1. The Covenant - $9.0M - $9.0M
2. Hollywoodland - $6.0M - $6.0M
3. Invincible - $5.8M - $45.7M
4. The Protector - $5.0M - $5.0M
5. Crank - $4.8M - $19.9M
6. The Illusionist - $4.6M - $18.1M
7. Little Miss Sunshine - $4.4M - $41.6M
8. Wicker Man - $4.1M - $17.5M
9. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - $3.0M - $142.2M
10. Barnyard - $2.5M - $66.4M
The Covenant takes the top spot with just $9M. The Renny Harlin directed movie is being billed as the Craft with boys. The trailer was lacklustre and the non-star cast didn't help get people in the cinemas either, but the movie had little competition from the old or new releases. The movie was made cheaply and will be a distant memory in a few weeks time. A month or two earlier and the movie might not have even made the top 8. Credit to Screen Gems who saw an opening this week and took the chance.
Getting some good notices this week, (including a best performance award for Ben Affleck at the Venice Film Festival) Hollywoodland drops into second place, with the strongest screen to takings average of any movie in the top ten. The movie is based on the life and subseqent suicide of Superman star George Reeves. Is Affleck finally out of the shadow cast by Gigli, Jersey Girl & Surviving Christmas?
Invincible drops a couple of spots this weekend having had the top spot to itself for the past fortnight. The Marky Mark sports picture may have taken a hit from football season starting this weekend in the US. Still, smart marketing and timing has allowed the movie to see $45M in three weekends. Expect the movie drop quickly now and have a strong debut on DVD.
The final new entry this weekend is The Protector, the Tony Jaa martial arts flick released elsewhere as Tom Yung Goong. Receiving a wider release than Ong-Bak did last year, the Weinstein Company are hoping this will be the movie to launch Tony Jaa as star in the US. While the movie opened on just over 1500 screens and has taken more in its first weekend that the aforementioned Ong Bak (which opened on 380 screens) it didn't have as strong a screen - takings average. Jaa needs to follow this up with another movie quickly to help further establish himself in the big US market.
Crank sees the expected big drop from last weekend and sits just under $20M. The movie was made for just $12M and like the Transporter series, will see a strong DVD release. Statham is fast establishing himself as a can-do action star, making cheap movies for a good return on the investment.
The Illusionist had a good second weekend in wide release, losing just 25% of business. The movie added another 300 screens to bring its total to 1300 and like Crank, has already recouped its production budget. The movie is one of the most well reviewed of the year.
Little Miss Sunshine appears to have peaked both in terms of weekend totals and screens this weekend, but that won't be a concern to the studio, having already made $41M from just an $8M budget. The feel good movie of the year still has to open in a number of territories and may yet see $50M before ending its domestic run.
The Wicker Man drops fast and hard and makes just $4.1 from over 2,700 screens. While the movie was made cheaply, it'll need every penny in overseas takings to get anywhere near a profit. A disappointment for Neil LaBute but hardly a chink in the armour of Nic Cage, who saw recent success with World Trade Centre and has another eight movies in various forms of filming/announcement.
The top ten is rounded out by Talladega Nights and Barnyard, both in their sixth weekend on the charts. The Will Farrell comedy has yet to open in the vast majority of foreign markets and is already the biggest comedy of the year without those totals. Barnyard again benefited from being the only kid-friendly movie in the top ten. Next up for the under-8 market is Open Season due at the end of September.
One other note - Pirates of the Caribbean 2 crossed the $1B mark in worldwide takings, only the third ever movie to do so.
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