SUNDAY AM: The Game Plan scored another touchdown for Disney this weekend as The Heartbreak Kid opened to only $14 million from 3,299 theaters. I hear the exit polls were “awful” and the pic received only “C’s”‘ from Cinemascore. No wonder Ben Stiller’s R-rated comedy mustered only $4.7 million Friday and $5.5 million Saturday. That’s way less than the $20 mil hoped for by Paramount / DreamWorks. “If it’s less than $17 million, it’s a disappointment,” an insider told me before the weekend. Not helping box office, the remake also received lousy reviews (only 34% positive according to Rotten Tomatoes). But what elevated the 1972 original was the intriguing Jewish guy-shiksa goddess subtext, and now it’s just slapstick crapola from the Farrelly brothers who didn’t strike a There’s Something About Mary chord with audiences. Never a good sign when people are way more excited about seeing DreamWorks’ Sweeney Todd trailer that’s paired with the film. How humiliating for the pic to fall to No. 2 by Sunday since Disney’s family fare The Game Plan picked up momentum at the Saturday kiddie matinees for a $16.3 mil weekend. It made $4.4 million Friday and $7.3 million Saturday from 3,205 dates and fell only 29.1% its second weekend out for a new cume of $42.8 mil. Just for the record, The Game Plan was one of only six films this year to get a pure “A” rating from Cinemascore. It also scored well on the college circuit since The Rock is a fave.
In 3rd place, Universal’s war thriller The Kingdom fell the normal 45% its second weekend in release, earning $9.3 mil from 2,802 runs. Its new cume is only $31.3 after a disappointing opening of $17.1 mil since the studio had been hoping for at least $20 mil. But now Uni execs acknowledge that it may be too difficult selling war-themed movies this season. (Warner Indie’s In The Valley Of Elah is really struggling to find an audience.) One problem was that The Kingdom scored best with older males — exit polling showed 64% of moviegoers were over 30 — and not enough young people wanted to see the film. Some think that Jamie Foxx may still not be a serious enough actor to carry this kind of film, Oscar notwithstanding. “He’s more Cuba Gooding Jr than Denzel Washington,” one insider told me.
Screen Gems / Sony’s Resident Evil 3 came in 4th place, taking in $4.3 mil from 2,848 plays for a new cume starting its 3rd week in release of $43.4 mil.
Two newcomers broke into the Top 10. TriStar / Sony’s “reggaeton” music and dancing pic Feel The Noise from producer Jennifer Lopez made $3.4 mil Friday from only 1,015 theaters. I’m not at all sure why this movie opened in such a limited release except for the lousy reviews; I think it could have gone wide this weekend because of its very catchy ad campaign. And Fox Walden’s The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising is a flop, earning a disastrous $3.7 mil from 3,141 venues. So much for Walden’s attempt at a fantasy franchise based on a five-book series Susan Cooper started in the 1960s. (This is the second volume. Walden bought the books and produced the pic, Fox co-financed and distributed it.) Guess Fox has four more books of the beloved series left to get it right.
Meanwhile, George Clooney’s legal thriller Michael Clayton opened in limited release. Playing in 15 theaters, it earned $700K for the weekend, with the best per screen average Saturday of $19,136.
Overall, box office was down 26% compared to last year’s. Here’s the Top 10 chart:
- 1. The Game Plan $4.4M Fri, $7.3M Sat, and est $4.6M Sun. (cume $42.8M)
- 2. Heartbreak Kid $4.7M Fri, $5.5M Sat, and est $3.4M Sun. ($14M)
- 3. The Kingdom $2.9M Fri, $3.9M Sat, and est $2.5M Sun. ($31.3M)
- 4. Resident Evil 3 $1.2M Fri, $1.8M Sat, and est $1.2M Sun. ($43.4M)
- 5. The Seeker $1.1M Fri, $1.5M Sat, and est $1M Sun. ($3.7M)
- 6. Good Luck Chuck $1.1M Fri, $1.4 Sat and est $950K Sun. ($29M)
- 7. Feel The Noise $1.1M Fri, $1.3M Sat and est $925K Sun. ($3.4M)
- 8. 3:10 To Yuma $900K Fri, $1.3M Sat, and est $815K Sun. ($48.6M)
- 9. The Brave One $650K Fri, $1M Sat, and est $550K Sun. ($34.2M)
- 10. Mr. Woodcock $650K Fri, $925K Sat, and est $475K Sun. ($22.3M)