1. 30 Days of Night - $16M - $16M
2. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? - $12.1M - $38.6M
3. The Game Plan - $8.1M - $69.1
4. Michael Clayton - $7.1M - $21.9M
5. Gone Baby Gone - $6M - $6M
6. The Comebacks - $5.8M - $5.8M
7. We Own the Night - $5.6M - $19.7M
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D - $5.1M - $5.1M
9. Rendition - $4.1M - $4.1M
10. The Heartbreak Kid - $3.9M - $32.1M
Another big release week sees at least seven new films hitting screens, at least half of which are opening on 1100 screens or more. Seven releases on one weekend has happened just twice before - once during Christmas of 1995 and again in Christmas of 1982.
Champion of the week is vampire horror movie 30 Days of Night, which opened at possibly the lower end of expectations. Based on a ground breaking comic book, 30 Days of Night tells the story of an Alaskan town which endures 30 days of darkness each year. Thinking this could be a perfect environment in which to feed, a group of vampires descend onto the town, leaving just a rag-tag band of survivors to sit out the dark days. With some impressive trailers and early word of mouth (not to mention some decent reviews for the normally critically reviled horror genre) should have put this in the low 20s. One main reason could be simply the glut of new releases both last weekend and this one, not to mention at least one notable hold over all cutting into 30 Days potential market. Made for $50M, 30 Days of Night will now have a fight on its hands - especially with the latest Saw movie just around the corner. A good if not impressive start.
After success last weekend, Tyler Perry latest drops around 54%, which is pretty much the norm for his movies. Likely to already be deeply in profit, Perry's movie holds up pretty well against the newer, showier releases this weekend. On the downside, the majority of people who wanted to see the movie came out either last weekend or this one so there's a good chance Why Did I Get Married will see a much bigger tumble next weekend.
Like I've said for a few weeks now, The Game Plan is still the only family friendly movie out there and this weekend is largely no different (Nightmare before Christmas is at just over 560 Imax locations) as it drops just one spot. The movie currently sits on $69M and needs only to beat $91M made by The Scorpion King to become the Rock's most successful starring role.
Holding up better than We Own The Night, which finished up just ahead last weekend, Michael Clayton sees a drop in takings of just 35%. The George Clooney thriller might have fared better during a quieter release period but strong word of mouth and some impressive reviews are helping it dig in for the long haul. With only two new releases scheduled next weekend, Michael Clayton could see another decent take. This weekend it had competition from Gone Baby Gone, Rendition and We Own The Night in the dramatic stakes.
Whatever your thoughts on Ben Affleck the actor are, it appears you can't knock Affleck the Director with one of the most assured debuts. Gone Baby Gone, a missing person drama based on a true story recieved some of the best reviews of the week (in fact, some of the best reviews of the last month, with a 92% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes). Opening in 1700+ locations, the film made a pretty good $6M. Affleck roped in his brother to star in the movie and filled out the co-starring roles with some heavy hitters in the shape of Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris. This won't be a box office smash but it's already a critical success and a solid debut for Ben Affleck to build up, especially as his recent acting gigs have been and gone in a flash (Man About Town, a film for which he received some strong notices, bypassed the theatres altogether).
A spoof on all the inspirational sports movies of recent years, The Comebacks limps into sixth place this weekend with just $5.8M from 2800 locations. Starring David Koechner, a Will Ferrell stalwart, The Comebacks is yet another disappointment for Fox Atomic, who've seen only one minor success from four releases (28 Weeks Later did ok business in May, but this, Turistas and Hills Have Eyes 2 all left a lot to be desired). It'll manage another week on the charts before heading to DVD, which is where it should have started its journey in the first place.
After besting Michal Clayton last weekend, We Own The Night slips a worrying four places and 50%. The well cast thriller has so far made $19.7M and will be just a distant memory in a fortnights time. It appears to be a classic case of right movie, seriously wrong release date - but Michael Clayton, in the same genre, managed to stand its ground, so We Own The Night doesn't even have that going for it.
Opening in just 564 locations, this second reissue of The Nightmare Before Christmas has one of the best screen/takings averages of any movie in the top twenty. This time last year the movie had its first reissue in 3D and made an impressive $3.2M from just 168 locations. This year, with the movie being reissued in Disney Digital 3D the film has had another great opening and could see another $15M added to that total by the end of its domestic run. Last year's reissue stayed in cinemas until January 4th and ended up with $8M.
Another week another entry into the terrorist/war/Iraq genre hits our screens. Rendition, with a strong cast featuring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhall, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin fails to make much of an impact from its 2,250 locations. At least The Kingdom had some decent action scenes going for it, Rendition doesn't even have that, being the story of an Egyptian man with an American wife who disappears on a flight to the US. Witherspoon plays the desperate wife while Gyllenhall plays the CIA analyst forced to question his government's unorthodox questioning methods.
The Heartbreak Kid has certainly lived up to its name. After three weeks the Ben Stiller comedy has made just $32.1M. With the release of Saw IV and Dan In Real Life due next weekend, The Heartbreak Kid is seeing its last weekend of its short run in the top ten.
Elsewhere the other new releases failed to make much of an impact. Drama Things We Lost in the Fire made just over $1M, while Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour didn't even make that. The Ten Commandments made few box office waves and the Sean Penn directed Into The Wild didn't see a great deal of new business even with its expansion into 658 locations.