Dude here again. I did some math, and figured out that if you add up all the money that all the top ten films have made, from the time I started doing this four years ago, it would be enough to put the entire world out of debt three times over, feed the starving, house the homeless, reverse global warming, and send every child to college.
Well, that might be exaggerating things a bit.
This weekend, a new challenger to the throne manages to succeed and disappoint, while Paranormal Activity continues to flip the bird to much more expensive fare. 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).
1. Michael Jackson's This Is It (Sony)- $21.3, 3481 screens, week 1, $32.5 total (Wed Open)
2. Paranormal Activity (Par) - $16.5, 2404 screens, week 6, $84.7 total
3. Law Abiding Citizen (Over)- $7.3, 2764 screens, week 3, $51.3 total
4. Couples Retreat (Uni) $6.0, 3026 screens, week 4, $86.2 total
5. Saw VI (LGF)- $5.5, 3036 screens, week 2, $22.8 total
6. Where The Wild Things Are (WB) - $5.0, 3645 screens, week 3, $61.8 total
7. The Stepfather (ScrGms) - $3.4, 2346 screens, week 3, $24.7 total
8. Astro Boy (Sum) - $3.0, 3020 screens, week 2, $10.8 total
9. Amelia (FoxS) - $3.0, 1070 screens, week 2, $8.3 total
10. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (Uni)- $2.8, 2754 screens, week 2, $10.5 total
So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that Michael Jackson can still be a draw, but not as much as people were thinking. Opening on Wednesday to pretty much universal acclaim, the concert film event of the decade (I'm calling you out, Hannah Montana!) managed to take in $32 million in 5 days and simultaneously disappoint the money people who thought it would take in twice that. FUN FACT: This Is It makes a great double feature with What Is It?, Crispin Glover's directorial debut, but only for literal marquee value.
Oh, wow, that Michael Jackson movie was the only wide release. this is disappointing.
At this point Paranormal Activity is genuinely a phenomenon, and is almost at the threshold between popular acceptance and backlash. Now we play the guessing game of the possible directions the inevitable sequel can head in. Horrid and rushed retread? Complete series "reboot"? I vote for horribly meta film-within-the-film, where the director and the stars, and even the audiences (which are the only things I see in any of the TV ads) are suddenly plagued by demonic forces.
Take a long look at that total for Couples Retreat and Law Abiding Citizen and think about what you've done.
Below the radar, Boondock Saints II: Strictly For The Cult of Fans opened up on 68 screens and took in $462,000 on its way to achieving a secondary cult status on DVD, which would beg a third in the series because trilogies are all the rage these days. Also opening is Gentlemen Broncos, a film which only I seem to have liked, which opened up on 2 screens and took in $10,000.
There you have my amazing break down. Next week is the first week in November which means a Christmas movie is going to be released. And a mainstream film from Richard Kelly. And a movie about "real life" alien abductions that will sadly fall aside to the Paranormal Activity wave. And a movie with the word goat in the title.
Until next weekend.......