Wild Things Rumpus at the Box Office

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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.

What’s turning out to be an October for the record books continues to thrive with the second movie to open over $30 million, as filmmaker Spike Jonze’s take on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are opened with approximately $32.7 million in 3,735 theaters including IMAX screens, surpassing some expectations but not all. With a solid average of $8,693 per site, the film benefited from a solid marketing campaign and praise from critics that made it apparent that it was far more than just a kiddie film, and in just three days, it is the auteur director’s biggest theatrical take so far.

Opening solidly in second place, the Gerard Butler-Jamie Foxx thriller Law Abiding Citizen (Overture Films) grossed roughly $21.2 million in 2,890 theaters, also bringing in audiences with its strong marketing campaign. It marks the largest opening for the fledgling two year old distributor whose biggest hit previously was the Robert De Niro and Al Pacino crime-thriller Righteous Kill last year.

Oren Peli’s low budget ghost movie Paranormal Activity (Paramount) expanded into nationwide release in 760 theaters where it grossed $20.16 million for third place, scoring an impressive $26.5k per site, which is the 13th-highest average for a wide release. The movie, which reportedly cost $11,000, has grossed over $33 million since opening in select cities on September 25. On Friday, the movie will expand into roughly 2,000 theaters where it’s likely to continue its strong run due to the positive word-of-mouth.

After a strong opening in first place, the Vince Vaughn tropical comedy Couples Retreat (Universal) dropped 48% to fourth place with a second weekend take of $17.9 million, bringing its total to $63.3 million.

Even with two other horror-thrillers in theaters, Screen Gems’ remake of The Stepfather, starring Dylan Walsh and Amber Heard, was able to bring in $12.3 million to take fifth place.

Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Zombieland swapped places with the former taking sixth place with $8.1 million and the latter falling to seventh place with $7.8 million. “Cloudy” crossed the $100 million mark on Thursday and the $24 million-budgeted zombie comedy has grossed $60.8 million in three weeks.

On the other hand, Disney’s two movies both tanked this weekend with the Toy Story 3D Double Feature dropping 61% and adding $3 million to its take of $28.6 million. (It was originally meant as a two-week limited release.) The action film Surrogates (Disney/Touchstone) took in less than $2 million in its fourth weekend having grossed $36.3 million.

The Ricky Gervais comedy The Invention of Lying (Warner Bros.) closed off the Top 10 with $1.9 million and $15.5 million total

The Top 10 grossed roughly $127 million, up an astounding 58% over the same weekend last year when Fox’s Max Payne, starring Mark Wahlberg, topped the box office with $17.6 million. By comparison, this weekend saw four movies surpass that amount.

Some of the movies of note opening in limited release included the anthology film New York, I Love You (Vivendi), which took in $372 thousand in 119 theaters, and Scott Sanders’ Blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite (Apparition), starring Michael Jai White, which grossed $141 thousand in 70 theaters.

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