Well, I don't know if anyone saw that coming. Just three weeks after HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON debuted to what was being called a disappointing result at number one, the Dreamworks 3D adventure rises above the much hyped KICK-ASS to reclaim the top spot and throw it in the faces of all those losers who sold their Dreamworks Animation stock prematurely.
Despite mostly glowing reviews and great internet buzz, this week's expected champion, KICK-ASS, came in about $10 million below most predictions and had to settle for a humbling second place finish. An R-rating for a teen film is never going to be helpful but the way folks were hyping this one, it seemed as though the subject matter would have crossed past the youth market. I guess pretending to be superheroes is not the same as actually being one when it comes to box office dollars. It could still trade places with HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON when the final numbers come in Monday given the close finish but I would say the sequel is now in serious question.
The Steve Carrell/Tina Fey machine, DATE NIGHT, held up very well in its second week, trailing off by only 31%. The $17.3 million finish was enough to nab the third spot from another comedy vehicle, DEATH AT A FUNERAL. The Neil LaBute remake of the Frank Oz 2007 film managed the strongest per screen average of any film in the Top 10, including six of my dollars from this morning. Good word of mouth could carry the film to a respectable end and it could still end up debuting in third if DATE NIGHT overestimates like it did last weekend.
As you already know considering I reviewed it yesterday, I also saw THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO this weekend in its fifth week of expansion, but those numbers were unfortunately not reported. Meanwhile, another film I caught last week and will be reviewing this week, THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, this year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, debuted to strong results on just 10 screens. The Spanish detective thriller earned a $17.6K average and will be expanding to more major markets next weekend.
NEXT WEEK: What looks like an aptly named film, THE LOSERS, will be hitting 2950 screens. Jennifer Lopez will try to woo back an audience for her flailing film career on 3000 screens in THE BACKUP PLAN. And Disney tries to do some good in the hood known as Earth with their second nature documentary, OCEANS, opening on 1200 screens on Thursday. Don't forget that if you see OCEANS in the first week, Disney will make a donation to save the Earth's coral reefs.
Source: BOX OFFICE MOJO