W. Feels the Payne of the Bees ‘ Sting

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Winning the weekend as expected was Mark Wahlberg playing video game gumshoe Max Payne (20th Century Fox), although it only brought in an estimated $18 million in 3,376 theaters, an average of $5,300 per site. While it opened bigger than the movie based on Resident Evil in 2002 and the movie based on Doom in 2006, it was still only the ninth-biggest opening for a movie based on a video game and Wahlberg’s seventh-biggest opening.

Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua held strong in its third weekend, dropping to second place with $11.2 million and a total gross of $69 million.

The biggest surprise of the weekend might have been the success of the movie based on Sophia Monk Kidd’s best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees (Fox Searchlight) with an ensemble cast featuring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson, which grossed an estimated $11 million in just 1,591 theaters, showing the strongest per-theater average in the Top 10 with nearly $7 thousand per location.

After opening in second place on Friday with $3.8 million, Oliver Stone’s psuedo-biopic W. (Lionsgate), starring Josh Brolin as the 43rd President, lost third place to the “Bees,” taking in an estimated $10.5 million in its opening weekend.

The rest of the Top 10 saw a shake-up with DreamWorks’ thriller Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, edging ahead of last weekend’s openers to take fifth place with $7.3 million. Down just 33% and one spot from last week, it has grossed $81.3 million in four weeks with a production budget just below that mark.

Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies (Warner Bros.), teaming DiCaprio and Crowe, dropped 47% in its second weekend, taking sixth place with $6.9 million with a ten-day gross of $24.5 million.

Screen Gems’ R-rated horror movie Quarantine took the biggest plunge of last week’s openers, dropping 56% to 7th place with $6.3 million over the weekend and $24.7 million total.

The teen romantic comedy Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Screen Gems), starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, ended up in eighth place with $3.9 million and $26.7 million total.

Opening in ninth place, the R-rated road comedy Sex Drive (Summit) brought in a disappointing $3.6 million in 2,421 theaters, averaging less than $1,500 per location despite decent word-of-mouth from sneak previews and promo screenings.

The romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Bros.), reuniting Richard Gere and Diane Lane, rounded out the Top 10 with $2.7 million, although it might lose that spot to the inspirational hit Fireproof when actuals are reported on Monday.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $83.3 million over the weekend, up 14% from the same weekend last year.

The most significant movie in limited release was Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, which brought in $216 thousand in 36 locations, averaging $6 thousand per site.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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