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Box Office Update 1/23-1/25: Paul Blart Fends off the Lycans

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To say this weekend surprised me would be a bit of an understatement. Of course, I was surprised last week too. Who would have thought that an unassuming comedy with Kevin James would take the top spot at the box office not once but twice? Not I. Fortunately, I am not upset (well, why would I be? These numbers have no direct impact on me), I actually think the movie is pretty good. It is nice to see a comedy that is genuinely endearing and does not rely on innuendo and bodily fluid humor.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is going a long way towards moving Kevin James' career forward on the big screen. No, I never watched his show that much, but I like what I saw, not to mention my enjoying his stand-up routine. The way it is going, it looks to have a shot at crossing the century mark, and it'll be the first film of the year to do that.

A pair of new releases made their way onto the top ten and neither one finished in their expected positions. First up, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, the expected number one film. It fell a little bit short of the expectations as it made its way to second place. As for the movie, it was fun, but not great, and definitely worth checking out for fans of the series. Falling a little further down the list is Inkheart, a family fantasy that was expected to do stronger than its seventh place finish. I did not help it out, although I would like to check out the Brendan Fraser vehicle.

This week's top ten even saw a film make a return to the list, the David Fincher directed Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the biggest hit of Fincher's career. The near three-hour film is definitely one worth taking the time to absorb.

The remaining returning films all did quite well, save for Notorious (2009), which took a steep 72% dive, dropping it down to a precarious perch in tenth place.

Next weekend will see new competition from the new Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick Jr. romantic comedy New in Town, the horror film The Uninvited, and the Liam Neeson thriller Taken.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Defiance (2008) (11), The Unborn (2009) (13), and Marley and Me (22).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $21,623,182 $64,923,380 2
2 N Underworld: Rise of the Lycans $20,828,511 $20,828,511 1
3 2 Gran Torino $16,244,462 $97,819,975 7
4 5 Hotel for Dogs $12,860,944 $37,455,759 2
5 10 Slumdog Millionaire $10,699,629 $56,065,245 11
6 3 My Bloody Valentine 3D $10,012,658 $37,687,394 2
7 N Inkheart $7,601,379 $7,601,379 1
8 6 Bride Wars $6,868,664 $48,570,928 3
9 11 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button $6,085,919 $111,129,482 5
10 4 Notorious (2009) $5,779,692 $31,874,538 2

Box Office Predictions Recap
Unlike the box office figures, my ability to come anywhere near guessing the reality of the box office has not been going up. I have been on a slide for a few weeks now. It is interesting to see how well the box office is doing considering the direction of our economy. It shows that even in the face of economic uncertainty, entertainment is an absolutely essential part of our survival (that or people just like movies).

Here is how the field matched up to my predictions:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
2 1 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans $20,828,511 $22 million
1 2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $21,623,182 $17 million
7

3 Inkheart $7,601,379 $14 million
3 4 Gran Torino $16,244,462 $12.5 million
6 5 My Bloody Valentine 3D $10,012,658 $11 million
4 6 Hotel for Dogs $12,860,944 $8.5 million
10 7 Notorious (2009) $5,779,692 $8 million
5 8 Slumdog Millionaire $10,699,629 $7.5 million
12 9 Revolutionary Road $5,185,146 $7.5 million
16 10 Frost/Nixon $3,022,250 $6 million

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