FLOP, POP, FIZZLE: The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report, 10/2 – 10/4
Zombieland, took the top spot at the box office this weekend. It was a surprise success with both audiences and critics and it far surpassed most expectations, including those of its stars, apparently. Woody Harrelson has made it a point to mention in most of the promotional interviews that he had low when expectations when he was sent the script, but once he read through it, thought it was “phenomenal”.
Jesse Eisenberg (Harrelson’s co-star) also say he initially had the same reaction. He told the LA Times,
I realized this was better than most independent dramas I had at the time.”
It grossed $25M, which is especially good considering that it only cost $24M to produce. Like The Hangover, it serves as an example to the studios that it isn’t necessary to spend $200 million to produce a huge hit. Zombieland‘s success is a one-two punch from Sony, which can now boast about having produced the top two movies. In second place, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs shows no signs of slowing down, dropping only 12% from the previous week, grossing $16.7M for a cume cume of $82.4M.
Audiences were ready to re-experience Toy Story and its sequel in three dimensions. The 3-D double feature, came in third, with $12.5M. It’s a good sign for Pixar that indicates major audience interest for the third movie in the series, which will be released in June.
The Invention of Lying opened surprisingly well in fourth place. It’s a first for Ricky Gervais, who hasn’t been known to open a movie, and didn’t have as much success with his last big screen outing, Ghost Town. The Bruce Willis robot-action flick Surrogates predictably dropped down from second place to fifth, this week, earning $7.3M.
Despite a heavy promotional effort from its director/star Drew Barrymore, her “labor of love” Whip-It, failed to catch on, debuting in sixth place, with $4.85M. Michael Moore‘s latest doc, Capitalism: A Love Story, which expanded to 962 venues this week, came in seventh with $4.75M. Fame and The Informant! plumetted from their respective third and fourth place positions last week, to land in the seventh and eighth spots.
Fame is another huge flop for MGM, which was hoping for a High School Musical-like hit. The Jennifer Aniston rom-com Love Happens, which is creaking out of the top ten, having only made $18.9M, rounds out the list.