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Box Office Update 9/4-9/6: The Final Destination Remains on Top

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The Final Destination roared its way to the top of the box office in its debut weekend and surprisingly managed to hold onto to it in its second weekend. I never would have guessed that. I thought for sure this weekend's new releases would easily be able to top it. What I did not bank on was that the weekend, despite being Labor Day, would be slower than I expected. Frankly, I am surprised this gimmicked horror film was able to do it, even with the depressed holiday numbers. I did not think the new competition was all that bad. I guess there is always next weekend.

On another, more positive, note, the number two film turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Inglourious Basterds has held onto its perch from last week. I have to say that I am very happy to see it doing so well, with the advertising the way it was (focusing on Brad Pitt) and the movie the way it is (Pitt in so little of the film and so much of it being subtitled), I expected a good open and a steep drop off. I am happy to have been proven wrong in its three weeks of success. I am sure it is about to start dropping, but it is still a fine showing for a strong film. It is also interesting to note that it is also poised to become Tarantino's biggest hit in unadjusted dollars. It is past the $95 million mark and it only has Pulp Fiction's $107 million in its way.

Third and fourth place are held by a pair of newcomers. First is the new Sandra Bullock comedy All About Steve, a film that has gotten some awful reviews. I am not going to defend it, but there is a certain zaniness that makes it somewhat watchable. I think it has to do with Bullock's commitment to the character (awful voiceover notwithstanding). Watching her play a character that is so socially challenged is kind of funny. Then there is Gamer, the new film from the minds behind Crank. The Gerard Butler film is wild, over the top, and does not have much in the way of redeeming value. I suspect the mild commentary on gaming culture and the use (or abuse) of technology is only there in an attempt to justify the carnage and ADD-addled editing. Still, I have to say I enjoy what they offer.

The bottom half of the top ten offers up no surprises other than a surprisingly strong hold for most of the returning films. The film that faring worst is Halloween II, which is not at all unexpected. It has gotten terrible reviews (despite my love for it). It has made its money back and will likely do well on DVD, but its theatrical run is on a quick downward slide.

There is one new release in the bottom half, Mike Judge's Extract. I had expected this one to open stronger, but after seeing it, I am not surprised. It is a meandering comedy that never takes focus. It has performances and characters I like, but they are let down by a script that does not know what it wants to say. Still, it is worth seeing and is better than the gross would suggest.

Next week will see competition from the animated apocalypse of 9, the horror remake Sorority Row, and the Kate Beckinsale thriller Whiteout, and Tyler Perry's latest Tyler Perry's I Can do Bad All by Myself.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Shorts (11), G-Force (12), and Taking Woodstock (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 The Final Destination $12,368,882 $47,508,879 2
2 2 Inglourious Basterds $11,629,393 $91,825,001 3
3 N All About Steve $11,241,214 $11,241,214 1
4 N Gamer $9,156,057 $9,156,057 1
5 4 District 9 $7,076,937 $101,351,058 4
6 3 Halloween II (2009) $5,745,206 $25,801,098 2
7 6 Julie & Julia $5,324,583 $78,964,977 5
8 5 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $5,175,113 $139,491,579 5
9 N Extract $4,340,108 $4,340,108 1
10 7 The Time Traveler's Wife $4,326,787 $54,670,789 4

Box Office Predictions Recap
Funny, if it weren't for the three new films entering the top ten, my list would look pretty good! Well, at least on the gross prediction side of the table. Labor Day weekend is a traditional low water mark (not so low as the weekend immediately following it, but still), but I still thought it had a little more strength in it than what we saw, as evidenced by my generally higher guesses. I suspect next week will be tough as I will want to go a touch higher despite knowing the weekend will likely be way down.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
4 1 Gamer $9,156,057 $18 million
3 2 All About Steve $11,241,214 $14.5 million

1

3 The Final Destination $12,368,882 $13 million
2 4 Inglourious Basterds $11,629,393 $11 million
5 5 District 9 $7,076,937

$7.5 million

6 6 Halloween II (2009) $5,745,206 $6.5 million
9 7 Extract $4,340,108 $6 million
8 8 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $5,175,113 $5.5 million
7 9 Julie & Julia $5,324,583 $5 million
10 10 The Time Traveler's Wife $4,326,787 $3.5 million

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