1. Saw III $34.3M - $34.3M
2. The Departed $9.8M - $91M
3. The Prestige $9.6M - $28.8M
4. Flags of Our Fathers $6.3M - $19.9M
5. Open Season $6.1M - $77.3M
6. Flicka $4.9M - $14.1M
7. Man of the Year $4.7M - $28M
8. The Grudge 2 $3.3M - $36M
9. Marie Antoinette $2.8M - $9.7M
10. Running with Scissors $2.5M - $2.8M
A bit of a quieter week release-wise, giving us one sure-fire winner. Saw III outperformed its prequels, besting part II by nearly $3M. Made quite cheaply and released just a year after Saw II the movie had practically no competition and benefited from a built in fan base along with a near Halloween release. As expected the film wasn't screen for critics (as per most horror movies) and may face a biggish drop next weekend. The movie had a fantastic screen/ticket average (though not the highest of the new releases) and is well on the way towards the $81M that Saw II ended its run with.
Separated by an estimate $200K, The Prestige is just beaten out for second place by The Departed, which recouped its production budget this weekend. The Departed is now in its fourth weekend and has seen an average week by week drop off of just 27%. The Prestige dropped a respectable 35% from last weekend and sits just $7M shy of recouping its budget. On a technical level The Prestige could have performed better but it is on 700 screens less than The Departed (and nearly 900 less than Saw III). Because the numbers are so close it's not unreasonable to see them swap places once final numbers are in.
Flags of our Father adds another 280 screens this week but doesn't seem to be able to find its market. Having next to no marketable stars (certainly in comparison with The Departed and The Prestige) the film is having to rely on story and word of mouth, neither of which are enticing viewers in its second weekend. Expect the movie to begin reducing screens from next week and fall quicker and harder. The movie might have benefited from a near Christmas release. It'll be interesting to see how the companion movie, Letters from Iwo Jima, performs upon its release in 2007
Open Season edges closer to $80M and like The Departed, has another strong weekend in its fifth one on the charts. Sounding like a broken record, I have to say the movie is again finding success partly based on being the only real kid friendly movie in the top ten. Expect the movie to clear $100M before finding equally impressive success on DVD. Flicka, in its second weekend on the charts is down by 35% but will recoup its budget by Monday evening.
Man Of The Year is struggling to make $30M and will start to see its screen total slashed pretty drastically in the coming weekends. Is Robin Williams going to need to don a wig & a dress before he sees another $100M movie? The Grudge 2 is having similar problems and while it is into a profit it fell much quicker than anyone could have expected. It's still on over 3000 screens (only Saw III is on more) and consequently has the lowest screen/ticket take in the top ten.
Marie Antoinette fights hard in its second weekend, still trying to hit the $10M mark in total box office. While the film is only just above the limited release level, it's finding it a tough market. Perhaps a film that'll do better outside of the US where the historical figure is more well known.
The comedy drama Running with Scissors, which opened limited last weekend expands to 586 screens, breaking into the top ten in the process.
Elsewhere, Catch A Fire enters at 12 and takes $2M in the process. Depending on what the studio were expecting, the movie may expand onto more screens in the coming weeks.
The final new release is the Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchett movie Babel, which has picked up some stunning reviews and took $366K from just seven screens. The movie expands into a wider release in November.