1. Bee Movie - $26M - $72.2M
2. American Gangster - $24M - $80.6M
3. Fred Claus - $19.2M - $19.2M
4. Lions For Lambs - $6.7M - $6.7M
5. Dan in Real Life - $5.8M - $30.6M
6. Saw IV - $5M - $58M
7. The Game Plan - $2.4M - $85.4M
8. P2 - $2.2M - $2.2M
9. 30 Days of Night - $2.1M - $37.3M
10. Martian Child - $1.7M - $6M
Well this is a turn up indeed! After settling for second place last weekend Bee Movie moves into the top spot (an event that I don't recall ever happening before) with a loss of just 31% of business from last weekend. Some impressive word of mouth and perhaps a little apathy towards the new releases has really helped Bee Movie this last week, into the weekend. With Beowulf not being as family friendly next weekend, Bee Movie could easily have another strong weekend. Faced with Fred Clause and The Game Plan, Bee Movie easily triumphed and moves onwards now toward $80M.
After a massive start, American Gangster drops 44% in its second frame as it heads towards $100M. No one expected this movie to do so well last weekend and that drop isn't any great concern. American Gangster could easily become Denzel Washington's most successful release - he's only had two movies cross the $100M mark, Pelican Brief ($100M) and Remember The Titans ($115M). Crowe's most successful hit has been Gladiator with a $187M total. It'll be interesting to see how Gangster performs as we head towards Thanksgiving, when family movies have generally faired better.
Fred Claus, expected to clean up this weekend, has to settle for third place and $19.2M. The Vince Vaughn/Paul Giamatti comedy is in a similar vein to Elf - something for the adults and something for the kids. It appears to be quite a tradition to release Christmas films about six weeks before the actual day, its done, some say, because December is too busy with people shopping and holidaying to visit the cinema. Fred Claus might have a bit more leg than most films as we move into thanksgiving but it'll have its work cut out up against Bee Movie, Christmas in Wonderland, This Christmas and Enchanted. Elf opened to $23M but that was in 2003 so factoring in inflation, Fred Claus hasn't done quite as well. Next weekend's percentage drop will tell a more accurate tale.
Lions for Lambs was never going to be a breakout smash, even with an impressive cast (Cruise, Streep & Redford) thanks in parts to its subject matter (The war in Iraq) so that total isn't unexpected, though it is disappointing. Lions is the first release for the newly reformed United Artists and Cruise doesn't want to play it safe. The film didn't receive great reviews with many people pointing out that the film seems to be made up of a number of speeches with very little action or drama. This is Cruise's first film since MI:3 back in 2006, which underperformed somewhat, and with Valkyrie next year it appears he's happy to be Tom Cruise actor as opposed to Tom Cruise Movie Star. (It's rumoured that he made more from MI:3 than Paramount did, so it's not like he needs a hit!)
Still in under 2000 locations, Dan In Real Life is hanging on in there thanks to both the limited amount of new releases and the under performance of them. Some good word of mouth is helping the film stand its ground and should see it end its run with around $40M. Not a smash but certainly not the disappointment the film seemed to be upon release.
Saw IV is now in free-fall and has begun to shed its location count. You can already hear the DVD commentary being recorded for this one, where it'll go on to clean up. Saw IV will now end up the lowest box office total of the franchise but even that won't affect its future - its doubtful the film cost more than $15M to make and in terms of global ticket sales has already crossed $80M.
With some competition in the guise of Bee Movie and Fred Claus, The Game Plan drops a bit quicker than in previous weekends and consequently won't now reach $100M. Still it has every chance of being the Rock's most successful movie (in which he played the lead at least).
P2, a horror thriller written by Alexandre 'Switchblade Romance' Aja drops in at eighth place. Released with little hype on 2000+ screens it was expected to make a quick buck and vanish. With a weekend total of $2.2M, it's just going to vanish. The title refers to the garage level from which Rachel Nichols must escape psycho security guard Wes Bentley.
30 Days of Night has now recouped its budget but won't be troubling the top ten for much longer. The comic book vampire flick never really took off with the mainstream crowd even though its a step above the usual horror fare. It's now doubtful any proposed sequels would see the light of day unless they were straight to DVD products.
Having made little impact last weekend, the long delayed Martian Child is seeing its second and final weekend in the top ten. While it may be a costly misfire, it still saw the inside of a cinema, which is more than can be said for the Cusack/Freeman thriller The Contract.