SUNDAY UPDATE: I’m told Sony scored its 12th No. 1 movie opening of the year when horror movie Grudge 2 took advantage of the perfect release time: Friday the 13th. Playing in 3,211 theaters, the movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amber Tamblyn raked in a good $9.6 million that day. (One rival studio put the # higher at $10.3 mil.) But the pic dropped 26% Saturday taking in $7.5 mil for what ended as a $22 mil weekend. (The sequel’s $$$ opening was only 2/3s of the original’s.) Warner Bros.’ The Departed from Marty Scorsese finished #2 and showed the pic had legs, dropping only 27% from the previous weekend. The critically applauded movie, already an Oscar contender, added another $5.9 mil Friday and $8.3 mil Saturday from 2,545 theaters for a cume of $57.5 mil and another $19.5 mil weekend. The big surprise was the near tanking of Universal’s critically panned comedy Man of the Year: not even star Robin Williams and director Barry Levinson could save this sinker. (Either his career is on its last legs, or else the public is sick of politics because of the approaching midterm elections.) The #3 flick did only $4 mil Friday and $5.2 mil Saturday from 2,515 theaters for what was a mere $12.5 mil opening weekend. Sony’s animated kiddie flick Open Season finished a respectable #4 its third weekend out, dropping only 30% per cent to take in $2.8 mil Friday and $4.9 mil Saturday (the bigger number thanks to the kiddie bounce) for what was $11.3 mil added to its cume of now $59.4 mil. Holdover Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning saw a big 6157% drop its second weekend out despite what should have been a Friday the 13th uptick for No. 5, pulling in $2.9 mil Friday and $3 mil Saturday for what was a $7.8 mil weekend, and now a $30.6 mil cume. Another pic debut was 20th Century Fox’s The Marine which came in 6th, eking out $2.3 million from 2,545 theaters Friday and $2.8 mil Saturday for what wound up a $6.9 mil weekend. Disney’s The Guardian with Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner recorded $1.7 mil Friday and $2.6 mil Saturday for 7th place, and a new cume of $41.1 mil. Lionsgate’s Employee of the Month starring Jessica Simpson and Dane Cook continued to lag its second weekend out, dropping 54% to 8th place with $1.6 mil Friday and $2.1 mil Saturday for an anemic $19.5 mil cume. And, in 9th place, newcomer One Night With The King, from Gener8Xion Entertainment, received critical kudos and took in $1.5 mil Friday and $1.4 mil Saturday from just 908 theaters for an opening weekend of $4.1 million. Finally, in the #10 spot, profitable Jackass Number Two earned $.9 mil Friday and $1.3 mil Saturday for what should be was $3.3 mil, and a new cume of $68.3 mil. (Weekend figures include Sunday estimates.) Sony Pictures has released 21 films this year, so 60% have opened to #1, an extraordinary record. The studio, No. 1 in market share, has amassed $1.28 billion gross for 2006 so far and hopes to set a year-long record of $1.6 bil.
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