Monday, September 04, 2006

Invincible Scores Labor Day Touchdown


The extended Labor Day weekend heraled three new nationwide releases, but that couldn't stop Touchstone Pictures' football drama Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg, from pulling out a second weekend at the top of the box office with an estimated gross of $15.2 million, just 11% off from its opening weekend. Since opening eleven days ago, the popular true story has grossed $37.8 million, making it another hit for Disney, who dominated the summer with the two highest-grossing movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Cars.

Lionsgates' action-thriller Crank, starring Jason Statham, topped the box office on Friday with $3.2 million, but that business dropped off over the weekend for it to end up in second place for the weekend with an estimated $13 million, an average of $5,168 per theatres, slightly less than Invincible.

Warner Bros' remake of the '70s thriller The Wicker Man, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Neil Labute, grossed $11.7 million over the four-day weekend to open in third place.

Two independently financed movies rounded out the Top 5, as Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine continued its strong run and Neil Burger's period mystery The Illusionist expanded nationwide into just under 1,000 theatres. Little Miss Sunshine added another 172 theatres and saw a significant 32% increase over the holiday weekend, grossing rougly $9.7 million to bring its total to $35.8 million. Starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, The Illusionist made an estimated $8 million in its first four days in wide release, having the highest per-theatre average in the Top 12 and bringing its total gross to $12 million, placing it fifth at the box office.

Many of the other returning movies did well over the four-day weekend, bringing in audiences who hadn't had a chance to see them yet.

Will Ferrell's NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby maintained its business but dropped four places to #6 while grossing $7.7 million over the four-day weekend. The hit comedy has grossed $138.3 million, enough to get it into the Top 10 for the year.

Nickelodeon Films' animated comedy Barnyard: The Original Party Animals took advantage of the lack of family movies over the holiday weekend, jumping up three places to #7 with $6.4 million. Since opening in early August, it has grossed $63.6 million.

In eighth place, the Universal college comedy Accepted grossed $5.9 million, followed by Oliver Stone's 9/11 drama World Trade Center with $5.8 million and Touchstone's dance movie Step Up with $5.5 million. All three had negligible drop-offs.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ends the summer as the box office champion with $414 million, making it the sixth highest grossing movies of all time. Coming that much closer to crossing the billion mark worldwide, it raked in another $5 million over the holiday weekend.

Rounding out the Top 12, Broken Lizard's Beerfest dropped eight places while grossing roughly $4.6 million, a 34% drop from its opening weekend. So far, it has grossed $14.7 million, slightly more than its production budget.

Sony/Tristar's streetball drama Crossover, starring Anthony Mackie, failed to find much of an audience, opening in 1,023 theatres, where it grossed $4.5 million over the weekend not enough to get into the Top 12.

Outkast's Idlewild dropped out of the Top 12 with a weak second weekend of $2.9 million in four days, while New Line's horror-thriller Snakes on a Plane didn't even report estimates for the weekend.

Opening in limited release, the British remake of Lassie grossed $340 thousand in 170 theatres, a weak average of $2,000 per theatre.

Opening in two theatres in New York City, Kirby Dick's MPAA documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated, made an estimated $42 thousand over the four-day weekend.

Sony Classics expanded its indie thriller The Quiet with Elisha Cuthbert into 366 theatres, but its average of $707 per theatre proved that it was an unwarranted expansion. It has grossed $302 thousand so far.