With only one new movie opening in wide release over the Halloween weekend, it was thought by many that Kenny Ortega’s concert doc Michael Jackson’s This Is It (Sony) would bring in a lot of the King of Pop’s diehard fans as well as the morbidly curious, but despite reports of huge advance ticket sales and sell-out shows, it opened rather moderately on Wednesday with $7.4 million in just under 3,500 theaters. It managed to pick up some steam over the normally slow holiday weekend, bringing in an estimated $21.3 million, roughly $6,200 per site, to end up with a weak $32.5 million in its first five days. Even so, the Los Angeles Times reports the concert doc grossed $101 million worldwide in its first five days, which was enough for Sony to extend what was originally intended as a limited two-week run.
Adding another 459 theaters, Oren Eli’s DIY horror movie Paranormal Activity (Paramount) dropped to second place with $16.5 million and an astounding one-month total of nearly $85 million. With Halloween over and four new movies opening next week, one wonders whether it can hold up its unstoppable momentum, but $100 million seems guaranteed at this point.
Two returning movies took advantage of the lack of new movies to move up a place as the crime-thriller Law Abiding Citizen (Overture Films), starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, moved up to third place with $7.3 million and $51.4 million total. The Vince Vaughn and friends comedy Couples Retreat (Universal) followed suit, moving back into fourth place in its fourth weekend adding another $6.1 million to its total of $86.6 million.
As expected, Saw VI (Lionsgate) dropped drastically, plummeting 61% to fifth place with $5.6 million and $22.8 million in ten days. Likewise, Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.) took another massive hit in its third weekend, dropping 64% to 6th place with $5.1 million and a three week total of $61.8 million.
Screen Gems’ remake of The Stepfather joined the weekend’s winners, moving up a place to 7th with $3.4 million and just under $25 million total.
The animated adventure Astro Boy (Summit) was another family movie hurt by the Halloween holiday, dropping 55% to eighth place to add another $3 million to its ten-day total of $10.0 million.
Moving up two places and landing in the Top 10 at #9, Mira Nair’s biopic Amelia (Fox Searchlight), starring Hilary Swank, benefited from an expansion to hold steady with a minor drop of 22% and another $3 million, followed by Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (Universal) in tenth place with $2.8 million.
The Top 10 grossed roughly $75 million, up slightly from last Halloween weekend where Kenny Ortega’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year remained on top of the box office with $15.3 million while Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno took second place with just $10 million.
Opening in 68 theaters in select cities, Troy Duffy’s long-anticipated sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saint’s Day brought in $462 thousand, just under $7,000 per site to claim the honor of the highest per-theater average for the weekend. By comparison, Jared Hess’ Gentlemen Broncos (Fox Searchlight) tanked in a major way, grossing just $10,000 in two theaters. We probably won’t be seeing this one following the success of Hess’ debut Napoleon Dynamite.
Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.