1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua - $17.5M - $52.5M
2. Quarantine - $14.2M - $14.2M
3. Body of Lies - $13.1M - $13.1M
4. Eagle Eye - $11M - $70M
5. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - $6.5M - $20.8M
6. The Express - $4.7M - $4.7M
7. Nights in Rodanthe - $4.6M - $32.6M
8. Appaloosa - $3.3M - $10.8M
9. The Duchess - $3.3M - $5.6M
10. City of Embers - $3.2M - $3.2M
With little competition on the family front (save for City of Embers, more on that later) BHC retains the top spot against at least one big hitter. Down 44% on a Friday to Friday basis, Chihuahua is either close to recouping its budget or already has (no budget details are available at the time of writing). The film is a mixture of live action and CGI, featuring the voices of Drew Barrymore and Cheech Marin, with Jamie Lee Curtis in a more three dimensional role. Next weekend brings another three major releases, none of which will be in direct competition with the family friendly film, though it's not expected to retain the top spot for a third time. (It wasn't expected to retain it a second time...).
Quarantine is the english language remake of the 20007 Spanish film [REC], about a journalist following around a fire crew who are called to an unsual disturbance in an apartment building. After things escalate the authorities seal off the building and claim everyone made it out safely. Quarantine (like [REC]) tells the story of those who were left in the building by way of 'found footage' similar to Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. We've had precious little to shout about on the horror front and like the family market last weekend turning out for BHC, the horror fans emerged this weekend for Quarantine. Better still for the studio is that Quarantine was made very cheaply and has already recouped its production budget. If it follows the usual horror path, it'll drop sharply next weekend but it's job is already done. Furthermore, it's the type of film that'll clean up on DVD. Has Hollywood started to tire of Korean remakes and are switching countries for new ones?
Our big hitter this weekend falls foul of the public's apathy towards war and politics. Ridley Scott directs Russell Crowe (for the fourth time) and Leonardo Di Caprio in Body of Lies, the story of a covert operative and his plan to uncover terrorist bombings in Jordan. Crowe plays his Langely-based CIA boss who has the final say on whether to move forward with the plan, who may have agenda of his own. This is somewhat a disappointment for all concerned, Body of Lies should have opened stronger, especially given its pedigree. Last November, the last reteaming of Crowe and director Scott gave us the $43M opening American Gangster. Hype for this has been low key and while direct competition was really only Eagle Eye, Body of Lies just didn't seem to appeal to the public. Even at this early stage, with three more movies opening next weekend, it's doubtful the film will see $40M.
Eagle Eye edges ever closer to its $80M budget, but took a bit of a hit thanks to the newer movies opening this weekend (not to mention those darn Chihuahuas again). The Shia LaBeouf film has now taken $70M but it's questionable whether it'll be LaBeouf third $100M film in a row. Eagle Eye has just begun to open in a number of foreign territories where its box office should equal or exceed its domestic total.
Nick & Norah and Nights in Rodanthe are attracting similar markets at either end of the age spectrum. Both have recouped their production budgets (Nick & Norah did on its opening weekend) and have provided some alternative programming to the rest of the top ten. Nick & Norah was off 50% from last Friday and a strong 42% for the weekend overall. Rodanthe has quietly hung in and seen some acceptable weekend to weekend drops. Neither film will be around for much longer but should turn a quick profit for their respective studios.
In between those two is our third new entry this week, the biopic of NFL superstar Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the fabled Heisman Trophy. The Express was expected to perform much better than it has but previews last weekend didn't help the word of mouth. With the football season well under way, this is the kind of film that might have performed better had it been released during the off season. Sports fans are more than happy with the live drama they're receiving each Sunday than going to pay to see it, even if it was a significant event in NFL history. The Express might manage another week in the top ten but very little more.
A surprise high placing last weekend for western Appaloosa, this weekend sees the film drop just 33% thanks to some impressive word of mouth. The film is at just 1,290 locations, making its screen to location take pretty impressive (especially considering films like Body of Lies and Eagle Eye are at 2,700 and 3,600 locations respectively). The Ed Harris directed drama has so far made $10M from a budget of $20M.
The Duchess opened in a limited capacity three weeks ago but expanded wider this weekend, managing to snag a place in the top ten. The Kiera Knightley period drama has managed to earn $6M from overseas releases (so far) but doesn't look likely to repeat the success of last year's Atonement. It was revealed this week that Knightley is unlikely to return for the proposed fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Just about securing a place in the top ten, the children's fantasy City of Embers still failed to have any major impact. The film, based on the first of a series of popular books and featuring Bill Murray made just $3.2M and is likely to suffer a similar fate as The Seeker: The Dark is Rising did last October. That film ended up with a domestic total of just $8M. When final numbers are issued it may reveal that Fireproof sneaks ahead of City of Embers.