1. Saw IV - $32.1M - $32.1M
2. Dan In Real Life - $12M - $12M
3. 30 Days of Night - $6.7M - $27.3M
4. The Game Plan - $6.2M - $77M
5. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? - $5.7M - $47.3M
6. Michael Clayton - $5M - $28.7M
7. Gone Baby Gone - $3.9M - $11.3M
8. The Comebacks - $3.45M - $10M
9. We Own the Night - $3.4M - $25M
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas - $3.3M - $10M
After the sheer mass of new releases the past few weeks we ease into the calm that is the last weekend in October. Only two major releases join the top ten and the number one film was guaranteed the second it was announced. Saw IV takes the top spot with roughly the same take as Saw III did this weekend last year. Factoring in inflation doesn't really work with releases so close to one another but it does look like the Saw series has reached its ceiling point. The fans turned out this weekend and while the film will see a 55%+ drop next weekend, it had probably recouped its production budget by the end of Friday night. Saw III finished up with over $80M by the end of its theatrical run and this one should perform roughly the same. It also seemed that the Saw series was impervious to the downturn of interest in the 'torture porn' genre that saw The Hills Have Eyes 2, Hostel 2 & Turistas all flop in the last year. Saw V & VI are being shot back to back and will see a release in October 2009.
Dan in Real Life has a decent enough start from a location count just under 2000. This latest Steve Carell vehicle sits somewhere between Little Miss Sunshine and Evan Almighty in regards to tone, with Carell as an advice columnist bringing up three daughters. The situation complicates further when he returns home for a family reunion and begins to fall for his brothers girlfriend, played by Juliette Binoche. After the misfire of Evan Almighty (which can't strictly be laid at Carell's feet - more the people who approved the script and 'that' budget) Dan in Real Life looks like a solid return and if it can stay in the top ten with minimal percentage drops over the coming weeks it might see as much as $40M by the end of its domestic run. Steve Carell returns to bigger budget movie making next year with the starring role in Get Smart along side The Rock and Anne Hathaway.
With most of its audience seeing Saw IV this weekend, 30 Days of Night takes a far knock, off 58% from last weekend. It's pretty much par for the course that horror movies open well but collapse in the second weekend (only 1408 has gone against that this year) but 30 Days was hit harder than normal because of that direct competition. Given its disappointing opening last weekend the film will recoup its $30M budget but may have to wait until DVD before seeing a decent profit.
The Game Plan just keeps on going and may even finish higher than 30 Days of Night once final numbers are issued. Only a few million now stands in the way of this being The Rocks most successful starring movie - and given that The Game Plan still doesn't have much competition in the family film stakes, it should see that total in just a few weeks - that is if next weekend's Bee Movie doesn't cut it down to the quick. The staying power of The Game Plan means we might even see two Rock movies in the top ten - Southland Tales opens in just three weeks.
Why Did I Get Married still has a way to go to become Tyler Perry's most successful theatrical release but its certainly no slouch. While budget details aren't available for the film it should easily have doubled its production costs as it heads closer to $50M.
Michael Clayton and Gone Baby Gone are both down this weekend as they continue to face off for roughly the same market of cinema goers. Both movies may figure for Oscar contention next year and will certainly figure on many critics lists come December but as far as box office goes, there's some disappointment. Both movies (along with We Own The Night) should have been released during a quieter time of the year - another classic case of decent movies being denied locations simply due to the glut of showier yet poorer movies on release taking up as many screens as possible for a quick return.
Only a lack of new releases has kept The Comebacks in the top ten for a second weekend and thankfully with three new movies opening next weekend it'll be gone. The sports movie spoof has so far taken $10M so lets hope for Fox Atomic's sake, it didn't cost much more. We Own The Night is still getting the rough end of the stick while Michael Clayton gets the attention. The good news for the Joaquin Pheonix/Mark Walhberg drama is its relatively low production budget of $21M, which Night passed sometime during the week.
The yearly re-release of Nightmare Before Christmas continues to do well from its Imax release. The film & its re-releases have so far made nearly $70M.