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Zombies Land on Top

October 5th, 2009

October started on a mixed note. While it was better than expected at the top, overall the box office was a little weak pulling in a total of $107 million. Granted, this was 10.7% higher than last week, this was 5.9% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date 2009 has now earned $7.96 million, which is still 7.5% higher than last year's pace.

As expected, Zombieland earned first place during its opening weekend; however, it earned a surprisingly strong $24.73 million. Additionally, the film showed surprising legs throughout the weekend ending with an internal multiplier of 2.62. With excellent reviews and Halloween coming out, it should do very well over the coming weeks. The only concern is the amount of competition, as there are a lot of movies that at least share some of this movie's target audience. On the other hand, it has already made more at the box office than it cost to make, so the studio should be very pleased indeed.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs matched expectations perfectly with $15.81 million over the weekend and $81.50 million after three. At this pace, the film will have no trouble reaching $100 million; in fact, it might get there as fast as this time next week.

Also matching expectations perfectly was Toy Story 3D - Double-Feature with $12.49 million over the weekend. Perfect reviews should help it hold on to most of its audience next weekend, and even with a limited run, it should earn $25 million, which is a lot of advertising for Toy Story 3, which comes out next year.

Surrogates fell just over 50% to $7.24 million over the weekend and $26.28 million after two. This is less than a third of what it cost to make, but on the positive side, it has already matched this internationally so at least it's not all lost.

The Invention of Lying was right behind with $7.03 million. Its reviews were not bad, but not great either, and the same can be said of its per theater average and its internal multiplier. With a low production budget, it does appear that Ricky Gervais' directorial debut will reach profitability sometime during its international run, even if it has to wait till the home market to reach its full potential.

On the other hand, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut wasn't so fortunate. Whip It opened in sixth place with $4.65 million, which is more a product of how difficult the film was to market (Roller Derby?) than it was a product of the quality of the film. Looking for a silver lining, at least the film only cost $15 million to make and it should show a profit sometime on the home market.

Capitalism: A Love Story opened on the lower end of expectations with $4.45 million over the weekend for a total of $4.85 million. While this is a little lower than Sicko's debut, it better than all but two Michael Moore movies and it is in the top 20 for a non-IMAX documentary on the all time chart. $10 million by this time next weekend is a remote possibility, while it has an outside chance at $20 million.

Checking in on the sophomore class, we find Fame in seventh place with $4.63 million over the weekend and $16.51 million after two. Pandorum fell out of the top ten with just $1.98 million over the past three days and $7.87 million after ten. Both films fell more than 50% and both have per theater average low enough to suggest theaters owners will drop them very quickly from now on.


Filed under: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Capitalism: A Love Story, Zombieland, Surrogates, Fame, The Invention of Lying, Pandorum, Whip It