Feelin' HOT HOT HOT
Buddies Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau finally hit the big time at the multiplexes. Their third outing as comedy co-stars proved particularly potent as “Couples Retreat” heated up audiences to the tune of $35 million over the weekend--easily checking into the box office penthouse. Universal was in a soft spot, as theirs was the only new film in wide release…something that almost never happens throughout the course of a year.
Vaughn and Favreau shot to stardom with one of the cult comedy classics of the nineties, “Swingers.” That film went on to gross $4.5 million for Miramax, while their follow-up, “Made” topped out at $5 million. “Couples Retreat” made that much money in it’s first afternoon. Despite hard knock reviews, audiences couldn’t resist the cute premise as the film became de facto date night fare.
“Zombieland” tumbled like a decapitated head from the top spot, but rolled with surprising grace and fluidity, dropping just 39%--which is amazing for any film, but especially of the horror genre. The Woody Harrelson starrer grossed out $15 million and total is now $47 million. Not bad considering the film cost just $24 million to make. Bloody dripping great, in fact.
“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” also rolled on, noodling up another $12 million and is now on the verge of $100 million--a first for Sony Animation.
The combo pack of “Toy Story/Toy Story 2” continued to do bustling business, as Woody and Co. buzzed up $7.6 million in their second weekend. To date, their 3-D endeavor has tallied $23 million.
The biggest surprise of the weekend though is “Paranormal Activity.” The super low-budget indie ($15,000 estimated budget) was picked up by Paramount after Slamdance, and now in weekend #3 of limited release it scared up $7 million in just 159 theatres. So, do we have another “Blair Witch Project” on our hands? You’re damn right we do. But how? Why? Well, when Martin Scorsese’s latest, “Shutter Island,” was pushed to early next year, there was a gauging hole left on Paramount’s release calendar. Twiddle thumbs, or attempt to make a viral hit? It hadn’t successfully been done since 1999...ten years ago. Well, this is the real deal, folks. In fact, with a per theatre average of nearly $45,000 Paramount has set the table perfectly as they surprised the industry announcing a wide expansion next weekend. Expect VERY big things for this shock-documentary as we lead into the heart of Halloween season. Has Jigsaw finally met his match?
In limited release, Sony Classics’ “An Education” scored $40,000 per theatre in just 4 sites. Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” shaved off a cool million from 186 theatres.
Next weekend, WB’s “Where the Wild Things Are” is going monster-wide in over 3,500 theatres and will likely take the top spot with nearly $30 million as the beloved Maurice Sednick children’s book has been receiving fantastic buzz and director Spike Jones and writer Dave Eggers look to have nailed this adaptation. The only thing stopping this film from being #1 is actually “Paranormal Activity.” If Paramount’s momentum keeps up, we could be looking at a wide debut of $30 million as well. Folks, this film cost just $15,000. Mind-numbing, isn’t it?!? Also on the docket are Sony’s “The Stepfather” and Overture’s “Law Abiding Citizen” with Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler. Expect Sony’s horror/thrill pill to still do decent biz ($15 mil), but no doubt it will be seriously strangled by “Paranormal Activity.” And honestly, there’s no hope for Foxx and Butler--$4 million tops.
(Oct 11, 2009) - Comments (1)