Jan. 20, '08: With an estimated US$41 million take, Cloverfield destroyed its competition at the North American box office this weekend.
Paramount's monster movie directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J. Abrams soared past the $35 million record opening of the Star Wars 1997 rerelease. Cloverfield focuses on a small group of friends trying to escape Manhattan while a massive creature rips through the city.
New entry 27 Dresses (above, with James Marsden and Malin Akerman) ranked in second, pulling in $22.4 million from ticket sales at 3,057 locations. The Anne Fletcher-directed romantic comedy stars Katherine Heigl as a passionate bridesmaid who's asked to arrange her sister's wedding to the man (Edward Burns) she's secretly in love with.
Last week's winner, The Bucket List, dropped to No. 3, earning $15.2 million. The Warner Bros. release directed by Rob Reiner lifted its domestic total to $42.7 million after four weeks. Starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the much-panned comedy follows the adventures of two terminally ill cancer patients who flee the hospital so as to chase their dreams and come to terms with their past.
Meanwhile, Jason Reitman's surprise hit Juno fell to No. 4, collecting $10.3 million and reaching a cumulative gross of $85.4 million after a strong seven-week run. Released by Fox Searchlight, the film stars Ellen Page (above, with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) as a pregnant 15-year-old who decides to give her baby up for adoption. Juno failed to pick up any Golden Globes this past weekend, but its expansion into 2,534 theatres two weeks ago considerably boosted the film's ticket sales.
Down one spot to No. 5, Walt Disney's National Treasure: Book of Secrets picked up $8.1 million, lifting its total haul to $198 million after five weeks in release. Directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Nicolas Cage, Helen Mirren, and Diane Kruger, the sequel to the 2004 smash hit National Treasure portrays the new adventures of treasure hunter Benjamin Gates, who travels the globe to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Ice Cube's latest comedy, First Sunday, slipped to No. 6, earning $7.8 million. The David E. Talbert-directed film raised its domestic total to $28.4 million after only two weeks in theatres.
New entry Mad Money, starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes, ranked in seventh with a weekend gross of $7.7 million, while Tim Hill's Alvin and the Chipmunks closely followed at No. 8 with $7 million. The live-action-cum-animated film based on the popular 1980s cartoon series remains an impressive box office success, reaching a total gross of $196 million after six weeks.
Two films rounded out the top ten: Francis Lawrence's post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend, with $5.1 million, and Joe Wright's Golden Globe winner Atonement, with $4.7 million.
This has been an incredibly strong January weekend, with the top three films pulling in a combined $78.5 million. Cloverfield has become the first major box office hit of 2008, leaving experts guessing on how it will perform against Sylvester Stallone's Rambo, scheduled to open next Friday.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets topped the North American box office for the third straight weekend with an estimated US$20.2 million.
Walt Disney's sequel to the 2004 hit National Treasure continued to slam the competition, lifting its domestic total to $171 million after a strong three-week run. The Jon Turteltaub-directed adventure tale starring Nicolas Cage (above, with Diane Kruger) as an ambitious treasure hunter is just $2 million away from surpassing the cumulative gross of its predecessor.
I Am Legend climbed back up to No.2, collecting $16.3 million from ticket sales at 3,648 locations. The post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith reached a cumulative gross of $228.6 million after only four weeks in release.
Jason Reitman's coming-of-age comedy Juno jumped to No. 3 after adding more theatres nationwide last week, earning $16.2 million while lifting its total haul to $52 million. Starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera, the film follows the misadventures of a pregnant 15-year-old who decides to give her upcoming baby up for adoption.
Down from No. 2 to No. 4, Alvin and the Chipmunks took home $16 million from 3,462 locations. Directed by Tim Hill, the PG-rated comedy based on the popular 1980s cartoon series has taken in a total of $176.6 million after a remarkable four-week run.
The weekend's only major new release, One Missed Call, debuted at No. 5, with a $13.5 million take despite negative reviews. Directed by Eric Valette and starring Shannyn Sossamon an Edward Burns, the horror thriller follows a group of friends whose lives are threatened following mysterious phone calls.
Mike Nichols' political comedy Charlie Wilson's War, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, dropped to No. 6 with $8.1 million, lifting its total gross to $52 million after three weeks. Richard LaGravenese's romantic drama P.S. I Love You, with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, followed at No. 7, with a weekend gross of $8 million and a domestic total of $39.3 million.
