A lot of people thought that Secretariat would be a shoo-in for first place this week. There has been Oscar talk for Diane Lane, and Disney was pinning its hopes on having a “Blind Side” type four-quadrant hit film on its hands. Alas, at the end of the day, Secretariat stumbled across the finish line in third place with $12.6M for the weekend, dashing the dreams of studio executives hoping for a huge hit.
The Social Network came in at the top spot, with $15M. It dropped about 30% from its opening weekend, and has made $46M to date. Katherine Heigl’s latest rom-com Life As We Know It came in at a respectable $14.6M, good enough for second place this weekend, though it came in on the lower end of expectations.
Holdover Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole won the number four spot. Wes Craven’s latest offering, My Soul To Take, was a disappointment with $6.9M, despite having 3D up charges. It goes to show that 3D does not ensure big numbers at the box office.
You still have to have a quality product. The movie wasn’t screened for critics, and feedback from audience members has been dismal. Cinemascore reports a horrible “D” grade.
Newcomers Buried and It’s Kind of a Funny Story were on limited screens, but their per/screen averages were pretty bleak. Each only garnered about $2,000 per showing, and neither placed in the top ten. I Spit on Your Grave only made $33,000 over the weekend, a truly frightening total.
Outside of the mainstream, there are a couple of documentaries making some serious waves. Waiting for “Superman” is a film about the plight of the American public school system, and it is getting great reviews and interest. It played on 103 screens, and had a healthy $6,000+ per/screen take.
Even better was the performance of Inside Job, a documentary about the financial collapse of the stock market. It only played on 2 screens, but its per/screen average was an astonishing $21,000! Those are numbers similar to what we saw last year when Precious slowly rolled out in limited release.
Next Friday a couple of Jackasses will vie for your dollars with Jackass 3D. Opening opposite the film is RED, the film about a group of retired CIA agents who reconvene when they realize they have been targeted for assassination. Talk about some counter-programming.