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Weekend Box Office Far From Normal

October 12th, 2009

There was only one new release coming out this weekend, but it topped expectations, and there was a surprise film in the top five, and both these events helped the market as a whole earn $110 million over the weekend. This was 2.9% higher than last weekend and 7.7% higher than the same weekend last year. Year to date, 2009 has now brought in $8.10 billion so far, which is 7.5% higher than the same pace last year.

Despite earning some of the worst reviews of the year, Couples Retreat showed amazing strength pulling $34.29 million. This is among Vince Vaughn's best opening, and this is true of most of the lead cast. Additionally, it had a good internal multiplier at 2.75, which makes $100 million a whole lot more realistic, despite the poor reviews. If it does get there, it will be the 22nd film of the year to reach that milestone, which would put 2009 on pace to tie or break the record for most $100 million hits in one year. The current record is 29, which is held by both 2003 and 2008.

Zombieland held on extremely well down just over 40% to $14.80 million over the weekend for a total of $47.60 million after two. It has already made enough to cover its production budget, while it has a chance at paying for its advertising budget as well, and that's before the lucrative international and home markets.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs continues its impressive run earning $11.53 million over the weekend giving it a total of $95.78 million. It is now less than a week away from becoming the 21st film of the year to reach $100 million. It is rare for a September release to reach that milestone, but given its reviews, it is clear that it deserves to get there.

There was a surprise entry in the top five as Paranormal Activity broke records over the weekend. It earned $7.90 million in just 160 theaters, which is the lowest theater count for a film that reached the top five. This is also surprising, because the film didn't start out that great during its limited release run. Looking at its run so far and its really quite remarkable. During its opening weekend, the film earned $78,000 in 12 theaters for an average of $6,489. During its second weekend of release, it earned a higher per theater average on Friday than it did during the entire previous weekend ending with over $500,000 in 33 theaters for an average of $16,129. This weekend, the same thing happened with a per theater average of $16,621 on Friday alone and a average of $49,379 over the entire weekend. A growth of theater count and average is impressive, especially when it happens two weekends in a row. I can almost guarantee that won't happen again next weekend, but if it expands nationally, it could climb higher on the chart.

Finally we get to Toy Story 3D - Double-Feature, which added $7.77 million over the weekend for a total of $22.77 million. If this film wasn't ending its run on Thursday, it could continue earning $35 to $40 million. However, it will likely end with just shy of $25 million.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find The Invention of Lying in seventh place with $3.34 million over the past three dates and $12.30 million after ten. It fell faster than anticipated, but it should still come close to matching its production budget, which means it should have little trouble earning a profit before too long. Whip It! was right behind in eighth place with $2.83 million over the weekend and $8.79 million in total. It held on better than the previous film, but it will need a strong home market run to show a profit anytime soon. I think it will have a strong home market run. Capitalism: A Love Story landed in ninth place with $2.63 million giving it a running tally of $9.03 million. This isn't as much as Michael Moore's previous three films, but still amazing for a documentary.


Filed under: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Capitalism: A Love Story, Zombieland, Couples Retreat, Paranormal Activity, The Invention of Lying, Whip It