Home / Box Office Update 9/12-9/14: Burn After Reading Rises to the Top

Box Office Update 9/12-9/14: Burn After Reading Rises to the Top

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I must say that I was surprised to find Burn After Reading sitting pretty atop this week's box office charts. I was sure that Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys was going to take the top spot. I have (like many others) shortchanged Perry's ability to draw an audience for whatever reason. I was determined not to let that happen again, and here I go and pick incorrectly. Such is life. I am not upset, as I loved the latest Coen Brothers film.

Burn After Reading is a magnificent piece of pointless absurdity. Seriously, the screenplay is masterfully constructed around an insignificant MacGuffin that whips all involved into a frothy frenzy of thriller-tinged comedy. It is the sort of film that was clearly intended as a purge from the bleak Oscar winner No Country for Old Men. Believe me, it worked. The film is a weird crowd pleaser that draws in audiences with its big name stars and then delivers an experience unlike anything many of them have likely seen before. The film is completely and utterly pointless. It is great to see that people went out to see it and helped the Coens to the biggest opening of their career.

Following not too far behind is Tyler Perry's latest film, Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys. I have not seen the film, but it is clear that Tyler Perry has a loyal audience, and this will be sure to turn a profit. It opened a bit lower than his last film, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, but not terribly far off. This will likely show decent legs over the next few weeks.

Next up is yet another new wide release, Righteous Kill. The Al Pacino/Robert De Niro pair-up would seem like a potent combination but unfortunately the film fails to deliver more than mediocrity, and that would be generous. I suspect that as the bad word spreads, this film will slip pretty quickly.

Rounding out the top four is the final new wide release of the weekend, The Women, based on the 1939 film of the same name. This is another film that I have not seen, but it has not been very well received and will likely slip away in short order. The film stars Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Debra Messing, and a cast made up entirely of women. That's right, not a single guy.

This weekend is notable as it is the first one that finds The Dark Knight outside the top five in two months. It is rare for a movie to be a top ten finisher for two months, but top five? Unbelievable. Prior to its release I suspected that it would finish no higher than $375 million, and I thought I was being generous. Here we are following its ninth weekend and it is nearing $520 million. It should also be said that while it did finish in seventh place, it was not without a fight. There was less than $60,000 separating fifth through seventh, with Tropic Thunder and The House Bunny narrowly edging it out.

Next week will see new competition from the Ricky Gervais comedy Ghost Town, the Samuel L. Jackson thriller Lakeview Terrace, the John Cusack animated flick Igor, and Dane Cook's My Best Friend's Girl.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Babylon A.D. (11), Mamma Mia! (12), Disaster Movie (13), and Pineapple Express (17).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Burn After Reading $19,128,001 $19,128,001 1
2 N Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys $17,381,218 $17,381,218 1
3 N Righteous Kill $16,288,361 $16,288,361 1
4 N The Women $10,115,121 $10,115,121 1
5 2 Tropic Thunder $4,183,405 $102,974,069 5
6 4 The House Bunny $4,154,427 $42,008,459 4
7 3 The Dark Knight $4,128,153 $517,792,764 9
8 1 Bangkok Dangerous $2,592,656 $12,723,787 2
9 5 Traitor $2,131,639 $20,734,170 3
10 7 Death Race $2,056,415 $33,232,495 4

Box Office Predictions Recap

I guess it is safe to say that I am back on track. The past couple of weeks have been disasters for my weekly round of guesstimations. This week I was not completely on point, but in most cases I was pretty close. I was actually happy to be wrong about Burn After Reading, as that movie is just a shade away from brilliance. As for the rest of my guesses, they were all in the right ballpark. Hopefully I can keep this up next week.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
2 1 Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys $17,381,218 $18 million
1 2 Burn After Reading $19,128,001 $14 million
3 3 Righteous Kill $16,288,361 $13 million
4 4 The Women $10,115,121 $9 million
5 5 Tropic Thunder $4,183,405 $6 million
7 6 The Dark Knight $4,128,153 $4 million
8 7 Bangkok Dangerous $2,592,656 $3.5 million
6 8 The House Bunny $4,154,427 $3.25 million
9 9 Traitor $2,131,639 $2.5 million
11 10 Babylon A.D. $1,864,585 $1.5 million

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