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Weekend Box Office Report: March 27-29: Not so Alien but Definitely Monster

It isn’t exactly foreign, or alien if you will, to see an animated feature come out on top of the chart with massive numbers. This specific debut though certainly packed a particularly monstrous wallop.

It isn’t exactly foreign, or alien if you will, to see an
animated feature come out on top of the chart with massive numbers.  This specific debut though certainly
packed a particularly monstrous wallop.  Dreanworks’ Monsters Vs. Aliens is Dreamworks’ second biggest opening
for an animated film after last summer’s Kung-Fu Panda.  It is the third best March opening
after Zach Snyder’s 300 and the second installment in the Ice Age series.  More importantly though, Monsters Vs. Aliens establishes the viability and profitability of the budding 3D
market.  Representing just 28% of
the entire theatre count, 3D screens amassed 58% of the final weekend gross and
will inevitably get all of Hollywood talking about the future of the cinema.

The box office saw two other Top 10 debuts this week.  The first is yet another horror film, The Haunting in Connecticut.  Despite its certainly impressive debut, it will likely sink down the
same route as the countless other horror films that open strong and die off
faster than the first disposable victim in, well, all these equally disposable
horror flicks.  The week’s other
debut goes to 12 Rounds, the latest Renny Harlin action film.  The film was not heavily promoted and
stars B-list action star, John Cena.  This would most likely explain for the paltry $5 million it took in for
a seventh place finish.

Continuing its squeaky clean expansion, Sunshine Cleaning just missed out on the Top 10, finishing in 11th place.  The film officially goes art-house wide
next week when it reaches 500 screens but at 167 screens this weekend, its
gross improved 100% over last week and the Amy Adams/Emily Blunt vehicle
maintained a per screen average of over $8K.  A handful of other very limited runs saw impressive averages
this weekend.  Debuting this week
on three and four screens respectively, Independent Spirit nominated, Goodbye Solo brought in $13.5K per screen and French export, Shall We Kiss? secured an
average of nearly $8K.  Just like
last week though, the highest per screen average belongs to Valentino: The Last Emporer.  The film added one screen
this week for a whopping total of two screens and nailed down an average of
$15K for a 38% increase over last week.

And the Top 10 says goodbye this week to one its longest
mainstays.  After a total of 12
non-consecutive weeks in the Top 10, Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire suffered a great descent this week.  With its impending DVD release coming on Tuesday, the little movie that
not only could but did, saw a drop of nearly 60% and a loss of over 1200
theatres.  Still, at a total
domestic gross of nearly $140K and a total of eight Oscars, I’d say the Danny
Boyle picture definitely fared better than it would have had it been released
straight to video, as it was originally intended.

NEXT WEEK: Sundance hit and directorial follow-up to Superbad, Adventureland lands ion1800 screens.  More importantly though, its time to reboot and revisit Fast and Furious with the entire original cast and two less usages of the word,
“the”, on over 3400 screens.  


Weekend Top 10

# Title GROSS % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Total Distributor
1 Monsters vs. Aliens $58.2M NEW 4,105 1 14,181 $58.2M Dreamworks
2 The Haunting in Connecticut $23.0M  NEW 2,732 1 8,422 $23.0M Lionsgate
3 Knowing $14.7M -40.2 3,337 2 4,407 $46.2M Summit
4 I Love You, Man $12.6M -29.3 2,717 2 4,637 $37.0M Dreamworks
5 Duplicity $7.6M -45.9 2,579 2 2,930 $25.6M Universal
6 Race to Witch Mountain $5.6M -55.9 3,268 3 1,725 $53.3M Buena Vista
7 12 Rounds $5.3M NEW 2,331 1 2,274 $5.3M Fox
8 Watchmen $2.8M -59.5 2,010 4 1,371 $103.3M Warner Bros.
9 Taken $2.7M -33.5 1,961 9 1,377 $137.1M Fox
10 The Last House on the Left $2.6M -54.8 2,251 3 1,160 $28.5M Universal


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