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Box Office Update 8/14 – 8/16: District 9 Evicts the Joes

District 9 stepped up to the plate and proceeded to splatter G.I. Joe goo all over the place. Well, not exactly, but it came out strong off the bench while G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra plummeted nearly 60%. I did have the pleasure of seeing District 9, and I am ecstatic over its opening weekend success. I just hope that word of mouth is strong enough to carry it to a solid theatrical run. It is an original film that has great effects, an engrossing story, and an intelligence not often seen in what is ostensibly a summer action flick. It is easily one of my favorites of the year, and one I plan to see again on the big screen.

Taking a steep percentage hit, last week's winner, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, still lands comfortably in second place.  While one would have to think that the big dip does not bode well for the film's legs, this could just be a sophomore slump and the next week or two could see it level off. Not for nothing, I found the movie to be quite entertaining — it's pure, dumb fun that embraces the cheese.

Coming in third is The Time Traveler's Wife. It is a movie that did not work for me, but is not without some interesting ideas. It's shot well, but the leads, Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, do not seem to have much chemistry. In any case, it is a good date-type movie.

Fourth and fifth place are a couple of holdovers in Julie & Julia and G-Force, two very different movies for two very different audiences. I have only seen the former, and found it quite enjoyable. Both films had solid holds from last week and will likely have the legs to last a couple more weeks as new competition arrives.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard arrives in sixth place, in what I am sure is considered a disappointment. Considering how dull the movie turned out to be, it will likely have to wait for DVD to make most of its money. The movie is well cast and has a decent idea at its core, it is just the writing cannot support it and the execution collapses early on.

In the latter half of the top ten, the big story is Ponyo, the latest from Hayao Miyazaki. I do not think it tops his best work, but there is no denying this is a special film. The story is simple on the surface yet contains a lot of details that allow for closer inspection. The animation is beautiful and filled with great detail. It is also the biggest and widest opening for a Miyazaki film. I encourage you all to go see this before it disappears.

Next week will see the arrival of Quentin Tarantino's new film Inglorious Basterds. That is a film I am really looking forward to! We also get to see Post Grad starring Alexis Bledel, Robert Rodriguez's latest family film Shorts, and a special 3D film on ESPN's X-Games.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: (500) Days of Summer (11), A Perfect Getaway (12), Orphan (15), and Aliens in the Attic (17).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N District 9 $37,354,308 $37,354,308 1
2 1 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $22,324,341 $98,577,529 2
3 N The Time Traveler $18,623,171 $18,623,171 1
4 2 Julie & Julia $12,055,918 $43,340,386 2
5 3 G-Force $6,915,642 $99,056,616 4
6 N The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard. $5,642,137 $5,642,137 1
7 4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $5,141,072 $283,879,025 5
8 6 The Ugly Truth $4,448,232 $77,450,118 4
9 N Ponyo $3,585,852 $3,585,852 1
10 9 Funny People $3,010,755 $47,910,620 5

Box Office Predictions Recap

I did not have a great weekend, but where I was on, I was really on. I underestimated District 9, a fact I am very happy about. Who would have thought it would do so well? Clearly I didn't. A couple other goofs are The Goods, which I figured would do almost triple what it actually did. I figured the ads and following up The Hangover would drive it to a good start. I was wrong, and again I am glad. Then there is Bandslam, a title I figured would bring out the tweens. I was wrong as it failed to crack the top ten. The other seven titles on the list were spot on, or very close to it. It is an interesting chart to look at, that I can have such good and bad guesses in the same week.

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