1. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married - $21.5M - $21.5M
2. The Game Plan - $11.5M - $59.4M
3. Michael Clayton - $11M - $12M
4. We Own the Night - $11M - $11M
5. The Heartbreak Kid - $7.4M - $26M
6. Elizabeth: The Golden Age - $6.1M - $6.1M
7. The Kingdom - $4.5M - $39.9M
8. Across the Universe - $4.0M - $12.9M
9. Resident Evil: Extinction - $2.6M - $48M
10. The Seeker - $2.1M - $7.1M
A movie very few people outside the US will have ever heard of takes the top spot this week. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married performs better than Perry's previous movie, Daddy's Little Girl, released in Feb 2007. That movie opened to $11M and went on to gross over $30M. Tyler Perry and his alter-ego Madea (Perry in a female fat suit - who doesn't always feature) should never be underestimated. He first struck movie success when Diary of a Mad Black Woman made $50M from a budget of just $5.5M. A year later Madea's Family Reunion took $63M from a budget of just $6M.
As mentioned, Married is his second film this year and it's safe to say this one will repeat the success of his previous work. Largely unknown outside the US, Perry started writing plays/musicals, some based in part on his journals, before moving into film. He also has an ongoing TV show, a number of books, some straight to DVD Madea movies, plus the already mentioned plays in his body of work. Strike this one as another success for Perry, who is already working on his next film, Meet The Browns, for a February 2008 release.
The Game Plan is off just 30% in its third weekend and would have retained the top spot where it not for 'Married'. The Rock starring comedy once again performs well thanks to being the only film in the top ten that all the family can see. Yet again we have to question why so many movies aimed solely at families are crammed into summer and subsequently flop due to a glut of choice when they could be released around now and clean up, as the Game Plan is doing. Even next weekend, when we'll see at least five new movies opening wide, The Game Plan will still be the only family friendly movie on general release.
Having opened in a limited capacity a few weeks ago, Michael Clayton expands into 2,511 locations. The George Clooney starring thriller has already opened in the UK and its limited release pattern in the US has helped build up some decent word-of-mouth, which has translated into some decent box office, especially with the competition it's faced in the dramatic stakes this week. That said, its take is so close to We Own The Night that when final figures are released on Monday afternoon, these two might swop positions. Michael Clayton also stars Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton.
With an impressive cast, We Own The Night opens with $11M. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall, We Own The Night tells the story of brothers who chose different paths - one becoming a cop, the other falling in with the mob, who find their loyalties tested when one saves the other from a Russian mafia hit. Night was directed by James Gray, whose previous works include Little Odessa and The Yards. On a quieter week We Own The Night could have seen $15-17M but its facing direct competition from Michael Clayton, Elizabeth and The Kingdom in the dramatic stakes. Unfortunately for Night, those five new movies opening next weekend aren't going to give it chance to make much of an impact beyond this week.
The Heartbreak Kid looks to be another disappointment for the once white-hot Farrelly Brothers. Having lost out last weekend to The Game Plan, the film falls another 3 places and sits on $26M. Another fortnight and this will be heading for DVD. It must have looked a sure thing on paper - the people behind hit comedy There's Something About Mary reuniting for a new bawdy comedy. Stiller is currently shooting Tropic Thunder while the Farrelly's continue to develop The Three Stooges.
The Golden Age, the sequel to the critically lauded Elizabeth, opens at six. After the slow burn, limited release of Elizabeth, The Golden Age has been thrust into 2001 locations and sadly that hasn't translated into increased box office. Furthermore, reviews for this sequel haven't been anywhere near as favourable, with more time being spent discussing the sumptuous costumes over the acting skills of the impressive cast which includes Cate Blantchett returning as Elizabeth, Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush.
The Kingdom, faced with increased competition from We Own The Night and Michael Clayton falls again and may even be seeing its last weekend in the top ten. The political action thriller has made nearly $40M so far. Breaking further into the top ten is Across The Universe, the Julie Taymor Beatles inspired musical. Still in a relatively limited release (Just 955 locations), Across the Universe has been able to capitalize on the strong word of mouth that has built up during the last month while the movie has been in less than 370 locations.
Both Resident Evil: Extinction and The Seeker are seeing their last weekend in the top ten (and The Seeker only had two of them). Neither set the box office alight but RE:E will certainly hit DVD running and may end up clearing $55M before it leaves cinemas.
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