obsessed-poster.jpg thesoloist_galleryposter.jpg

SUNDAY AM: These kinds of movies are so demeaning to women when the wife and a deranged “other woman” catfight over a man. But there’s no denying that female filmgoers love this winning formula. (Remember the big box office of its inspiration, Fatal Attraction?) So it was no surprise to Hollywood that Screen Gems/Sony’s Obsessed starring Beyoncé did so well Friday and Saturday, opening No. 1 to $11.2 million both days in North American grosses from 2,515 theaters for what was an overperforming $28.5M weekend. Amazing, since the studio claims it cost only $20M and was expecting only $18M. This was the 2nd biggest Screen Gems opening ever. Exit polling showed that the extraordinary opening was driven by female moviegoers (58%) and nearly half were under age 25.

Showing that Zac Efron has legs with his tween/teen fanbase, No. 2 went to 17 Again from New Line/Warner Bros with $3.9 million (down 60% from its opening last Friday) from 3,255 dates and $4.8 million Saturday. It did jump up from 3rd place with its weekend tally reaching $11.3M for a new cume of $39.6M.

Rogue/Universal’s pummel pic Fighting with star of tomorrow Channing Tatum (of the upcoming G.I. Joe) and debuted in 3rd place to $4.5 million Friday and $4 milliON Saturday from 2,310 venues for an $11.4M weekend. That was in line with expectations for this formulaic he-man genre. Exit polling showed the audience was 58%/42% male to female, 66%/33% under to over age 25, and ethnically diverse — Hispanic (39%), Caucasian (30%), African American (19%), Asian (9%), and “Other” (3%).

For months, there’s been curiosity about how the DreamWorks/Paramount inspirational pic The Soloist would fare in theaters. This Robert Downey Jr/Jamie Foxx starrer was supposed to be released for Academy Award consideration in 2008, but Paramount delayed its debut in order to keep the spotlight and marketing on its two Oscar hopefuls The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road. (Needless to say, DreamWorks was not amused…) The much-buzzed pic is based on the real life relationship between a Los Angeles Times columnist and a genius violinist who’s also homeless. But The Soloist opened in 4th place with $3.2 million Friday and $4 million Saturday from 2,024 runs for an underperforming $9.7M considering the heavy marketing. But it proved a challenge to convince people the film wasn’t a downer. The audience was led by females over 25, followed by males over 25, with some interest from, surprisingly, males under 25.

Disney’s environmental documentary Earth (2009) opened, appropriately enough, on Wednesday which was Earth Day. It earned $2.9 million Friday and $3.3 million from 1,804 plays for 5th place and an $8.6M weekend and $14.1M cume. It’s a great start for the first documentary from the new Disneynature label. Following 3 animal families with impressive photography, it scored the biggest opening weekend for a nature documentary, even surpassing the $7.2M three-day opening of March Of The Penguins. Because of a Disney ticket offer, 2 million trees now will be planted in the endangered Atlantic Rain Forest.

DreamWorks’ Monsters v Aliens snuck into 6th place with an $8.5M weekend still playing wide in 3,358 venues after 5 weeks for a new giant cume of $174.8M.

It’s surprising how quickly Universal’s journalism thriller State Of Play starring Russell Crowe and based on the BBC miniseries faded in a week after a disappointing opener because the studio really thought this pic would have legs. In the 7th spot, it made only $2 million (-55%) Friday and $3.1 million Saturday from 2,807 theaters for a $7M weekend and new cume of a mere $25.2M. In its 3rd week of release, Disney’s Hanna Montana, The Movie made $6.5M this weekend for a $65.7M new cume for 8th place from 3,231 plays. At No. 9, Universal’s Fast & Furious blockbuster hangs in starting 4 weeks in release for a $6.1M weekend and $145.3M new cume from a still wide release of 3,566 runs.  And, rounding out the Top 10, Lionsgate’s Crank 2: High Voltage eked out a $2.5M weekend (-63%) and new $11.6M cume from 2,223 dates starting its 2nd week.Overall, box office looks in the low $90sM — +5% from last year. Starting May 1st, the summer blockbusters!