Big Stars Make Mediocre Box Office

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

Despite the big name stars releasing new movies this weekend–Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Martin Lawrence and Vince Vaughn–the box office saw one of the first disappointing weekends of the year with no new movie grossing over $25 million and only three making more than $10 million.

Even so, the reunion of McConaughey and Hudson in the romantic adventure Fool’s Gold (Warner Bros.) opened at #1 despite falling just short of the success of their previous pairing, the 2003 romantic comedy hit How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It grossed an estimated $22 million its opening weekend compared to the $23 – 25 million opening of McConaughey’s last two romantic ventures. Hindered by poor reviews and a 11% Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the amalgam of genres from Andy (Hitch) Tennant averaged $7k per site in 3,125 theaters, which surprisingly, is the widest release of any movie currently in release.

As of Friday, Martin Lawrence’s return in Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (Universal) seemed like it was going to have a disappointing first weekend but with a huge bump on Saturday, the comedy picked up steam to gross an estimated $17.1 million, averaging more than Fool’s Gold in 750 fewer theaters. It’s not Lawrence’s worst opening, but it didn’t do as well as Lawrence’s last movie for Universal, 1999’s Life with Eddie Murphy.

After setting a new record for Super Bowl weekend with the highest per-theater average for a wide release, Disney’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour tanked in its second unplanned weekend, dropping 66% to third place with $10.5 million and a ten day gross of $53.4 million, which will probably be enough for some theaters to hold it over through next week’s extended holiday weekend.

Jessica Alba’s supernatural thriller The Eye (Lionsgate) dropped to fourth place with $6.6 million, a respectable 47% drop compared to past Super Bowl horror offerings, with a ten-day gross of $21.5 million.

Fox Searchlight’s Oscar-nominated Juno continued to find business as it moved back up to 5th place with $5.7 million, putting it just ahead of the romantic comedy 27 Dresses (20th Century Fox), which dropped to sixth with a similar amount. To date, Juno has grossed $117 million compared to 27 Dresses‘ $65.4 million. Both are proving very profitable as is Warner Bros.’ The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, which added another $5.3 million to its own take of $75 million in seventh place.

Meet the Spartans (20th Century Fox) and Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo (Lionsgate) continued to spar for position in their third weeks with Sly being ahead by just $2,000 according to weekend estimates. After settling for second place in their opening weekend, it’s currently ahead of “Spartans'” box office gross by roughly $2.5 million.

Opening outside the Top 10 at #24 (!), the weekend’s third wide release, the comedy concert Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show (Picturehouse) grossed just $507,000 in 962 theaters, a pitiful average of $527 per site, quite a contrast to the other successful concert film in theaters.

Opening in just 28 theaters, Martin McDonagh’s debut In Bruges (Focus Features) starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson grossed $471,000 or $16.8k per theater, which should be decent enough to warrant further expansion.

Even with such a pitiful showing, Vaughn’s documentary fared better than the raunchy comedy The Hottie & the Nottie (Regent Releasing), starring the one and only Paris Hilton, which opened in 111 theaters on Friday and averaged $225 per location or roughly 30 people per venue over the weekend.

For the first time this year, the box office was down from the same weekend last year, but only about 3% despite not having a hit like Eddie Murphy’s Norbit dominating the box office.

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

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