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.