1. The Prestige - $14.8M - $14.8M
2. The Departed - $13.7M - $77.1M
3. Flags of Our Fathers - $10.2M - $10.2M
4. Open Season - $8.0M - $69.6M
5. Flicka - $7.7M - $7.7M
6. The Grudge 2 - $7.7M - $31.4M
7. Man of the Year - $7.0M - $22.5M
8. Marie Antoinette - $5.3M - $5.3M
9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - $3.9M - $36.0M
10. The Marine - $3.7M - $12.5M
The Prestige eases into the top spot with a strong screen to ticket average, highest in the top 10. The Chris Nolan movie was very well reviewed but was expected to open behind Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Father. The star studded cast, intriguing plot line and those aforementioned strong reviews all add to make this another hit for Nolan, who is already in pre-production on the new Batman movie. Like the Departed a few weeks ago, the movie hasn't opened huge but it was not expected to, and with a $14M opening weekend, it's performing right on track.
The Departed drops just 28% from last weekend and is now just $13M short of recouping its production budget. This should easily become Scorcese's most successful movie in his long career. It's reassuring to see such an adult orientated movie performing so well, especially after some of the awfulness of September.
Flags of our Fathers opens a little disappointedly in third place. This was expected to be the no.1 movie this weekend by a few million at least. Furthermore, this movie cost $50M more than The Prestige cost to make. Eastwood made a second movie, a companion piece to Flags, telling the same story of the battle of Iwo Jima, but from the Japanese perspective, which will be released later in the year. What went wrong with Flags? It did face some serious competition from The Departed and evidently The Prestige. It's war movie subject possibly alienated some pretty big markets too (teenagers, female 18-35) and pre-release hype didn't really kick in until recently. Finally, the movie didn't review as well as The Departed - perhaps not a deciding factor for many but still another reason why this movie sits in third place on opening weekend.
Open Season digs in at four and shows no sign of going quietly. Now in its fourth weekend the movie edges ever closer to its production budget, something which it should surpass within the next two weekends. Facing little competition from other movies for the under 10 market, it could see $100M before leaving the charts for a lucrative DVD release. Only Ice Age 2, Over the Hedge & Cars have performed better in the CGI market this year, which has seen its fair share of casualties.
Perhaps appealing to the slightly older female than Open Season, Flicka opened in fifth place with a not-bad $7.7M, from a budget of $15M. Based on a much loved book 'My Friend Flicka', the movie might have benefited from being released on a slightly less crowded weekend.
The Grudge 2 takes massive hit from last week, dropping even more than most horror movies do in their second weekend. While the film has already recouped its production budget, taking such a harsh dive so quickly can't have pleased the studio who were probably hoping for a $55-60M total box office, instead of the $40M it might end up seeing.
Taking a smaller hit, Man of the Year, drops 42% from last weekend, which on the surface isn't too bad but the movie didn't have a stunning opening either. Expect this movie to finish up around $35M. Robin Williams has had one good hit with RV but two disappointing releases, this one and The Night Listener, in 2006.
The final new entry this weekend is Marie Antoinette, which had a pretty impressive haul from its 859 screen release. Only The Prestige had a better screen/ticket average in the top 10. The Sophia Coppola directed movie, booed at Cannes earlier this year, was made for $40M. It may add further screens in the coming weekends but we probably won't see Lost In Translation-like numbers.
Filling out the top ten is horror prequel TCM: The Beginning and actioner The Marine. TCM has now doubled its production budget and may pave the way for another sequel/prequel. The Marine doesn't appear to be the movie to launch John Cena acting career.
Elsewhere, the 3D version of Nightmare Before Christmas made $3M from its limited release.