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RRoman Polanski 'The Ghost Writer,' 'My Name Is Khan' Breaks Khan Record

Feb. 28 update

Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island beat its competition to stay on top at the North American box office this weekend with a decent $22.2 million in ticket sales at 3,003 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Domestically, the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio (above) and Mark Ruffalo, has reached a total haul of $75 million after a little more than one week in release. Shutter Island scored an average of $7,393 per theater.

Following in second place with $18.5 million was Kevin Smith's new comedy Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as two cops hunting down a gang of murderers while trying to find a stolen baseball card.

New entry The Crazies came in third this weekend, bagging a solid $16.5 million from ticket sales at 2,476 locations. The horror remake directed by Breck Eisner follows a group of survivors as they struggle with the outbreak of a dangerous virus.

Meanwhile, James Cameron's Avatar is not giving up its spot in the top five. The hit sci-fi epic landed at No. 4 with a weekend gross of $14 million, reaching a cumulative gross of $706.9 million after 11 weeks in release.

Chris Columbus' Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief followed in fifth place, generating $9.8 million for a total domestic gross of $71.2 million. Taking a big drop was Garry Marshall's Valentine's Day, which collected $9.5 million at No. 6 for a total of $100.3 million. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, and many others.

Dear John crossed the $70 million mark this weekend thanks to earnings of $5 million, enough for seventh place. At No. 8, Universal's remake The Wolfman picked up $4.1 million for a total of $57.2 million.

Fox's disastrous Dwayne Johnson comedy Tooth Fairy, which co-stars Julie Andrews, pulled $3.4 million at No. 9, reaching a total gross of $53.8 million. Rounding out the top 10 with $2.5 million was Crazy Heart, with Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges, which brought its cumulative haul to $25 million.

Source: Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com)

Photo: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 28 update

Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio
Tracy Morgan, Bruce Willis in Cop Out
Joe Anderson, Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker in The Crazies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley in Shutter Island (top); Tracy Morgan, Bruce Willis in Cop Out (middle); Joe Anderson, Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker in The Crazies (bottom)

Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was the #1 movie at the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Martin Scorsese's thriller is expected to gross $22.2 million over the weekend for an impressive total of $75 million. Also in the Shutter Island cast: Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Patricia Clarkson, Max von Sydow, and Elias Koteas.

For comparison's sake: Gangs of New York (2002) grossed a total of $77 million, The Aviator (2004) $102.6 million, and The Departed (2006) $132.3 million. (None of these figures have been adjusted for 2010 ticket prices.)

Despite much (well-timed) publicity surrounding Kevin Smith's being kicked out of an airplane because he was too heavy too fly, Cop Out failed to grab the top spot at the weekend box office. The cop comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan had to settle for #2 with a solid $18.5 million at 3,150 theaters – but a just okay $5,894 per screen average. (Shutter Island's average was $7,393 at 3,003 screens.) Considering that Saturday and Sunday figures were less than impressive, expect a heavy drop for this movie on weekend #2.

Another new entry, Breck Eisner's horror flick The Crazies, was #3. Starring Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, The Crazies took in $16.5 million – a good $6,672 per screen average.

Avatar was #4 with $14 million, a small 13.8 percent drop from the previous weekend. James Cameron's sci-fi adventure, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, has now passed the $700 million mark at the domestic box office. Its total currently stands at $706.9 million. Expect a more significant drop next weekend, when Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland will be replacing Avatar at numerous IMAX and 3D theaters.

At #5, Chris Columbus' $95-million adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, earned $9.8 million for a total of $71.2 million. It must do very well overseas and in ancillary venues in order to recover its productions costs, as about half of what it earns at the domestic box office goes to exhibitors. Also, distribution costs aren't included in the studios' reported production price tag.

Percy Jackson was closely followed by Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day with $9.5 million ($100.3 million total). The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, and many others.

The #7 movie was the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John with $5 million and $72.6 million to date – or nearly three times its reported production costs. Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was next with $4.1 million for a grand total of $57 million. Not good for a film that cost between $110-$150 million.

Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy, which always does better on weekends, was #9 with 3.4 million and $53.8 to date. Reported production costs: $48 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($2.5 million), Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side ($1.2 million), and Denzel Washington's The Book of Eli ($1.1 million).

Photo: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount); The Crazies (Saeed Adyani / Overture Films); Cop Out (Abbot Genser / Warner Bros.)

Feb. 28 update

Stephen Lang in Avatar

Avatar grossed an estimated $14 million at the North American box office this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. James Cameron's 3D sci-fier, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang (photo), Laz Alonso, Joel David Moore, Michelle Rodriguez, and Giovanni Ribisi, has now passed the $700 million mark at the domestic box office. That's a first, though Avatar still trails a number of other movies in terms of ticket sales. The film's total gross currently stands at $706.9 million.

Overseas, Avatar remained at the top of the box office charts for the 11th consecutive weekend, taking in $36.1 million at 6,535 screens in 70 territories. Its worldwide total is a staggering $2.550 billion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Avatar's top market this weekend was Japan ($4 million), though France remains the top market overall, with a total of $169 million to date.

Last weekend, Avatar became the #14 all-time movie in that country (in terms of ticket sales), after David Lean's 1957 multiple Oscar-winning war epic The Bridge on the River Kwai. It may have gone up a slot or two by now.

Next weekend, Avatar will likely suffer a significant box office drop in North America and in most other top film markets, as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland will be replacing it at numerous IMAX and 3D theaters. However, Fox is reportedly planning to rerelease the film later this year.

Photo: Avatar (ILM / 20th Century Fox)

Feb. 28 update

Avatar by James Cameron

Avatar is now South Korea's biggest blockbuster ever, having surpassed the number of tickets sold by Bong Joon-ho's 2006 monster movie The Host, according to Yonhap News. 20th Century Fox Korea has announced that James Cameron's 3D sci-fier starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, has sold more than 13.01 million admissions up to Saturday afternoon. The movie opened in Korea in December.

To date, Avatar has grossed $87.3 million in that country, where surcharges for 3D screenings are about 40 percent higher than for regular movies, according to The Korea Herald. Avatar's top international market is France, with a total of $169 million to date. Last weekend, the film was #14 in that country in terms of ticket sales.

Also this weekend, Avatar crossed the $700 million mark at the domestic box office. That's a first, though Avatar still trails a number of other movies in terms of ticket sales. The film's total gross in the U.S. and Canada currently stands at $706.9 million.

Next weekend, Avatar will likely suffer a significant box office drop in North America and in many other top film markets, as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland will be replacing it at numerous IMAX and 3D theaters. But Fox is reportedly planning to rerelease the science-fiction adventure later this year.

Photo: Avatar (ILM / 20th Century Fox)

Feb. 28 update

Hichem Jacoubi, Tahar Rahim in A Prophet
Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (top); Hichem Jacoubi, Tahar Rahim in A Prophet (bottom)

Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island grossed (or rather, is grossing) millions this weekend. The same goes for Cop Out, The Crazies, Avatar and its $700 million, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and Valentine's Day. But forget those Hollywood flicks for a moment.

In fact, if you look at the box office figures a different way, the top success stories of the weekend belong to two “small” movies: Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet.

After adding 41 screens, The Ghost Writer grossed a remarkable $870K, landing at #17 for the weekend according to Box Office Mojo. Its per screen average was a fantastic $20,233, the highest among the top 50 films. Polanski's crime thriller, which earned the director a Silver Bear in Berlin and has been enthusiastically received by critics, stars Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, and Kim Cattrall.

A Prophet, winner of nine Cesar Awards last night including Best Picture and Best Director, grossed $170K at 9 screens. Its $18,889 per-screen average was right behind that of The Ghost Writer (though in considerably fewer theaters; in other words, The Ghost Writer's box office feat was more impressive.) Starring Best Actor Cesar winner Tahar Rahim as a young hoodlum who must fight for survival inside the walls of a French prison, A Prophet won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and is considered one of the best 2009 movies made anywhere on the planet.

Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, along with The Prophet a Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee, grossed $168K at 82 theaters. Total to date: $1.5 million. Meanwhile, Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan, starring Bollywood idol Shahrukh Khan, took in $254K for a total of $3.6 million. It's reportedly become Khan's biggest box office hit ever in North America, barely surpassing his 2007 vehicle Om Shanti Om, which grossed $3.59 million.

And finally, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces, starring Penélope Cruz, is still earning a little change here and there. The classy melodrama grossed $38K this weekend for a total of $4.6 million.

Photos: The Ghost Writer (Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment); A Prophet (Roger Arpajou / Sony Pictures Classics)

Feb. 27 update

Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island

Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, was the #1 movie at the U.S. and Canada box office on Friday (Feb. 26), according to Box Office Mojo. 's dark thriller grossed $6.67 million for a total of $59.5 million.

At #2, Kevin Smith's Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, took in less than initial estimates published last night: $5.975 million on its debut ($1,897 per screen). A notch behind it was another new entry, Breck Eisner's horror flick The Crazies, starring Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, with $5.97 million ($2,411 per screen).

James Cameron's sci-fi adventure Avatar, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, was #4 with $3.1 million, getting very close to the $700 million mark which it should cross sometime today. At #5, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $2.94 million. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, and many others.

Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, was #6 with $2.4 million, followed by the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John with $1.5 million. Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was next with $1.1 million.

Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy, which always does better on weekends – though it has already lost quite a bit of steam – was #9 with 730K.

Rounding out the top thirteen were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($610K), Sandra Bullock's blockbuster The Blind Side ($325), the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy When in Rome ($315K), and Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic drama The Book of Eli ($300K).

Photo: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 27 update

Shutter Island should remain at the top of the North American box office this weekend, according to Nikki Finke's report at Deadline.com. At 3,003 theaters, Martin Scorsese's dark thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio earned approximately $6.7 million on Friday. The preliminary weekend estimate as reported by Finke is $21 million. Those figures – and all others listed below – should change somewhat by Sunday morning, when the studio's official weekend estimates will be released.

At #2, Kevin Smith's Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis, earned an estimated $6.2 million on Friday and should reach $18.5 million for the weekend, followed by the well-received horror flick The Crazies with $5.7 million and $15 million for the weekend. At #4, James Cameron's Avatar took in about $2.9 million on Friday and should gross $12.5 million over the weekend – thus passing the $700 million mark at the domestic box office.

Garry Marshall's Valentine's Day is the #5 movie, with $2.8 million on Friday and an estimated $8.8 million for the weekend. Total by Sunday night: Approximately $100 million.

Photo: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 27 update

Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio (above) and Mark Ruffalo, was the #1 movie at the U.S. and Canada box office on Thursday (Feb. 25), according to Box Office Mojo. Shutter Island grossed $2.68 million, a 1.9 percent increase from Wednesday.

James Cameron's sci-fi adventure Avatar, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, was #2 with $1.2 million, a minuscule 0.1 percent increase from the previous day. At #3, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $974K, a 2.9 percent increase. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, and many others.

Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, was #4 with $680K (+13 percent), followed by Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, with $644K (+2.6 percent). At #6, the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John earned $448K (+3.8 percent).

Rounding out the top thirteen were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($239K, down 9.2 percent), the John Travolta-Jonathan Rhys Meyers vehicle From Paris with Love ($220K, down 0.1 percent), Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness ($203K, up 3.1 percent), Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy (171K, up 5.8 percent), Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic drama The Book of Eli ($163K, up 13.2 percent), the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy When in Rome ($139K, up 14.4 percent), and Sandra Bullock's blockbuster The Blind Side ($118K, up 5.2 percent).

Photos: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 25 update

Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio (above) and Mark Ruffalo, was once again the #1 movie at the North American box office on Wednesday (Feb. 24), according to figures provided by Box Office Mojo. Scorsese's dark thriller grossed $2.638 million, a 16.2 percent drop from Tuesday.

James Cameron's sci-fi adventure Avatar, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, was #2 with $1.20 million, a small 4.8 percent drop from the previous day. At #3, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $946K, an 11.3 percent drop. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, Topher Grace, and many others.

Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was #4 with $628K (-15.1 percent), followed by Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, with $601K (-14.1 percent). At #6, the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John earned $432K (-15.5 percent).

Rounding out the top thirteen were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($263K, up 0.1 percent), the John Travolta-Jonathan Rhys Meyers vehicle From Paris with Love ($220K, down 9.9 percent), Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness ($197K, down 5.8 percent), Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy (162K, down 9.2 percent), Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic drama The Book of Eli ($144K, down 6 percent), the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy When in Rome ($121K, down 8.8 percent), and Sandra Bullock's blockbuster The Blind Side ($112K, up 5.7 percent).

Once again, the highest per screen average of the day belonged to Roman Polanski's well-received thriller The Ghost Writer — winner of the Best Director Silver Bear in Berlin and currently playing at four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. The Ghost Writer took in $20K (+13.3 percent) or $5,145 per screen.

Photos: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 24 update

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, remained the #1 movie at the North American box office on Tuesday (Feb. 23), according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Scorsese's crime thriller grossed $3.149 million, a small 5.7 percent drop from Monday.

James Cameron's Avatar was #2 with $1.26 million, a minuscule 1 percent drop from the previous day. Following right behind at #3, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $1.06 million thanks to a 13.7 percent increase. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, Topher Grace, and others.

Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was #4 with $740K (-0.3 percent), followed by Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, with $700K (-2.3 percent). At #6, the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John earned $511K, a remarkable 19.5 percent increase.

Rounding out the top thirteen were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($262K, up 2.3 percent), the John Travolta-Jonathan Rhys Meyers vehicle From Paris with Love ($244K, up 10.1 percent), Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness ($209K, up 6.4 percent), Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy (178K, down 2.5 percent), Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic drama The Book of Eli ($153K, down 3.1 percent), the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy When in Rome ($133K, up 12.5 percent), and Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side ($106K, down 2.7 percent).

Once again, the highest per screen average of the day belonged to Roman Polanski's acclaimed thriller The Ghost Writer — winner of the Best Director Silver Bear in Berlin and currently playing at only four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. The Ghost Writer took in $18K (-11.5 percent) or $4,540 per screen.

Photos: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

Feb. 23

Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, remained the #1 movie in at the North American box office on Monday (Feb. 22), according to Box Office Mojo. The crime thriller grossed a solid $3.33 million for a total of $44.4 million after four days.

As previously reported, Shutter Island is expected to become the highest-grossing Scorsese-DiCaprio effort. Their previous collaborations were Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), and the Oscar-winning The Departed (2006). Also in the Shutter Island cast: Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, and veteran Max von Sydow.

Avatar was #2 with $1.27 million and a dwindling per screen average of $494. James Cameron's sci-fi adventure is up for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

At #3, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $938K and a low $256 per screen. The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Kathy Bates, Eric Dane, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Carter Jenkins, Hector Alizondo, Jennifer Garner, Taylor Swift, Topher Grace, and others.

Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, was #4 with $742K, followed by Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, with $717K. At #6, the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John earned $428K.

Rounding out the top thirteen were Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart ($257K), the John Travolta-Jonathan Rhys Meyers vehicle From Paris with Love ($222K), Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness ($196K), Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy (182K), Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic drama The Book of Eli ($158K), the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy When in Rome ($118K), and Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side ($109K).

By far the highest per screen average on Monday was that of Roman Polanski's acclaimed thriller The Ghost Writer — winner of the Best Director Silver Bear in Berlin and currently playing at only four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. The Ghost Writer took in $20K or $5,127 per screen.

Photos: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount); The Ghost Writer (Summit Entertainment)

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3 Comments to RRoman Polanski 'The Ghost Writer,' 'My Name Is Khan' Breaks Khan Record

  1. Don Heckers

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  2. Emanuel

    This movie was amazing. I was puzzle the whole time while in the theatres but men it was a good one…

  3. Jake Sulley

    My starring role will be replaced with a rabbit? I just LOVED having a movie that has a character with MY name! Well, I guess I can't complain too much, as I have a name associated with a movie that made over $700 million in the US.