Three films rounded out the top ten: Jay Russell's boy-and-his-underwater-monster fantasy The Water Horse (above) with $6.3 million; Tim Burton's horror musical Sweeney Todd with $5.4 million; and Joe Wright's drama Atonement, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, with $5.1 million.
This upcoming weekend, four wide releases will challenge Book of Secrets for the No. 1 spot at the North American box office.
In David E. Talbert's comedy First Sunday, Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan plan to rob their neighborhood church to help an ex-girlfriend pay off her debt. First Sunday is scheduled to hit 2,000 theatres on Friday.
Also opening is The Pirates Who Don't Know Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, an animated adventure story about three vegetables who dream of putting on a pirate show.
Director Uwe Boll will return to the big screen with In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, an actioner based on the popular video game of the same title. Starring Leelee Sobieski, Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, and Ray Liotta, In the Name of the King follows a man who sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife while facing an army of ruthless warriors ruled by an evil king.
Finally, Rob Reiner's drama The Bucket List will expand into 2,800 theatres on Friday. Starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the much-lambasted movie follows two cancer patients who leave the hospital to travel around the world and do all they can before they die.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets topped the North American box office this past three-day weekend with an estimated US$45.5 million.
The Jon Turteltaub-directed sequel to the 2004 smash hit National Treasure opened at 3,832 theatres on Friday, beating the opening weekend gross of its predecessor by $10 million. Starring Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris and Helen Mirren, the film follows the adventures of treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, who travels the world to uncover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Last week's box office winner I Am Legend dropped to No. 2, collecting $34.2 million from ticket sales at 3,620 locations. The post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith lifted its cumulative gross to $137.5 million after an impressive two-week run. Based on a novel by Richard Matheson, the film focuses on the sole survivor of a deadly virus and his quest to find a cure.
Down from No. 2 to No. 3, Alvin and the Chipmunks earned $29 million, reaching a total of $84.9 million after two weeks. The Tim Hill-directed animated film is based on a popular 1980s cartoon series about a group of singing chipmunks who help a failing songwriter become famous.
New entry Charlie Wilson's War landed at No.4, taking home $9.6 million from 2,575 sites. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film follows Congressman Charlie Wilson as he secretly helps Afghanistan rise against the Soviet Union. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman star.
Opening at only 1,249 theatres nationwide, Tim Burton's dark musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street attracted large crowds, picking up $9.4 million. Based on Stephen Sondheim's Broadway show, and starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman, Sweeney Todd tells the story of a barber who seeks bloody revenge against the people who destroyed his family.
Trashed by critics, Richard LaGravenese's romantic comedy P.S. I Love You opened at 2,454 theatres on Friday, failing to harmonize with cinemagoers as it collected a mere $6.5 million. The plot centers on a widow who discovers 10 messages her late husband left her before his death. Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler and Lisa Kudrow star.
Walt Disney's hit fairy-tale Enchanted slipped to No. 7 this week, pulling $4.1 million from 2,752 locations. The Kevin Lima-directed comedy starring Amy Adams lifted its cumulative gross to $98.3 million after a successful five-week run.
New entry Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story delivered an unexpectedly weak performance, debuting at No. 8 and collecting $4 million from 2,650 locations. Directed by Jake Kasdan and written and produced by Judd Apatow, this comedy about the life of singer Dewey Cox – despite overall positive reviews – is the first Apatow production in the last couple of years to fail at the box office.
New Line Cinema's The Golden Compass tumbled to No. 9 this weekend, earning $3.4 million and reaching a total haul of $48.4 million after three weeks in release. While Chris Weitz's $180-million film is thriving overseas, its box office results in North America have been relatively weak.
Jason Reitman's indie comedy Juno rounded out the top ten, expanding to 297 theatres and earning $3.4 million. The film has grossed $6.3 million so far and will add more theatres nationwide next week.
Beowulf (above) stormed to the top of the North American box office this weekend with an estimated US$28.1 million.
