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Weekend Estimates: Gran Torino Gives Clint Eastwood Record Weekend

January 11th, 2009

Gran Torino made an impressive start in wide release over the weekend, picking up $29 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. That will give Clint Eastwood his biggest weekend in terms of absolute dollars as either an actor or director. Arguably, this is a record that goes back to 1995's Casper, which opened with $22.1 million, but if we ignore Eastwood's cameo in that movie then Space Cowboys' $18.1 million opening in 2000 takes the prize. However, adjusted for inflation, Eastwood's biggest weekend may remain Every Which Way But Loose, which opened with $10.3 million over a five day weekend in 1978. That's equivalent to $41.8 million in 2009 dollars, but the numbers reported at the time include Wednesday and Thursday numbers. (We'll be checking our archives this week to see if we can find more information on Every Which Way...'s opening.

Aside from Torino, the first real post-Holiday weekend of 2009 produced impressive results. Bride Wars topped expectations with $21.5 million to finish second and The Unborn earned an equally impressive $21.1 million over its first three days. Those performances, if the estimates hold up, will give us the first January weekend ever to have three movies topping $20 million. It also means that we start out the year with box office receipts up a remarkable 25%, according to Media by Numbers.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Gran Torino, Bride Wars, The Unborn