Dude here again. Looks like a lot of folks have been getting snow. But not here in Los Angeles. In fact, this is my favorite part of the year out here, when Los Angeles becomes a ghost town. It's seriously like the beginning of I Am Legend, because everyone's off with their families. I'd be with my family, but I opted to stay in the land of movies, so I can bring you the numbers fresh off the assembly line. And because it's mad warm out here. Sorry Mom.
This weekend, we have five new wide releases, plus two well performing holdovers from last week. So many movies, and a few more are going to open during the week. Which wreaks havoc on my template, but what are ya gonna do? Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).
1. National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (BV)- $45.5, 3832 screens, week 1, $45.5 total
2. I Am Legend (WB) - $34.2, 3620 screens, week 2, $137.4 total
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks (Fox) - $29.0, 3499 screens, week 2, $84.8 total
4. Charlie WIlson's War (Uni) - $9.6, 2575 screens, week 1, $9.6 total
5. Sweeney Todd (Par/DW) - $9.3, 1249 screens, week 1, $9.3 total
6. P.S. I Love You (WB) - $6.5, 2454 screens, week 1, $6.5 total
7. Enchanted (BV) - $4.1, 2752 screens, week 5, $98.3 total
8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Sony)- $4.1, 2650 screens, week 1, $4.1 total
9. The Golden Compass (NL) - $3.9, 2953 screens, week 3, $48.4 total
10. Juno (FoxS) - $3.4, 304 screens, week 3, $6.3 total
So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that Nicolas Cage can now claim not one, but TWO $45 million opening weekends this year. (The first was unfortunately Ghost Rider. Remember that one? Me neither). Folks came out in droves for the second installment of the treasure hunting adventures of Cage and Jon Voight, bringing in a higher opening than the original. Time will tell if this movie continues the first one's rate of success.
Of the other opening films, Charlie Wilson's War (with Tom Hanks) and Sweeney Todd (with Johnny Depp)opened up to decent numbers, but far from good numbers given the level of star power involved. Allegedly, Sweeney Todd (which opened on a relatively low number of screens) had a large drop off between Friday and Saturday, as word of mouth spread that the film is in fact a musical. Something the marketing geniuses failed to point out to the movie going geniuses who thought this might be a de facto Pirates sequel.
P.S. I Love You proved that Gerard Butler needs to yell all his lines in front of a blue screen in order to draw in crowds, and that two Oscars for Hilary Swank means absolutely nothing. And Walk Hard severely underperformed, given the hot streak of producer Judd Apatow. This is truly a shame, as Walk Hard is quite hilarious, and deserves to find an audience. I guess that's what video is for.
Of the holdovers, Will Smith continues to pull in money, but far less than last weekend. Sadly, Alvin and the Chipmunks dropped only 34% from last week's take, which means that Alvin and the Chipmunks could very well be the sleeper hit of the season. At the very least, it's the movie that no one expected to ever make a dime that took in over $100 million. For shame.
Below the radar, the Jessica Simpson feature Blonde Ambition as, I'm guessing probably a ditzy blonde girl proving her worth to the world, opened up on 8 whole screens. In Texas. I wish I was making this up, but apparently the powers that be felt the movie could open in the girl's native state. (Co-star Luke Wilson also hails from there... wait a minute, Luke Wilson is in this movie? That's crazier than his appearance in 3:10 to Yuma). Anyway, it opened up on 8 screens in Texas and took in $1300. Total. Per screen average of $162. That's like what I get paid. Schadenfreude should be kicking in soon, but Simpson is so far from the train wreck of other blonde pop starlets that I don't feel quite right. Besides, she's still kinda hot. (Even if she screws up the Cowboys chances of winning games).
And in the "Because It's There" series: The Polar Express (IMAX Reissue) took in $315,000 on 32 screens, bringing it's grand total to $1,686,000 in 12 weeks.
There you have my break down. On Christmas Day, we finally get the movie we deserve: Aliens Vs. Predator-Apology! Also, There Will Be Blood. Probably something else, too, but nothing matters more than that alien versing the predator. Rated R, for Ridonkulous!
Until next weekend....