Weekend Box Office (February 27 - March 1, 2009)
by Gitesh Pandya
THIS WEEKEND Despite the arrival of rocking teens, Tyler Perry enjoyed a back-to-back stint at number one with the hit comedy Madea Goes to Jail which led a sluggish frame despite suffering a sizable sophomore drop. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience debuted in second place while many holdovers posted small declines remaining popular with moviegoers. Overall the North American box office once again beat year-ago levels by a comfortable margin, however ticket sales fell to a new low for 2009.
Last weekend's top film Madea Goes to Jail tumbled 61% in its second weekend grossing $16.2M, according to final studio figures, which was still good enough for the top spot. The drop was slightly more than the 58% fall that Madea's Family Reunion (Tyler Perry's previous best opener) suffered in its sophomore frame during the first weekend of March in 2006. After ten days of release, Jail has amassed a stellar $64.5M and has already become the popular filmmaker's highest grossing movie ever edging out Reunion's $63.3M total gross. Lionsgate could see the final tally reach the neighborhood of $85-90M.
Disney opened its music pic Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience in second place with $12.5M. Playing in 1,271 3D theaters, the G-rated concert flick averaged a healthy $9,843 and was helped by higher $15 ticket prices that exhibitors were charging. The bow was not even close to the performance of last year's Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus 3D concert film which opened with $31.1M from 683 locations for a scorching $45,561 average. Though launching in nearly half as many theaters, that film was helped by what was then scheduled as a one-week-only run which generated more excitement plus was based on a more popular brand from the Disney Channel arsenal. To no surprise, young girls led the way with studio research showing that 85% of the audience was female and 74% was under 25.
Following its sweep of the Academy Awards last Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire enjoyed a 43% surge in business thanks to a wave of press attention and an additional 699 playdates. The Fox Searchlight hit grossed $12M putting it into third place, the highest chart position yet across its 16 weekends in theaters. That translated to a $4,086 average from 2,943 locations. Slumdog boosted its cume to a sensational $115M from North America alone.
Fox's sleeper action hit Taken joined the century club over the weekend. The Liam Neeson thriller eased only 13% to $9.9M lifting the cume to $107.8M. Date flick He's Just Not That Into You took in $6M for Warner Bros., down just 30%, with the sum thus far reaching an impressive $78.7M.
Sony's runaway hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop took in $5.6M in its seventh weekend slipping a mere 18% and raising the amazing total to $128.1M. The stop-motion animated hit Coraline followed in seventh in its fourth frame with $5.3M, down 54%, for a $61.1M total to date for Focus.
The videogame-inspired actioner Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li debuted in eighth place with $4.7M. Fox's PG-13 release averaged a mild $4,156 from 1,136 locations and played to a young male audience.
Falling 31% was the chick flick Confessions of a Shopoholic with $4.6M giving Buena Vista $33.8M to date. Rounding out the top ten was the male cheerleader flick Fired Up! which collected $3.7M, down 33%, for a $10M total after ten days in multiplexes.
The top ten films grossed $80.5M over the weekend which was up 9% from last year when Semi-Pro opened in the top spot with $15.1M; but down 22% from 2007 when Wild Hogs debuted at number one with a stunning $39.7M.
Compared to projections, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience did not come close to my $40M forecast while Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li debuted on target with my prediction of $5M.
Be sure to check the UPDATED chart of this year's Oscar winning films and their grosses.
For a review of Delhi 6 plus NEW DVD reviews of Friday the 13th Parts I, II, and III, visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Watchmen opens as the frame's only new wide opener.
Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:
|#||Title||Feb 27 - Mar 1||Feb 20 - 22||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Madea Goes to Jail||$ 16,175,926||$ 41,030,947||-60.6||2,052||2||$ 7,883||$ 64,525,548||Lionsgate|
|2||Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience||12,510,374||1,271||1||9,843||12,510,374||Buena Vista|
|3||Slumdog Millionaire||12,026,343||8,384,680||43.4||2,943||16||4,086||115,024,121||Fox Searchlight|
|5||He's Just Not That Into You||6,011,405||8,558,225||-29.8||2,858||4||2,103||78,661,321||Warner Bros.|
|6||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||5,602,392||6,821,377||-17.9||2,698||7||2,076||128,107,912||Sony|
|8||Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li||4,721,110||1,136||1||4,156||4,721,110||Fox|
|9||Confessions of a Shopaholic||4,634,534||6,742,778||-31.3||2,534||3||1,829||33,806,050||Buena Vista|
|11||Friday the 13th||3,689,156||7,942,472||-53.6||2,760||3||1,337||60,700,752||Warner Bros.|
|12||Gran Torino||3,022,228||3,676,310||-17.8||1,750||12||1,727||138,632,157||Warner Bros.|
|13||The Reader||2,860,429||2,642,770||8.2||1,203||12||2,378||26,949,964||Weinstein Co.|
|15||The Pink Panther 2||2,442,596||3,802,292||-35.8||1,879||4||1,300||32,608,119||Sony|
|17||Hotel for Dogs||1,680,286||2,325,378||-27.7||1,381||7||1,217||67,636,154||Paramount|
|19||The Wrestler||1,387,672||1,851,324||-25.0||776||11||1,788||23,512,104||Fox Searchlight|
|20||The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||787,261||1,232,517||-36.1||558||10||1,411||125,388,340||Paramount|
|Top 5||$ 56,588,245||$ 80,687,238||-29.9|
|Top 20 vs. 2008||102,950,485||89,463,866||15.1|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: March 2, 2009 at 7:00PM ET