February 2, 2009
It was a bad weekend to be an A-list actress or a Best Picture nominee. It was a good weekend-for the third weekend running-to be Paul Blart.
Kevin James' surprising Paul Blart: Mall Cop slipped to No. 2 in the box office standings, but picked up another $14 million, its studio estimated, and raised its haul to $83.4 million. Overall, the new liam neeson thriller, Taken, led all films with $24.6 million.
As for one Rene Zellweger and those five Oscar hopefuls...?
Zellweger's New in Town ($6.8 million) opened weaker than last spring's Leatherheads. In fact, it opened weaker than any Zellweger comedy since The Bachelor, which was really more a now-rare species known as a Chris O'Donnell comedy.
The Best Picture gang, meanwhile, didn't have much more firepower, with only the hot Slumdog Millionaire ($7.7 million) posting a Top 10-worthy gross.
In the two weekends since Oscar nominations were announced, only The Reader ($2.4 million) has seen its per-screen average rise at least once. Frost/Nixon ($1.4 million) has looked especially done-and the big show's still a month away.
The new horror movie The Uninvited ($10.5 million) didn't quite live up to modest expectations.
Gran Torino ($8.6 million) topped $110 million domestically, and became Clint Eastwood's top-grossing film ever as an actor or director. (Provided you don't adjust for inflation.)
Numbers weren't available for The Dark Knight, still in about 200 theaters, but Warners exec Jeff Goldstein said today the movie was within about $1.5 million-or about two weeks-of hitting $1billion overall.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ($7.2 million) dropped like a stone. Or Notorious ($1.7 million), as it were.
After three weekends, Bride Wars ($3.6 million) was bounced from the Top 10. The $30 million comedy exits with a $53.9 million take.
Here's a recap of the holiday weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Sunday estimates from Exhibitor Relations:
Taken, $24.6 million
Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $14 million The Uninvited, $10.5 million Hotel for Dogs, $8.7 million Gran Torino, $8.6 million Slumdog Millionaire, $7.7 million Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, $7.2 million
New in Town, $6.8 million My Blood Valentine 3D, $4.3 million Inkheart, $3.7 million