Weekend Box Office (October 1 - 3, 2010)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Early Oscar contender The Social Network had many likes this weekend as it took first place in the weekend box office race, while the two other newcomers, Let Me In and Case 39 didn't fare nearly as well.
Following weeks of tremendous buzz and critical raves, Sony's The Social Network led the box office bringing in $22.4M from 2,771 screens for a per screen average of $8,100, according to final studio figures. The film, which follows the creation of the popular social networking site Facebook through the eyes of those involved, has gotten some of the loudest buzz of any movie of 2010. Already considered an early front-runner in the Oscar race, the tale of Mark Zuckerberg and company opened with around the same numbers as other adult films released this same time of year. Just a few weeks ago The Town opened with $23.8M and an almost identical per screen average. And four years ago another early Oscar heavyweight, The Departed, opened the first weekend of October to $26.9M on its way to a total gross of $132.4M and of course, a Best Picture win. Exit surveys for The Social Network showed the audience was 53% female and 55% were over the age of 25. A solid B+ from Cinemascore shows that so far audiences are enjoying what they're seeing, but only time will tell if the movie can carry this momentum throughout the rest of the year.
Flying into second place were the owls of Ga'Hoole as Legend of the Guardians fell a slim 32%, the best hold in the top 10, to $10.9M, bringing its total cume to $30.1M. A final gross in the $55-60M range is possible, but is a disappointment considering the rumored $100M budget and additional 3D surcharges. Last weekend's champ Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps crashed 47% in its second weekend, cashing in $10M this weekend for a total so far of $35.8M. Look for a final gross of around $60M, though if Michael Douglas gets any award consideration, it could go a little higher. Another hot Oscar contender, Ben Affleck's The Town held on well in its third lap around the box office track, stealing $9.7M this weekend bringing its total so far to $64.1M.
Fifth place belonged to the well-received comedy Easy A which dipped 36% from last weekend to $6.7M bringing its cume to $42.2M. Another comedy landed in sixth place with the Disney release You Again also falling a small 32% in its second outing to $5.7M. Its gross stands at $16.6M with a final total in the $30M range likely.
Two new films debuted in seventh and eighth place this weekend, both to highly disappointing results. Currently in seventh with $5.4M is the long-delayed Renée Zellweger fright flick Case 39 which opened on 2,211 screens for a per screen average of a poor $2,420. Following very close behind was the horror remake Let Me In which opened with $5.1M from 2,020 theaters, for a per screen average of $2,548. Both films hoped to get an early start on the traditional October horror season, but neither connected with audiences. Even combined their grosses would only be fighting for second place this weekend. Are people saving their money for the three major horror films due out the rest of the month? Or will Wes Craven's My Soul to Take, Paranormal Activity 2 and Saw 3D suffer the same fate at the box office?
Speaking of disappointing horror films, M. Night Shyamalan's Devil fell 46% this weekend to $3.6M bringing its total to a not-so-scary $27.3M. And rounding out the top 10 was the family film Alpha and Omega which dropped 38% in its third weekend to $2.9M bringing its total to $18.9M.
The top ten films grossed $82.5M which was down 6% from last year when Zombieland opened in the top spot with $24.7M; and down 9% from 2008 when Beverly Hills Chihuahua debuted at number one with $29.3M.
Compared to projections, The Social Network and Let Me In opened a couple of notches below Gitesh's $26M and $8M forecasts while Case 39 came in just above his $4M prediction.
Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.
For NEW reviews of The Social Network and Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray, visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Life as We Know It, My Soul to Take and Secretariat all open wide.
Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:
|#||Title||Oct 1 - 3||Sep 24 - 26||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||The Social Network||$ 22,445,653||2,771||1||$ 8,100||$ 22,445,653||Sony|
|2||Legend of the Guardians||10,887,429||16,112,211||-32.4||3,575||2||3,045||30,079,298||Warner Bros.|
|3||Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||10,002,578||19,011,188||-47.4||3,597||2||2,781||35,778,429||Fox|
|4||The Town||9,749,332||15,605,171||-37.5||2,935||3||3,322||64,056,752||Warner Bros.|
|6||You Again||5,722,566||8,407,513||-31.9||2,548||2||2,246||16,607,633||Buena Vista|
|8||Let Me In||5,147,479||2,021||1||2,547||5,147,479||Overture|
|10||Alpha and Omega||2,924,868||4,735,271||-38.2||2,303||3||1,270||18,949,437||Lionsgate|
|11||Resident Evil: Afterlife||2,784,775||4,954,791||-43.8||1,907||4||1,460||56,615,100||Sony|
|16||The Other Guys||439,850||992,812||-55.7||566||9||777||117,697,120||Sony|
|18||Waiting for "Superman"||408,873||139,033||194.1||34||2||12,026||601,607||Paramount|
|19||Eat Pray Love||319,970||704,613||-54.6||398||8||804||79,710,083||Sony|
|Top 5||$ 59,833,769||$ 69,736,580||-14.2|
|Top 20 vs. 2009||90,020,824||99,748,037||-9.8|
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: October 5, 2010 at 1:00PM ET
Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 7:40pm ET.