Yes, Law Abiding Citizen's $21 million was considerably higher than expected, but is it really that big of a story? I would say not really. It speaks to the fact that there are no other films like it playing right now and there was a thirst for a more traditional action/thriller. You have Zombieland, but that is comedy, horror, and action. Besides zombies have a somewhat limited realm of appeal. What about Surrogates? That ship has already sailed with its science fiction trappings and poor reviews; people wanted something traditional. Step in Law Abiding Citizen. It is not as traditional as you may think, but it does have distinctly broader appeal. Next week will be more telling of its future when we get to see its hold.
Could the big story by Paranormal Activity? Perhaps, but last week was the bigger story. This indie really gathered a head of steam behind it as it stormed the charts with its very limited release to reach the fourth position on the chart. This weekend saw it pull down nearly $20 million in its first week of wide release but is that more impressive than nearly $8 million from a mere 160 theaters? It is undoubtedly god and I am ecstatic at its success, but this weekend was a given success. Last week was the eye opener and next week will show if it has staying power. Regardless of its continued box office success, this is a fantastic movie and a great accomplishment.
I guess that leaves Where the Wild Things Are as my pick for the biggest story of the week. It may not have made as much as I was expecting, but after seeing it I am rather impressed. Perhaps I shouldn't be as the marketing campaign was hard to miss. Despite the family target it is much more arthouse than mainstream and much darker than I was expecting. It is such a good tale with a lot to say in a simple story. I suspect it will have a pretty big drop off next week, but that takes nothing away from the film. Spike Jonze has championed a cinematic triumph to the big screen with a vision that does not cater to anyone. I definitely recommend this film.
There is one other new release entering the charts this week, the remake of the 1987 thriller The Stepfather. It landed right about where most thought it would, in fifth place with an $11 million take. It will probably fade rather quickly. This is more of your typical Hollywood cash grab. It is a remake that is made without vision or artistic merit, it just wants teens in the seats. Perhaps I am wrong, I have not yet seen the film, but I have a strong suspicion.
Next week will see the pre-Halloween weekend get dominated by the next installment in the Saw franchise. Don't worry, it is not the last one. Next year will see Saw VII in horrific 3D! If that isn't your thing, you can also choose to see the teen-targeted Vampire's Assistant, which doesn't look half bad. You could also go the animated route with Astro Boy, which also looks good (save for Nicolas Cage's odd-fitting voice). Opening in more limited release is Amelia, the new Mira Nair film, and the annual re-release of The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D.
Three films dropped off the lst this week: Whip It (11), Capitalism: A Love Story (12), and Fame (14).
|This Week||Last Week||Title||Wknd Gross||Overall||Week in release|
|1||N||Where the Wild Things Are||$32,695,407||$32,695,407||1|
|2||N||Law Abiding Citizen||$21,039,502||$21,039,502||1|
|6||3||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||$8,017,871||$108,201,645||5|
|8||5||Toy Story 1 & 2 3D||$3,016,580||$28,554,678||3|
|10||7||The Invention of Lying||$1,907,398||$15,497,164||3|
Box Office Predictions Recap
I was so close to knocking this one right out of the park. When you look at it, it appears that I was wrong about near everything. However, upon slightly closer inspection, it appears that I was pretty close on many of them. My biggest mistake being the underestimation of Law Abiding Citizen, who would have thought it would open so well? I am not disappointed, but a little surprised. There is always next week to get everything to fit.
Here is how the field matched up:
|1||1||Where the Wild Things Are||$32,695,407||$35 million|
|3||2||Paranormal Activity||$19,617,650||$23 million|
|3||Couples Retreat||$17,227,390||$18 million|
|2||4||Law Abiding Citizen||$21,039,502||$13.5 million|
|6||7||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||$8,017,871||$7 million|
|8||8||Toy Story 1 & 2 3D||$3,016,580||$5 million|
|11||10||Whip It||$1,907,398||$1.5 million|