Sunday, October 09, 2005

No Curse for Wallace & Gromit


DreamWorks and Aardman Studios found success with their second Claymation collaboration, Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which topped the box office this weekend with just over $16 million in 3,645 theatres, averaging just over $4,400 per venue.

Despite the release of five new movies, Touchstone Pictures' thriller Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster, held its ground for a second weekend in a row, dropping to #2 with roughly $10.8 million, bringing its total over $60 million. Its 27% drop-off in its third weekend against so many new releases is quite impressive.

Two dramas, each targeting a different gender, came out this weekend, but both underperformed from their expectations. Directed by Curtis '8 Mile' Hanson, the estrogen heavy In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, opened in third place with just over $10 million, while Two for the Money, the male-driven sports betting drama starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey, only earned $8.4 million its opening weekend. Both of them averaged roughly $3,500 per theatre.

The big surprise for the weekend had to be Screen Gems' drama The Gospel, which opened in fifth place, despite being in the fewest theatres for a new nationwide release. With focused marketing to church groups in urban areas, it was able to earn roughly $8 million, an average of $8.2 thousand per theatre, the highest average for any movie in the Top 10 and the only movie to average more than $5,000 per theatre.

Even with another stop motion animated film in theatres, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride held up well in its third weekend, adding an estimated $6.5 million to its box office gross of $42 million.

Opening in seventh place was Lions Gate's raunchy comedy Waiting... from first-timer Rob McKittrick. Showing the pitfalls of the restaurant business, the R-rated comedy earned $5.7 million in 1,652 theatres, an average of $3,450.

David Cronenberg's crime thriller A History of Violence dropped down to #8 with $5.1 million, while Joss Whedon's Serenity didn't hold up as well in its second weekend, dropping from #2 to #9 with less than $5 million. The Top 10 was rounded out by the deep sea thriller Into the Blue, starring Paul Walker and Jessica Alba, which made roughly $4.8 million. All three films have not yet grossed $20 million, and will likely be out of the Top 10 next week.

Disney's historical golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played, starring Shia LaBeouf added almost 800 theatres in its second weekend, allowing it to make more this weekend than last. Its $4 million take this weekend kept it just outside the Top 10. The Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Just Like Heaven lost a third of its theatre, and it ends its run in the Top 12 with $43.5 million, still less than its production costs.

Two high profile independent films opened in New York and Los Angeles after playing at the 43rd New York Film Festival. George Clooney's Good Night, And Good Luck about the on-air battles between Edward Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy made $420 thousand in eleven theatres, an impressive average of $3 thousand. Noah Baumbach's indie dramedy The Squid and the Whale, starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, grossed $124 thousand in only four theatres, also averaging over $30 thousand.