Sunday, October 18, 2009

Black Sheep @ The Box Office: Number 1 Is Where they Are

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was originally slated for release in the spring of 2008. It was delayed until the fall of 2008 and then delayed again for a whole year because Warner Brothers and director, Spike Jonze, could not reach a place where they were both happy with the film. Maurice Sendak's book is considered to be one of the most popular children's books of all time and Warner Bros. was afraid that Jonze's stark interpretation was too real to appeal to kids. Once again, the little guys have been underestimated.

Warner's worries were appeased on Friday when WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE pulled in $12.1 million, a record one-day gross for a live-action picture in October. The film polled an A- grade from filmgoers and the love was spread across the weekend, allowing Jonze's third film to easily surpass its competition and become its own king. The second place was nowhere near the $32.5 million gross WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE pulled in but it was an interesting race regardless. In a tight race, the win went to LAW ABIDING CITIZEN - the one where Gerard Butler takes on the judicial system and Jamie Foxx from inside prison. Just another unbelievable premise that was seen by another unbelievable amount of people. Giving Butler and Foxx a run for their money was the third place, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Up another 155% this week after adding 600 more screens. That scorching $26K per screen average suggests that come next weekend, this Halloween may not be about SAW at all. The very happy people at Paramount will be bumping the theatre count up to about 1800. The only other debut this week, THE STEPFATHER, was met with about as little interest as I met my real-life stepfather with, pulling in just over $12 million for a fifth place finish.

Below the Top 10, two emerging Oscar contenders continued to perform well in limited runs. Both the Coen Brothers' A SERIOUS MAN and AN EDUCATION saw solid increases as their expansions proceeded. COCO AVANT CHANEL and THE DAMNED UNITED enjoyed solid holds on their audiences but showed no signs that a wide release would amount to anything. And NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, a collection of short films inspired by the similar project, PARIS JE T'AIME, failed to excite anyone the same way the city itself does, pulling in an average of $3K on approximately 115 screens. New York, we love you but we see you on screen enough as it is, I think.

NEXT WEEK: SAW VI looks to get the early jump on Halloween as it slices its way onto 3000 screens. Opening with a similar theatre count, the big screen adaptation of ASTRO BOY. In case you aren't tired of vampires yet, you can catch John C. Reilly and Selma Hayek in CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT (2750 screens). And in case you aren't tired of Hilary Swank appearing in Oscar bait yet, you can catch her turn as Amelia Earhart in AMELIA (800 screens).

SOURCE: Box Office Mojo

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