1. Wild Hogs $38M - $38M
2. Zodiac $13.1M - $13.1M
3. Ghost Rider $11.5M - $94.7M
4. Bridge to Terabithia $8.5M - $57.8M
5. The Number 23 $7M - $24.6M
6. Norbit $6.4M - $82.9M
7. Music and Lyrics $4.8M - $38.6M
8. Black Snake Moan $4M - $4M
9. Reno 911!: Miami $3.7M - $16.4M
10. Breach $3.4M - $25.4M
The horror that is Wild Hogs smashes into the top spot. One of the worst reviewed movies of the year, Wild Hogs stars John Travolta, Tim Allen, William H Macy and Martin Lawrence as four guys, suburban bikers, who decide to go on a road trip and run into trouble with a Mexican motorcycle gang. Hilarity ensues...or rather doesn't. It's a big opening that's for sure, rivalling the previous weekend's big hitters of Ghost Rider and Norbit. Travolta and Allen needed a hit more than the other two - Travolta hasn't had a hit for while with The Punisher, Be Cool, Basic & Ladder 49 all under performing. Allen meanwhile, hadn't had a great deal of success with The Santa Clause 3, Zoom or The Shaggy Dog. The film marks the biggest opening ever for John Travolta, who's previous biggest opening weekend was Be Cool at $23M (the film took 50% of its total box office in that opening weekend). No budget information has been released but a strong weekend like this one shouldn't be a disappointment to the studio.
Opening in second place, a movie that had almost polar opposite reviews of Wild Hogs. Zodiac, the new David Fincher movie based on the true story of the Zodiac Killer, who terrorised San Franciso in the late 70s has received some of the best reviews of Fincher's career. Many reviews also mention this is the most conventional film that Fincher has ever made. The weekend take might be seen as disappointing but the subject matter, the running time (2h 36m) and the lack of a clear cut resolution might have turned away a number of potential viewers looking for something more sensational. All being well the movie will dig its heels in and spend a few more weeks on the chart with the help of word-of-mouth.
Sadly Ghost Rider appears to have dug its heels into the top ten. Spending two weekends at the top spot and dropping down to three in its third weekend (It also managed to hold off the Jim Carrey Thriller Number 23 last weekend as well) the Nic Cage comic book adaptation is now heading toward $100M. Factoring in box office totals from around the globe the movie should clear $150M in total box office by Monday. I have no idea why the movie is proving so successful - perhaps the market being starved of blockbusters since christmas is to blame?
In its third weekend on the charts, Bridge to Terabithia is holding its own against Ghost Rider and the new releases. Expected to fade pretty quickly the movie is scoring big with parents who are stuck for family movies in the current top ten (one has to wonder if one of the many CGI movies that opened & flopped quickly last year could have cleaned up by opening now....). The movie should finish up with around $80M by the end of its domestic run. Not bad for a movie that most people hadn't heard of a month ago.
The Number 23 which opened well, if not spectacular, last weekend drops hard and fast in its 2nd weekend. Jim Carrey tends to win critical acclaim for his straight roles (Eternal Sunshine, Truman, Man on the Moon) but struggles to find an audience, who still prefer to see him talking out of his arse. Number 23 is no different but had to even more of an uphill fight on its hands given that this is first thriller Carrey has done. Given the box office it appears a percentage of people where more intrigued by the story idea than by seeing Carrey play the role. All that said, the movie was made very cheaply ($30M) and so should see a production profit by the end of Monday.
Norbit sits at six, edging ever closer to $100M the movie is already comfortably in profit and still has to open in a number of foreign markets. Murphy may not have won the Oscar last weekend but he's still on a high with the success of this and Dreamgirls. Shrek 3 follows in May which should provide Murphy with an impressive 3 films - 3 hits tally. What will he do next though?
Music & Lyrics has the romantic comedy angle sewn up but has still struggled to make money against bigger, flashier movies. The film crossed the $35M mark this weekend and should see a global total of around $55M by Monday. It'll beat the tally scored by Bridget Jones 2 but is a long way short of such hits as Two Weeks Notice & Love Actually.
The final new movie in the top ten this weekend is Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L Jackson and Christina Ricci. The film, by Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer, tells the story of a blues man (Jackson) who tries to tame/cure a nymphomaniac played by Ricci. The film was a tough sell and was due to open last August but was delayed until this weekend (perhaps to avoid the other Jackson movie Snakes on a Plane). Opening with limited fanfare at 1200 locations one gets the impression the studio weren't quite sure how to market the film.
New entry last weekend, Reno 911:Miami tumbles fast and hard, dropping off 71% of its box office. Like horror movies, fans of the show/genre awarded the movie a pretty good opening followed by the usual big drop off in the second weekend. Breach rounds out the top ten and has done well to hang on in there amongst a slew of new released from last weekend and this one. With only one major movie opening on Friday, the movie might yet manage another weekend in the top ten.
Notes from last weekend: The Astronaut Farmer starring Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-NASA guy who builds his own spacecraft opened poorly and didn't even manage a second weekend spot on the charts. A big disappointment for all concerned. On the other end of the spectrum, Amazing Grace, a British period drama, managed to score a place in the top ten from just 700 locations.
Next weekend, 300 opens at 2,900+ locations and many are hoping it'll live up to its early word and impressive trailers. Speaking of which, the new Spiderman 3 trailer will accompany 300. We should also see a Pirates of the Caribbean 3 trailer any time now - a bit of surprise that we've not seen one so far, the movie is just 11 weeks away.