Robert Zemeckis' computer-animated epic-adventure tale opened at 3,153 theatres on Friday, slamming its competition after scoring with critics and winning over audiences with stunning 3D projections. Based on the ancient epic poem, the film follows Beowulf, a fearless warrior who goes after an overpowering demon and later takes on the monster's equally powerful mother.
Last week's box office champion Bee Movie slipped to No. 2, collecting $14.3 million from ticket sales at 3,984 locations. The DreamWorks computer-animated film directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith lifted its cumulative gross to $93.9 million after a solid three-week run.
Ridley Scott's crime drama American Gangster dropped from No. 2 to No. 3, earning $13.2 million and reaching a total haul of $101 million after three weeks. Starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the film is based on an article about Frank Lucas, the most influential drug lord in Harlem during the 1970s.
Fred Claus fell to the No. 4 slot, taking home $12 million at 3,603 sites. Helmed by David Dobkin, and starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti, the Christmas comedy lifted its total gross to $35.8 after two weeks in theatres.
New entry Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (above) ranked in fifth, pulling $10 million from 3,164 markets. Despite generally positive reviews, Zach Helm's rated-G film delivered a relatively weak opening-weekend performance. The story centers on the eccentric owner (Dustin Hoffman) of a magical toy store who plans to die and hand all his belongings to his charming apprentice, played by Natalie Portman.
This upcoming week, five wide releases will compete for the top spot at the U.S. and Canada box office.
Walt Disney Pictures presents Enchanted (right), about a fairy-tale princess who escapes her 2D world and is thrust into present-day New York City, where she falls in love with a divorce lawyer. Directed by Kevin Lima, the film stars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, and Susan Sarandon. Enchanted is set to open this Wednesday.
Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, returns to the big screen with The Mist, the latest adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Starring Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden, the horror film follows a group of small-town residents who seek shelter in a supermarket after a severe thunderstorm unleashes a number of blood-thirsty creatures.
Hitman is an action-adventure tale based on the popular video game of the same title. Directed by Xavier Gens, the film stars Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47, a ruthless assassin who gets tangled up in a dangerous conspiracy involving the Interpol and the Russian military.
In August Rush, a gifted orphan uses his musical talents to track down his birth parents. Directed by Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of Jim Sheridan, the film features an all-star cast that includes Robin Williams, Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Also opening is This Christmas, a drama about a family's first Christmas get-together in almost four years. Delroy Lindo, Chris Brown, Regina King and Mekhi Phifer star.
Limited releases this week include Christmas in Wonderland, a PG-rated comedy directed by James Orr and starring Patrick Swayze; Pratibha Parmar's Nina's Heavenly Delights (above), about two women who develop an intimate relationship at a curry house in Glasgow; and Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, which won the Special Jury Prize at this year's Venice Film Festival. The film stars Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Heath Ledger.
Bee Movie buzzed its way to the top of the North American box office this weekend with an estimated US$26 million.
DreamWorks' computer-animated adventure tale switched spots with last weekend's box office champion American Gangster, lifting its cumulative gross to $72.2 million after two weeks in release. Directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith, Bee Movie follows the story of Barry B. Benson, a curious bee who breaks out of his hive to explore the human world.
American Gangster slipped to No. 2, collecting $24.3 million from ticket sales at 3,059 locations. Ridley Scott's crime drama starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe reached a total haul of $80.7 million after a solid two-week run. The film is based on an article about Frank Lucas, the most influential drug lord in Harlem during the 1970s.
New entry Fred Claus ranked in third, collecting $19.2 million from 3,603 sites. The David Dobkin-directed comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti failed to score with both critics and audiences, delivering a relatively weak performance for the opening weekend of a wide release.
Meanwhile, Robert Redford's war drama Lions for Lambs debuted at No. 4, taking home $6.7 million at 2,215 movie houses. The film centers on a U.S. military accident in Afghanistan that triggers a series of events involving a congressman, a journalist, and a college professor. Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, and Meryl Streep star in the new United Artists' first release.
Down from No. 4 to No.5, Peter Hedges' romantic comedy Dan in Real Life pulled $5.9 million at 1,941 theaters, lifting its cumulative gross to $30.7 million after three weeks on release. The story centers on a lonely advice columnist and single father (played by Steve Carell) who falls for his brother's girlfriend. Juliette Binoche co-stars.
