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Box Office Update 9/26-9/28: Set Your Eyes on Eagle Eye

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Wow, a top ten list that doesn't have The Dark Knight on it. It's been awhile since that has happened, since it originally arrived on the big screen back in July. In the time since its release, it has shattered nearly every record the box office has to offer. Among its most prestigious records are Biggest Opening Day, Weekend, and Week, plus the fastest to $100, $200, $300, $400, and $500 million. The superhero film also stands as the biggest film of 2008 and the second largest box office gross (not adjusted for inflation) of all time. On top of all those records, it also happens to be a pretty darn good film.

This week's top film features the star of one of 2007's biggest hits, Transformers. Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan star in Eagle Eye, an action thriller that has the two being threatened with personal harm, plus harm to their families, as they are directed by an unseen person into increasingly dangerous situations. I have not yet seen the film, but it hasn't fared well on the critical front. Time will tell if I agree with them, or if I enjoy the action-filled flick.

Following from a safe distance is the second place finisher, and new release, Nights in Rodanthe. Rather than offer up visceral excitement, this film offers up a romance that is doomed from the start. Richard Gere and Diane Lane star in the Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) adaptation. The film survives purely on the strength of the leads. If you stop and try to look beyond the surface you will discover a rather shallow excursion into weepy-land. You would be better off revisiting The Notebook.

Two other new releases graced the top ten chart this week. First up is the number four film, Fireproof. The low budget film stars former Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron as a firefighter with family problems. The spiritually themed film performed extraordinarily well as it opened on less than 1,000 screens and had a per theater average of more than $8,000, making it the second best of the top ten.

The lone other new film this week is the Spike Lee WWII film, Miracle at St. Anna. It opened a disappointing ninth. The film definitely does have an interesting story to tell, however I found it to be sloppily executed. There are some emotionally moving moments, as well as those showing the horrific nature of war. I just feel that it could have been told in a more efficient and involving manner.

Among the returning films, Igor led the charge with an impressive 31% drop from last week. I found the film to be a bit dull and unfocused, but this shows there is a market for family oriented films, despite its overall lack of success. Burn After Reading also continued to perform well. The Coen brothers' film finished fifth and dropped less than 44%.

Next week, new competition will be An American Carol (featuring Chris Farley's brother as a Michael Moore-like filmmaker), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Blindness, Flash of Genius, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Ghost Town (11), The Women (12), The Dark Knight (13), and The House Bunny (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Eagle Eye $29,150,721 $29,150,721 1
2 N Nights in Rodanthe $13,418,454 $13,418,454 1
3 1 Lakeview Terrace $6,966,711 $25,667,507 2
4 N Fireproof $6,804,764 $6,804,764 1
5 2 Burn After Reading $6,196,269 $45,567,391 3
6 4 Igor $5,383,912 $14,222,701 2
7 3 My Best Friend's Girl $3,882,912 $14,611,423 2
8 5 Righteous Kill $3,709,480 $34,711,327 3
9 N Miracle at St. Anna $3,477,996 $3,477,996 1
10 6 Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys $3,125,620 $32,761,276 3

Box Office Predictions Recap

My up and down predictions are back on a downward slide. Yes, I got the top two places right and guessed their grosses in the general vicinity, but the rest was pretty sad looking. Who would have thought Kirk Cameron's Fireproof would climb so high? Not I. I wish him the best, but this placing was a complete shock to me. As for the rest of the chart, I was over in just about all of the cases. I guess there is always next week.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Eagle Eye $29,150,721 $35 million
2 2 Nights in Rodanthe $13,418,454 $15 million

5

3 Burn After Reading $6,196,269 $9.5 million
3 4 Lakeview Terrace $6,966,711 $8.5 million
9 5 Miracle at St. Anna $3,477,996 $8 million
7 6 My Best Friend's Girl $3,882,912 $5.5 million
6 7 Igor $5,383,912 $5 million
8 8 Righteous Kill $3,709,480 $4.5 million
10 9 Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys $3,125,620 $4 million
11 10 Ghost Town $2,930,904 $4 million

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