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Box Office Update 4/17-4/19: 17 Again Tops the Chart

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This weekend's box office chart features a number of hard-fought battles, but all among the lower level titles. The top film easily led the charge. 17 Again took the top spot with a healthy $23.7 million. The comedy stars Zac Efron in his first true test as a box office draw, and the signs point toward a potential future. I have not seen the film but it seems to have arrived with some positive word around it.

Following in a distant second place is another new release. State of Play did not open as strongly as I was expecting, but I suspect it will have decent legs before doing strong business on DVD. For what it's worth, it is a solid thriller elevated by a strong cast led by Russell Crowe, plus a nice thematic undercurrent of old school (print media) versus new school (blogs) journalism. Definitely worth checking out.

Slipping to third place is Hannah Montana: The Movie, which suffered a 58% drop in its second weekend. It does not appear that this feature will have a long run. Just wait for it on DVD where it is sure to do gangbusters. I have no interest, but it was fun seeing the crowds line up during its opening weekend.

Fourth place belongs to Monsters vs. Aliens, currently the biggest hit of 2009, having overtaken Paul Blart: Mall Cop. This movie just missed taking third place, coming in less than $200,000 behind Hannah Montana. In four weeks the animated film has taken in north of $160 million, and would seem to have a shot at hitting the double century mark depending on how it does next weekend, the final weekend of April and the week before the big budget flicks begin rolling out.

In fifth place is Fast & Furious. The actioner is doing healthy business and around this time next week, it should be passing the original film of the series, thus becoming the biggest earner of the franchise (if not the top overall draw).

Crank: High Voltage arrived this past weekend, the unlikely sequel to the unlikely original. The film opened below my expectations, money-wise, but exceeded them in its entertainment value. This movie is a complete assault on the senses, and it is a complete blast. I loved it. It is the sort of movie that you either get or you don't.

Observe and Report appears to be on its way to a short theatrical run. The film's worth is questionable, but this weekend saw its gross overtake is production budget, which has to say a little something. The movie did make me laugh, but it was a mean-spirited affair whose surface vulgarity may be disguising something slightly deeper underneath. Then again, maybe not.

The battle for eighth place was a close affair, almost as close as the battle for third. The winner here is Knowing, a fascinating film that is easily one of the best of the year. It just squeaked by the buddy comedy I Love You, Man. Both will likely been dropping off the charts soon.

Likely making its last appearance is The Haunting in Connecticut, a decent ghost story with a little too much reliance on jump scares, despite its abundant atmosphere. It is lucky, it may reach $60 million, but more likely it will be in the $55-57 million range.

Next weekend will see the arrival of Fighting, starring Channing Tatum, Obsessed, featuring Beyonce, Idris Elba, and Ali Larter, and the music-drama The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. On Wednesday theaters will welcome Disney's nature documentary, Earth.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Dragonball: Evolution (11), Adventureland (12), and Duplicity (13).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N 17 Again $23,722,310 $23,722,310 1
2 N State of Play $14,071,280 $14,071,280 1
3 1 Hannah Montana: The Movie $13,406,217 $56,874,039 2
4 3 Monsters vs. Aliens $13,240,233 $163,063,465 4
5 2 Fast & Furious $11,774,715 $136,205,795 2
6 N Crank: High Voltage $6,963,565 $6,963,565 1
7 4 Observe & Report $4,174,939 $18,812,239 2
8 5 Knowing $3,574,727 $73,795,283 5
9 6 I Love You, Man $3,327,668 $64,614,979 5
10 7 The Haunting in Connecticut $3,114,892 $51,883,389 4

Box Office Predictions Recap

Every once in awhile I have a week of predictions where I am just on fire; of course, the planets have to align just right. This week turned out to be one of those weeks where the flames were being fanned and my numbers were actually pretty good. Sure, I was off on a bunch of the figures, but I was definitely in the ballpark. On top of that, the only films I got off on placement were Fast & Furious and Monsters vs. Aliens, which I swapped. Will next week continue what began here? Doubtful.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 17 Again $23,722,310 $23 million
2 2 State of Play $14,071,280 $18 million

3

3 Hannah Montana: The Movie $13,406,217 $15 million
5 4 Fast & Furious $11,774,715 $14 million
4 5 Monsters vs. Aliens $13,240,233

$13 million

6 6 Crank: High Voltage $6,963,565 $9 million
7 7 Observe & Report $4,174,939 $5.5 million
8 8 Knowing $3,574,727 $3.25 million
9 9 I Love You, Man $3,327,668 $3 million
10 10 The Haunting in Connecticut $3,114,892 $2 million

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