In limited release, Joel and Ethan Coen's crime drama No Country for Old Men grossed $1.2 million at 28 theaters, averaging a remarkable $42,929 per screen.
This upcoming weekend, three major releases will compete for the No. 1 spot at the U.S. and Canada box office.
Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis, the man behind The Polar Express, returns to the big screen with Beowulf, a motion-capture action-adventure tale based on the epic poem about a warrior who goes after an overpowering demon and its ruthless mother. Beowulf is set to open at 2,800 theaters.
Also opening is Zach Helm's Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a magical adventure story about the eccentric owner of a toy store in which everything comes to life. Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Jason Bateman star.
Mike Newell, the director of Mona Lisa Smile and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, returns to the big screen with Love in the Time of Cholera, a drama based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Starring Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt, and Giovanna Mezzogiorno, the romantic drama follows a man who waits half a century for his one true love.
Limited releases this week include Richard Kelly's futuristic epic Southland Tales, with an all-star cast that includes Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Lambert, Miranda Richardson, and Dwayne Johnson; Noah Baumbach's dramatic comedy Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black; and Brian De Palma's Iraq War drama Redacted, winner of the Silver Lion for best director at this year's Venice Film Festival.
Box office: 'American Gangster' hustles to the top, 'Bee Movie' buzz disappoints
American Gangster stormed to the top of the North American box office this past weekend (Nov. 2–4, '07) with an estimated $46.3 million. The Universal Pictures crime drama directed by veteran Ridley Scott (Alien, Thelma & Louise) opened at 3,054 sites on Friday, crushing the competition despite its R rating and 157-minute running time.
Starring Best Actor Oscar winners Russell Crowe (Scott's Gladiator, 2000) and Denzel Washington (Antoine Fuqua's Training Day, 2001), American Gangster focuses on a detective who tries to hunt down Frank Lucas (Washington), the most powerful drug lord in the Manhattan of the 1970s.
As found at boxofficemojo.com, trailing American Gangster was another new entry, Bee Movie, which collected $39.1 million from ticket sales at 3,928 locations. DreamWorks' computer-animated feature delivered a relatively weak performance, considering its vast publicity campaign prior to its Friday release.
Directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith, Bee Movie tells the story of Barry B. Benson, a courageous bee who decides to sue the human race for stealing honey from the bees.
'Saw IV' down, still slicing 'Dan in Real Life'
Last week's big winner, Saw IV, dropped two spots to no. 3, earning $11 million. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, the fourth installment in the popular Saw series lifted its cumulative gross to $51.1 million after two weeks in release. Saw IV is currently about $30 million short of the $80 million domestic gross of its predecessor, Saw III.
Dan in Real Life slipped to no. 4, taking in $8.1 million from 1,925 locations. The Peter Hedges-directed drama starring Steve Carell reached a total haul of $23 million after two weeks in release. The story centers on a lonely advice columnist and single father who falls for his brother's girlfriend (Juliette Binoche).
David Slade's zombie shocker 30 Days of Night ranked in fifth, pulling in $4 million and reaching a cumulative gross of $34.2 million.
Christmas cheer, parking horror in November
This upcoming weekend, three major releases will compete for the top spot at the U.S. and Canadian box office.
Christmas comes early this year with the release of Fred Claus, a comedy helmed by David Dobkin, the director of Wedding Crashers. Vince Vaughn stars as Santa Claus' brother Fred, who has been forced to move back to the North Pole, while Paul Giamatti jumps into the role of the old man with a beard and red garments. Fred Claus is scheduled to hit more than 3,400 theatres.
Fans of horror thrillers will get their share next weekend with Franck Khalfoun's P2, which centers on a woman pursued in a parking structure on Christmas Eve. Switchblade Romance director Alexandre Aja penned the script.
Robert Redford back behind (and in front) the camera
Seven years after stepping behind the camera for The Legend of Bagger Vance, Robert Redford returns with Lions for Lambs, a political drama starring Redford, Tom Cruise, and Meryl Streep. Matthew Michael Carnahan, whose writing credits include Peter Berg's recent thriller The Kingdom, wrote the script.
Upcoming limited releases include Joel and Ethan Coen's thriller No Country for Old Men, toplining Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem, and Richard Kelly's futuristic drama Southland Tales.
Russell Crowe American Gangster image: Universal Pictures.