately saw a somewhat lukewarm launch. Most holdovers remained very strong as Valentine's Day, which fell on the prime moviegoing day of Saturday, gave a big boost to multiplex traffic.
The new romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You featuring an all-star cast including Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck was the top choice with North American moviegoers. Last weekend's top entry, the kidnapping thriller Taken, showed incredible strength in its second frame taking second place thanks to a very low decline. The new 3D animated pic Coraline debuted with strength in third while The Pink Panther 2 followed in fourth with an uneventful bow. The actioner Push earned respectable numbers in its launch putting it in the number six slot. Overall, the box office was once again on fire as the Top 20 films grossed nearly $146M surging an amazing 41% above year-ago levels.
From Pittsburgh to Arizona and everywhere in between, moviegoers were in the mood for revenge as the Liam Neeson action thriller Taken shot past expectations debuting at number one over Super Bowl weekend. The frame's other new releases, the horror entry The Uninvited and the comedy New in Town, debuted to more moderate numbers while the top holdover pics posted solid holds. Overall, the North American box office was a virtual match with year-ago numbers capping off an impressive January at the multiplexes.
THIS WEEKEND Sony became the first studio in over a year to seize control of the top two spots at the box office as its Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop remained at number one for a second straight week while its new werewolf thriller Underworld: Rise of the Lycans opened close behind in second place with a solid showing. Movies nabbing Oscar nominations saw their grosses jump, some more dramatically than others, with a handful using the opportunity to expand their runs nationwide. The overall North American box office remained robust and beat year-ago numbers for the fifth consecutive weekend.
This weekend the North American box office was on fire once again as four new releases all scored muscular debuts helping to drive the marketplace to the biggest January weekend in history as ticket buyers flooded the multiplexes over a record-shattering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday frame. The Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop surged ahead of expectations to easily win the session while the R-rated films My Bloody Valentine 3D and Notorious also generated stellar numbers. Kidpic Hotel for Dogs debuted to some nice figures as well joining its fellow newcomers in the top five. All four new films opened to more than $20M each over the extended four-day Friday-to-Monday period.
Clint Eastwood scored the biggest wide opening of his career with his latest effort Gran Torino which raced past the competition in its first weekend of national play to swipe the number one spot. However, the frame's other new films all performed well too as the North American box office remained red hot. The wedding comedy Bride Wars debuted impressively in the bridesmaid slot while the horror flick The Unborn was close behind with a third place bow. Even the more narrow opening of the marital drama Not Easily Broken generated a sensational average. Studios released their first batch of new films since Christmas Day and audiences responded by filling up multiplexes powering the Top 20 films 15% ahead of last year.to $143M.
Moviegoers caught up on those holiday films they didn't see over Christmas weekend as the top seven films finished in the exact same slots as last weekend with the dog drama Marley & Me leading the pack once again and smashing through the $100M mark too. Most holdovers in the top ten saw drops of 20-35% as Friday's semi-holiday gave ticket buyers some extra time off. Plus with no new films entering wide release attention remained on the assortment of star-driven films already in the multiplexes.
This weekend people were in the mood for movies over Christmas weekend as multiplexes were jam-packed with customers that powered four different new releases to more than $30M in ticket sales each over the long Thursday-to-Sunday holiday session. The Owen Wilson-Jennifer Aniston
dog drama Marley & Me led the way with a huge debut that exceeded expectations.
THIS WEEKEND Moviegoers gave a clear yes to Jim Carrey and a definite maybe to Will Smith as the A-list Hollywood stars took the top two spots at the North American box office with their newest films. Carrey's comedy Yes Man finished first, Smith's odd drama Seven Pounds locked up the runnerup spot, while another new release - the animated mouse adventure The Tale of Despereaux - debuted in third place. Ticket sales were hurt by huge snowstorms and sub-freezing temperatures across much of the northeast. Add in the frenzy of the final shopping weekend before Christmas and it was clear that going to the movies was not a top priority this weekend with the top ten crashing by nearly 50% versus a year ago.
Fearing extinction, humans across North America lined up to see the new sci-fi thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still which debuted at number one more than doubling the gross of its nearest competitor.
This weekend the vampire love story Twilight stunned the film industry with an explosive opening leading the overall marketplace to one of the biggest November weekends in box office history. Disney went the other way with its new animated entry Bolt which debuted below expectations in third place. Along with some strong holdovers, the box office posted its best performance in four months.
This weekend Sony and MGM shattered the record for the biggest James Bond opening in franchise history with their latest installment Quantum of Solace which audiences powered to a massive top spot debut.
Despite being clobbered by Halloween on Friday, Disney's smash hit kidpic High School Musical 3 once again led the North American box office in its second weekend winning the frame by a comfortable margin. The squeaky clean teens were followed by a trio of R-rated films that fought fiercely over the runnerup spot.