Box Office: Magic for 'Princess,' fireworks for 'Up in the Air'
There are those who will say the $25 million opening this weekend of Walt Disney's "Princess and the Frog" is a tad disappointing, but considering how the last few hand-drawn animated features fared it's downright magical.
Some of the last major hand-drawn releases to hit theaters included DreamWorks' "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" which found only $17.7 million in 2002, Disney's "Home on the Range" which bombed with a $13.8 million opening in 2004, Disney's "Brother Bear" which did a so-so $19.4 million in 2003 and the Mouse House's disaster "Treasure Planet" that stole only $12 million in its 2002 debut. So, relatively, with the holiday season right around the corner Disney will take this number one opening as a solid double.
Sliding in at second was yet another solid weekend for Sandra Bullock's "The Blind Side." The melodrama was down only 22% this frame with another $15.4 million to bring it's fourth quarter total to a staggering $150 million. Yes, $200 million is well within reach. Who knew?
The weekend's first debut, Clint Eastwood's "Invictus," came in at No. 3 with a soft $9 million in only 2,125 theaters. That's lower than most Eastwood films and the picture's debut may have been hurt by a number of factors including similar competition with "Blind Side" (at its own studio no less) and a marketing campaign that really needed to start earlier for a proper punch. Eastwood and the studio are no doubt hoping the film gets a second wind from Golden Globe and SAG nominations this week, but the iconic filmmaker may have done WB a disservice by not screening the film and releasing materials earlier.
Fourth place went to the vampire vs. werewolves favorite "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Grossing another $8 million over the 3-day, "New Moon's" current total is at $267 million. If it can hold on to enough theaters $300 million isn't out of the question. If not, that mark certainly should fall with "Eclipse" this summer.
Showing steady signs of life in the fifth slot is Disney's "A Christmas Carol." With only an 11% drop, "Carol" found another $6.8 million for a new domestic total of $125 million. Unfortunately, Robert Zemeckis' latest is about to lose a huge number of 3-D screens to "Avatar" this upcoming weekend which should significantly cool it's Christmas weekend prospects.
In limited release, Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" expanded to 72 theaters and pulled in a fantastic $2.4 million and a $34,000 per screen. With a cume of $4 million already, "Air" will expand Christmas day riding what should be numerous Globe, SAG nods and year-end critics group honors. How much the "movie of the moment" (cough, need to drop that tagline Paramount) can go is an intriguing debate. Is $100 million out of the question? Certainly a story we'll be following over the next few months as Oscar draws nearer.
Two other contenders opened to very good if not strong results. Paramount's "The Lovely Bones" debuted in only 3 theaters for a $38,667 average and $116,000 cume. Peter Jackson's latest does not expand nationwide until mid-January. The studio and filmmakers were hoping to receive some year-end awards love to help boost that opening, but after disappointing reviews, that seems unlikely. On the other hand, Tom Ford's directorial debut "A Single Man" found $216,000 in 9 theaters for a $24,000 average. Much better received than "Bones," this drama could benefit from Oscar buzz for Colin Firth and Julianne Moore as the season progresses.
Next Week: James Cameron's "Avatar" and Sarah Jessica Parker's romantic comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" debut.
The top ten movies this weekend according to Box Office Mojo. Final numbers are released on Monday.
1. "The Princess and the Frog," $25 million.
2. "The Blind Side," $15.4 million, $150 million to date.
3. "Invictus," $9.1 million.
4. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," $8 million, $267 million to date.
5. "Disney's a Christmas Carol," $6.87 million, $124.4 million to date.
6. "Brothers," $5 million, $17.4 million to date.
7. "2012," $4.4 million, $155.3 million to date.
8. "Old Dogs," $4.39 million, $39.9 million to date.
9. "Armored," $3.5 million, $11.7 million to date.
10. "Ninja Assassin," $2.7 million, $34.3 million to date.
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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