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Social is still Popular with the People

October 11th, 2010

The race for top spot was pretty close this weekend with the first and second place films finishing within $1 million of each other. On the other hand, combined there were significantly weaker than last year's number one film, Couples Retreat. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that the overall box office was down, falling 2% from last weekend to $93 million and 15% from last year. 2010 still has a massive lead over 2009 at $8.31 billion to $8.04 billion, but year-over-year declines like this mean that lead is not safe.

The Social Network dropped a tiny 31% adding $15.45 million over the weekend for a total of $46.02 million after two. At this point, I'm unwilling to say $100 million is guaranteed, but with its reviews and Awards Season just around the corner, it certainly has a very good chance of getting there. In fact, if it becomes the big winner on Oscar night, it could top Benjamin Button's final figure and become David Fincher's biggest box office hit.

On the other end of the critical scale is Life As We Know It, which placed second with $14.51 million. However, given its reviews, which are just 28% positive, it likely won't be in theaters too long. For Katherine Heigl, this is two misses after three hits in a row. It's too early to call her career dead, as some have, but she will need to be careful about future roles.

Secretariat was able to match lowered expectations, finishing in third place with $12.69 million, while its reviews were good, but not great. If it shows any weakness next weekend, its per theater average will be so low that it will start shedding theaters before October comes to an end and by the time the Holidays start, it will be barely more than a memory. Compare this to the Awards Season buzz some had tryed to create for the film, and it is a disappointment. On the other hand, with a production budget of $35 million, it should still earn a profit sometime on the home market.

Owls of Ga'Hoole landed in fourth place with $6.89 million over the weekend and $39.27 million after three. It will top $50 million before long, but it will have to rely on the international market just to avoid being a bomb.

My Soul to Take nearly placed fourth with $6.84 million during its opening weekend, which is about $1 million more than predicted on Thursday, but still Wes Craven's weakest opening for a truly wide release since A Vampire in Brooklyn. Amazingly, this film's reviews are actually weaker than the Vampire's reviews, and that could mean shorter legs.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find Case 39 in ninth place with $2.68 million. It fell just a hair shy of 50% during its second weekend of release, while lifting its running tally to $9.65 million. On the other hand, Let Me In fell more than 52% missing the top ten with just $2.45 million over the past three days for a total of $9.17 million after ten. To say this result is disappointing is an understatement. With its reviews, it should still be pulling in more than $10 million over the weekend. Let's hope its a huge hit on the home market.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Secretariat, Life as We Know It, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Case 39, Let Me In, The Social Network, My Soul to Take