Moviegoers Investigate Shutter Island

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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.

Paramount Pictures’ Shutter Island exceeded expectations, opening with an estimated $40.2 million from 2,991 theaters and averaging $13,440 per site. The opening marks the best ever for director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio. Scorsese’s previous best was $26 million for The Departed in 2006, while DiCaprio’s best was $30 million for Catch Me If You Can in 2002. The psychological thriller, also starring Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson and Max von Sydow, cost about $75 million to make.

Last week’s champ, Warner Bros.’ Valentine’s Day lost a hefty 69.5% of its first weekend ticket sales, adding $17.2 million in second place. Garry Marshall’s ensemble romantic comedy carried a budget of $52 million and has earned $87.4 million so far.

James Cameron’s Avatar climbed a spot to third and earned yet another $16.1 million in its 10th(!) weekend domestically, bringing its total to $687.8 million. The movie should hit $700 million next weekend. Overseas, Avatar topped the box office for a 10th consecutive time with $51 million. The international gross for the film has reached $1.780 billion and the worldwide total has now reached an amazing $2.468 billion!

Fox’s Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief dropped one spot and 51% to earn $15.3 million in its second weekend. The fantasy-adventure, made for $95 million, has collected $58.8 million.

Like Valentine’s Day, Universal’s The Wolfman lost a large 68.7% of its first weekend ticket sales. The $150 million film added $9.8 million and has reached $50.3 million so far.

Sixth place belonged to Screen Gems’ Dear John, which took in $7.3 million in its third weekend and has earned $65.9 million.

In limited release, Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer debuted in just four theaters in which the film made $179,000, a strong average of $44,750 per theater. Expanding on March 5th, the thriller stars Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton and Eli Wallach.

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