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Box Office Update 10/5-10/7: The Game Plan Fends Off Ben Stiller’s Advances

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This past weekend saw the analysts' predictions dashed as The Game Plan became the first film to retain the top spot since Superbad back in August. It had widely been assumed by those analysts (including me) that the Ben Stiller vehicle The Heartbreak Kid would take the top spot. I knew that The Game Plan would do well for the family market, considering the lack of specific competition. Fortunately, it is a good movie, and one of the better family films to hit the screens of late.

The film that would be king finished in second place. The Heartbreak Kid failed to deliver; it was expected to finish over the $20 million mark and run away with the top spot. This will have to go down as a big disappointment for Stiller. Still, the movie is funny and worth seeing. I am hard pressed to see what kept audiences away. Whatever the case, this opening weekend probably does not hold much for the future. This will probably fade fast.

Two other films cracked the top ten this week. First up is The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, the fantasy movie that is based on the Susan Cooper novel. Of course, fans of the book would be hard pressed to call this an adaptation considering the laundry list of changes that it went through on its way to the screen. As for those, like me, who have never read the books, it would just be advisable to avoid the movie. It doesn't matter what your level of familiarity is as the movie is terribly boring. Judging by its opening weekend, the word got out early. This will surely disappear quickly and look to make up the difference on DVD. The other new film is Feel the Noise, which I did not think would make much of a splash considering the low visibility of the title. I did not see it, so I cannot say how good it is one way or the other.

Among the returning films, the number one film, the previously mentioned The Game Plan, had a strong showing as it slipped less than 30%. The only other film to be as impressive is the excellent western 3:10 to Yuma, which is deserving off all it can get. At the other end of the scale Resident Evil: Extinction took the biggest hit as it slipped more than 45%.

Next week will see the release of Oscar hopefuls Elizabeth: The Golden Age, We Own the Night, and the expanding Michael Clayton, as well as The Final Season and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Eastern Promises (11), Across the Universe (12), and Sydney White (15). 

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 The Game Plan $16,609,377 $43,158,823 2
2 N The Heartbreak Kid $14,022,105 $14,022,105 1
3 2 The Kingdom $9,722,940 $31,746,270 2
4 3 Resident Evil: Extinction $4,521,301 $43,695,477 3
5 N The Seeker: The Dark is Rising $3,745,315 $3,745,315 1
6 4 Good Luck Chuck $3,657,516 $29,255,442 3
7 5 3:10 to Yuma $3,215,469 $48,728,753 5
8 N Feel the Noise $3,187,153 $3,187,153 1
9 7 Mr. Woodcock $2,331,445 $22,613,590 4
10 6 The Brave One $2,321,359 $34,380,387 4

Box Office Predictions Recap

Wow, bad choices by me this week. The Heartbreak Kid fell well short of expectations, and The Seeker has tanked. I saw the latter coming when I went to see it on Friday night and there were only two other people in the theater with me. While my placings were way off, after the top three my gross predictions were actually pretty close. Strange week. I am finding these non-summer weekends very tough to predict, but I will soldier on.

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
2 1 The Heartbreak Kid $14,022,105 $26 million
5 2 The Seeker: The Dark is Rising $3,745,315 $18 million
1 3 The Game Plan $16,609,377 $13 million
3 4 The Kingdom $9,722,940 $9.5 million
4 5

Resident Evil: Extinction

$4,521,301 $4.5 million
6 6 Good Luck Chuck $3,657,516 $3.5 million
7 7 3:10 to Yuma $3,215,469 $2.5 million
10 8 The Brave One $2,321,359 $2 million
11 9 Eastern Promises $2,079,579 $1.5 million
9 10 Mr. Woodcock $2,331,445 $1.5 million

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