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Madea Takes Down Competition

February 24th, 2009

The Oscars combined with the post-holiday weekend left the overall box office dramatically lower this weekend compared to last. In fact, it was down 24% to $142 million; however, compared to the same weekend last year, that was up by just under 30%. Year-to-date, 2009 has pulled in $1.65 billion, which is 23% above last year's pace of $1.34 billion. There's no way 2009 can keep up this pace for too much longer, but each weekend it does will help future box office scores. After all, a lot of people see trailers, posters, and other advertisements for the first time when going to the movie theaters. More free advertising now will turn into more people going to the theaters later on.

It seems a high tide raises all boats as Madea Goes to Jail set a record for Tyler Perry; in fact, it smashed his previous record, opening with $41.03 million. It is possible that the studio has taken in enough to cover its production budget, and perhaps half of the P&A budget as well. By this time next week, it could be showing a significant profit. All is not rosy for the film, on the other hand, as the reviews are in and they are overwhelmingly negative. Considering the short legs of most Tyler Perry films, there's a very strong chance this movie won't get near $100 million.

Coraline jumped from fifth place to second with $11.43 million over the weekend and $53.77 million after three. At this pace, $100 million becomes a possibility worth discussing. Not a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination, or even a 50/50 proposition, but if it can hold on like this next week, it might have what it takes to get there. Even if it doesn't, it is still the best wide release of the year and should have no trouble showing a large profit during its home market run.

Taken remained in third place, down just 41% to $11.28 million over the weekend. The film has now amassed $95.03 million after 24 days of release, and by this time next week, it should become only the second January release to reach $100 million at the box office.

He's Just Not That Into You fell a lot faster than anticipated, more than 56%, to $8.56 million over the weekend for a total of $70.10 million after three. Any chance the film had at $100 million is dying fast. That said, it is still a solid hit and there's no reason for the studio to be disappointed.

The big winner of the weekend was Slumdog Millionaire, which took home eight Oscars. At the box office, it climbed back into the top five with $8.38 million and now has $98.35 million in total. At this pace, it will reach $100 million before next weekend.

The only other new wide release of the week was Fired Up, which cost less than $20 million to make. This is good news for the studio, as the movie will make less than $20 million at the box office. During its opening weekend, it pulled in $5.48 million in just 1,810 theaters while landing in ninth place. Given its reviews and its per theater average, I don't expect it to last long in theaters, but by its initial push into the home market, it could start showing a profit.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we had a record-breaking performance this past weekend, as Friday the 13th fell 80.42%, which is a record for a film that debuted in first place. (Previous record holder: Doom.) Confessions of a Shopaholic performed a lot better, but it was still down 55% to $6.74 million over the weekend for a total of $27.38 million after two. The International had the best drop-off, but it was far too little, far too late, as it was down 52% to $4.46 million over the weekend and $17.03 million in total.


Filed under: Taken, Slumdog Millionaire, He's Just Not That Into You, Madea Goes To Jail, Coraline, Friday the 13th, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The International, Fired Up