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Weekend Estimates: Sony Wins Big with Blart and Lycans

January 25th, 2009

The theatrical market continued to perform strongly this weekend, with Sony in particular having good reason to cheer. Paul Blart: Mall Cop followed up its amazing opening weekend with a very solid hold, down just 33% to an estimated $21.5 million for the weekend and $64.8 million after two. Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans couldn't top that performance, but did a creditable $20.7 million, which will almost certainly translate into a continuation of the franchise. Inkheart was the biggest disappointment of the weekend, earning $7.725 million for seventh place.

One of the most striking features of the chart this week is its strength in depth. No less than 17 movies topped $3 million over the weekend, with Oscar contenders leading the charge. Slumdog Millionaire grew 80% from last week to $10.55 million - it's best weekend so far after nearly three months in release. Benjamin Button was up 7.6%, Revolutionary Road almost tripled its box office as it expanded wide, Frost/Nixon seems to be struggling a little, but still topped $3 million from just over 1,000 theaters, and Milk improved a little, even though it stayed in about 250 theaters. One other notable jump was The Wrestler, which picked up $3.7 million in 566 theaters, enough for 14th place.

Overall box office for the weekend looks as though it will be up about 14% from last year, keeping 2009 about 20% ahead of 2008 at this stage. That's a number that can't possibly hold, but is a very encouraging sign, particularly given the weakness of the economy at the moment.

- Weekend Estimates

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, Milk, The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road, Frost/Nixon