1. Invincible - $15.2M - $37.8M
2. Crank - $13M - $13M
3. The Wicker Man - $11.7M - $11.7M
4. Little Miss Sunshine - $9.7M - $35.8M
5. The Illusionist - $8M - $12M
6. Talladega Nights - $7.7M - $138.3M
7. Barnyard - $6.4M - $63.5
8. Accepted - $5.9M - $29.4M
9. World Trade Center - $5.8M - $63.7M
10. Step Up - $5.4M - $58.3M
Once again, sorry for the delay this week, it was caused by the four day weekend in the US. These are the four day estimates, so you can take about a $1.5M off the top three movies for their normal weekend taking. As predicted by a number of analysts, Invincible retains the top spot with very little drop from last weekend. The movie is playing well to the pre-football season crowd and due to a lack of competition, may retain the top spot next weekend.
Crank smashes into second place and while not performing as well as Statham's Transporter series, it still played well, especially for an R-rated movie that's only really appeared on the horizon in the last month (take note Snakes on a Plane's marketing dept). Jason Statham is building up a small but dependable following with these low budget hi-octane action movies. Crank opened slightly lower than The Transporter 2 did last September but that movie had the advantage of being a PG-13 against Crank's R. Like The Transporter series, expect Crank to have strong DVD sales.
People curious to see what Neil Labute could do with The Wicker Man might have helped the movie make it into third place. The remake (which must surely rate as one of the least required movies ever) suffered from confusing trailers, a PG-13 rating meaning that Labute had to cut some scenes of strong violence and a general disinterest from the movie-going public. Many were surprised by the respected writer/directors decision to remake the British cult classic, it certainly gave the movie a pedigree that a number of remakes couldn't begin to approach. Sadly that hasn't translated into success. Seek out the chilling original.
Little Miss Sunshine continues to be the late summer sleeper. The movie, still on only 1600 screens (compared to the 2900 of Invincible) had the second best screen to takings average of any movie in the top 15. Strong word of mouth should see this movie to $50M with ease.
Originally opening in a limited capacity, The Illusionist expanded to 950+ screens this weekend. The well-received Ed Norton thriller, which performed strongly enough in limited release to earn a wider release, has so far earned $12M in its three weeks on release. If the movie continues to play well in the coming week it could see a further expansion. Good to see an intelligent thriller playing strongly in a busy, quick hit market.
Ricky Bobby drops four places but still manages an impressive four-day taking in its fifth weekend. The movie should cross the $150M mark in the next couple of weeks and is comfortably the biggest comedy of the year. The movie still has a large number of foreign markets to open in so a global total of over $225M isn't out of the question.
Thanks to the holiday weekend and almost no competition at all, the kid-friendly CGI comedy Barnyard jumps back up the chart. While never being a worry to Pixar's Cars (Or Dreamworks Over The Hedge) the movie has benefited these last few weeks from being the only real kids film in the top ten. One has to wonder if earlier box office disappointments such as Monster House and The Ant Bully would have benefited from being released this weekend instead of up against a glut of movie in late July/early August?
Less than $600,000 separates the remainder of the top ten and we could see some swapping around once final numbers are released on Tuesday night. College comedy Accepted performed the strongest of the three, surpassing its production budget this weekend. World Trade Centre sits just below its production budget but like Ricky Bobby, still has to open in a number of foreign regions. The well reviewed movie is being hailed by some as Oliver Stone's most mature work in years. The top ten is rounded out by Step Up, a movie which has taken more than four times what it cost to make.
The only other new release, basketball drama Crossover sits just outside the top ten with a four day take of $4.5M from a budget of just $5.8M. Other notables where Pirates 2, which moved up one spot, taking $5M in its ninth weekend of release. The movie is expected to cross the $1 billion mark in global (including US) ticket sales this week, putting it at number 3 in the all time worldwide takings chart (only Titanic & Return of the King have taken more. It must be noted though that this charts is not adjusted for inflation). Superman Returns added another $1.8M, bringing its total just $3M shy of $200M.