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Moviegoers are Into Not That Into You

February 9th, 2009

2009 returned to its winning ways after a tiny 1% drop-off last week. Not only did the number one film beat expectations, but five of the six films on Thursday's column beat expectations. This led to a 22% jump at the box office to $155 million, which is 38% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has now pulled in $1.22 billion vs. $1.02 billion for the same time last year, which is an outstanding 19.6% increase.

He's Just Not That Into You took its 43% positive reviews and turned it into a first place victory with $27.79 million. On the one hand, this is a fantastic start for the ensemble romantic comedy; on the other hand, after Friday's numbers came in, I thought it would earn more. Maybe this is just an aberration, and it will hold on well thanks to Valentine's day. Or maybe direct competition will kill it. We will know more in five days or so.

Wow. During its sophomore stint, Taken dipped a tiny 16.9% to earn $20.55 million over the weekend for a total of $53.61 million. This is even more surprising since its reviews were only mixed. Perhaps Super Bowl Weekend hurt its box office more than initially thought. Even if the film's drop-off next week is twice what it was this week (on a percent basis) it will still have a shot at becoming the second $100 million movie of the year. We could see records fall this year, given the start.

Woo hoo. Coraline didn't crash and burn, like many analysts were expecting (myself included). In fact, it topped the high end of expectations by a large margin with an opening of $16.85 million in just 2,300 theaters. Add in the family friendly target audience and the reviews, and this film could make enough domestically to cover its reported $35 million production budget. This would make a profit nearly guaranteed.

The Pink Panther 2 wasn't in a fight for first place as many expected; in fact, it barely managed fourth place with $11.59 million. The film's reviews recovered somewhat to lift its Tomatometer score into the double-digit range, but that's hardly worth celebrating. Add in a weak per theater average, and there's little reason to expect long legs, and I can't imagine many theater owners will be interested in keeping the film much longer than they are contractually obliged.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop squeezed into fifth place with $10.88 million over the weekend for a total of $96.89 million after four. By this time next week, it will be the first $100 million hit of the year.

The final wide release of the week was Push, which had mixed results. On the one hand, it missed the top five during its opening. On the other hand, it opened with $10.08 million, which is better than predicted. Weak reviews won't help, but with a sub-$40 million production budget, it should make enough domestically to ensure at least a small profit sometime during the home market run.

Moving onto the sophomore class, The Uninvited was down less than 40% to $6.26 million over the weekend and $18.24 million after two. Assuming it didn't cost a crazy amount to make compared to most other films in its genre, it is well on its way to showing a profit. New in Town, on the other hand, fell more than 50% to $3.23 million over the past three days for a 10-day total of $11.86 million. It could lose half its theaters on Friday, and will be practically gone by the end of the month.

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Filed under: Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Taken, He's Just Not That Into You, Coraline, The Pink Panther 2, Push, The Uninvited, New in Town