Weekend Box Office (October 12 - 14, 2007)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND Tyler Perry once again proved he is a forced to be reckoned with as his latest film Why Did I Get Married? easily took the number one spot at the box office this weekend, nearly doubling the nearest competitor. The other debuting films met with so-so results.

The filmgoing audience showed once again that if Tyler Perry headlines a film, they're going to come out to see it. Why Did I Get Married? brought in $21.4M this weekend, according to final studio figures, for a powerful per theater average of $10,618. The opening was on par with Perry's first smash, 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman which opened with $21.9M and an even stronger $14,771 average. Unlike the last film with Perry's name attached, Daddy's Little Girls which opened with a softer $11.2M, Why Did I Get Married? features Perry in a starring role. Throw in the popular Janet Jackson as a co-star and you've got a formula for success.

Dropping one spot was two-time box office champ The Rock in The Game Plan which fell only 34% this weekend to $11M. The drop was easily the best hold in the top 10 this week, and its cume now stands at $59M. With the recent success of comedies featuring tough guys and cute kids, it seems only a matter of time before there's a sequel to Mr. Nanny.

Following closely behind The Rock were two new films that were within $500,000 of each other this weekend. Sitting in third was the Joaquin Phoenix/Mark Wahlberg thriller We Own the Night which debuted to $10.8M, for a per screen average of $4,584. Following in fourth was the George Clooney starrer Michael Clayton. Expanding nationally from its successful debut last weekend, the Warner Bros. award hopeful took in $10.4M this weekend, for a solid per screen average of $4,131, bringing its cume to $11.5M.

Falling 48% from its less-than-powerful opening last weekend was the Ben Stiller R-rated comedy The Heartbreak Kid which laughed up $7.3M this weekend, bringing its total to a disappointing $25.9M. Look for a final theatrical run in the $45-50M range, which is reasonable for a lot of films, but not for a Ben Stiller/Farrelly Brothers comedy.

Opening in sixth place this weekend was the historical sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Bringing back star Cate Blanchett and director Shekhar Kapur nine years after the success of the original Elizabeth didn't mean much for audiences as the film brought in $6.2M this weekend for a per screen average of $3,075. A run on early season awards could help the overall gross of the film, otherwise it may fade away quickly.

In seventh was the war drama The Kingdom which fell 53% from last weekend to $4.6M. Its total now stands at $40M. Adding a few hundred screens this weekend and crashing into the top 10 was Across the Universe which features the songs of the Beatles. The film took in $3.8M in its fourth weekend bringing its total to $12.7M.

In ninth place this weekend was Resident Evil: Extinction which took in $2.6M in its fourth lap around the country, bringing its total to $48.1M. And rounding out the top 10 was The Seeker: The Dark is Rising which fell 41% from its soft opening last weekend to $2.2M. Its cume stands at $7.2M and it should end up in the $12-14M range with some hope for success on DVD.

The only other film debuting this weekend was the high school baseball pic The Final Season which opened to $664,351 for a per screen average of a pitiful $657. Look for the film to quickly appear in DVD bargain bins.

The top 10 grossed $80.3M this weekend, which was down 17% from 2006 when The Grudge 2 opened with $20.8M, but up 21% from 2005 when another horror film, The Fog, bowed on top with $11.7M.

Compared to projections, Why Did I Get Married? powered past Gitesh's $12M prediction, while he was on target with his $12M and $11M forecasts for We Own the Night and Michael Clayton.

For a NEW review of Elizabeth: The Golden Age and NEW DVD reviews of Transformers, Planet Terror and A Mighty Heart visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when 30 Days of Night, The Comebacks, Gone Baby Gone and Rendition all open.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines

# Title Oct 12 - 14 Oct 5 - 7 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Why Did I Get Married? $ 21,353,789 2,011 1 $ 10,618 $ 21,353,789 Lionsgate
2 The Game Plan 11,037,505 16,609,377 -33.5 3,128 3 3,529 58,978,627 Buena Vista
3 We Own the Night 10,826,287 2,362 1 4,584 10,826,287 Sony
4 Michael Clayton 10,373,422 719,910 2,511 2 4,131 11,450,629 Warner Bros.
5 The Heartbreak Kid 7,280,450 14,022,105 -48.1 3,233 2 2,252 25,856,010 Paramount
6 Elizabeth: The Golden Age 6,153,075 2,001 1 3,075 6,153,075 Universal
7 The Kingdom 4,608,025 9,722,940 -52.6 2,836 3 1,625 39,996,300 Universal
8 Across the Universe 3,824,988 1,945,219 96.6 954 5 4,009 12,734,454 Sony
9 Resident Evil: Extinction 2,646,261 4,521,301 -41.5 2,249 4 1,177 48,063,414 Sony
10 The Seeker: The Dark is Rising 2,212,955 3,745,315 -40.9 3,173 2 697 7,167,028 Fox
11 Good Luck Chuck 2,032,380 3,657,516 -44.4 1,951 4 1,042 32,758,031 Lionsgate
12 3:10 to Yuma 1,538,167 3,215,469 -52.2 1,820 6 845 51,535,461 Lionsgate
13 Feel the Noise 1,339,028 3,187,153 -58.0 1,020 2 1,313 5,110,283 Sony
14 Mr. Woodcock 1,123,549 2,331,445 -51.8 1,373 5 818 24,400,084 New Line
15 The Darjeeling Limited 1,085,337 561,628 93.2 95 3 11,425 2,155,758 Fox Searchlight
16 Into the Wild 928,678 1,279,208 -27.4 153 4 6,070 3,959,354 Par. Vantage
17 Eastern Promises 842,067 2,079,579 -59.5 781 5 1,078 16,263,330 Focus
18 Transformers (w/ Imax) 752,412 933,617 -19.4 360 15 2,090 317,601,309 Paramount
19 The Brave One 686,300 2,321,359 -70.4 1,255 5 547 35,997,063 Warner Bros.
20 The Final Season 664,351 1,011 1 657 664,351 Yari Film Group
Top 5 $ 60,871,453 $ 48,621,038 25.2
Top 10 80,316,757 63,333,980 26.8
Top 20 91,309,026 76,441,254 19.4
Top 20 vs. 2006 91,309,026 105,185,590 -13.2

Last Updated: October 15, 2007 at 6:45 PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Friday at 9:50am ET.