Domestic box office: ‘Cloverfield’ monster rips ’27 Dresses’
Jan. 22 update: With $40.05 million from 3,411 theaters, Paramount’s horror thriller Cloverfield destroyed the competition at the North American (U.S. and Canada) box office this past weekend, Jan. 18–20, thus becoming the first major hit of 2008.
Directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J. Abrams, Cloverfield soared past – if one ignores inflation – the $35 million record opening of the 1997 Star Wars rerelease.
The monster movie focuses on a small group of friends trying to escape Manhattan while a massive creature rips through the city. In the cast: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, and Odette Yustman.
As found at boxofficemojo.com, new entry 27 Dresses ranked in second, pulling in $23 million at 3,057 locations.
The Anne Fletcher-directed romantic comedy stars Katherine Heigl as a bridesmaid who is asked to arrange her sister’s wedding. The prospective husband is the man (Edward Burns) with whom the bridesmaid is secretly in love. Also in the 27 Dresses cast: Malin Akerman as the sister, James Marsden, and Judy Greer.
Panned ‘The Bucket List’ down at no. 3
Last week’s top movie, The Bucket List, dropped to no. 3, earning $14.07 million. Directed by Rob Reiner, the Warner Bros. release lifted its domestic total to $41.63 million after four weeks.
Starring three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson (Best Actor for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975, and As Good As It Gets, 1997; Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment, 1983) and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, 2004), the much-panned comedy follows the adventures of two terminally ill cancer patients who flee their hospital so as to chase their dreams and come to terms with their past.
‘Juno’ edging closer to $100 million milestone + ‘Mad Money’ goes bust
Jason Reitman’s sleeper hit Juno fell to no. 4, collecting $9.95 million while reaching a cumulative gross of $85.08 million after a strong seven-week run.
Released by Fox Searchlight, the comedy stars Ellen Page as a pregnant 15-year-old who decides to give her baby up for adoption. Also in the cast: Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Allison Janney.
Juno failed to collect any Golden Globes earlier this year, but its expansion to 2,534 venues two weeks ago considerably boosted its ticket sales.
Also worth noting, new entry Mad Money, starring Best Actress Oscar winner Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, 1977), Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (Chicago, 2002), and Batman Begins actress Katie Holmes, debuted in sixth place, with a weekend gross of only $7.73 million from 2,470 locations.
‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets’ edging closer to $200 million milestone
National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which topped the North American box office for three straight weekends late last year/early this year, is now edging closer to the $200 million milestone. Cume to date: $197.43 million.
Walt Disney Pictures’ sequel to the 2004 hit National Treasure, the Jon Turteltaub-directed adventure tale stars Nicolas Cage as ambitious treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, who travels the world to uncover the truth behind the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Also in the cast:
‘I Am Legend’ edging closer to $250 million milestone
Meanwhile, I Am Legend is edging closer to the $250 million milestone.
Directed by Francis Lawrence and starring two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Will Smith (Ali, 2001; The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006), the post-apocalyptic thriller has reached a cumulative gross of $247.46 million after six weeks out.
Based on a novel by Richard Matheson, the film focuses on the sole human survivor of a deadly virus and his quest to find a cure. Charlton Heston starred in Boris Sagal’s 1971 film version, The Omega Man.
Also in the I Am Legend cast: Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Willow Smith.
‘American Gangster’ & ‘Enchanted’ + more box office totals
From American Gangster and Enchanted to The Water Horse and Atonement, below are a few more domestic box office totals to date:
- American Gangster has scored $129.96 million. Ridley Scott’s crime drama is based on an article about Frank Lucas, the most influential drug lord in Harlem during the 1970s. In the cast: Best Actor Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Training Day, 2001), Best Actor Oscar winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, 2000), and veteran Ruby Dee (A Raisin in the Sun, The Incident).
- Walt Disney Pictures’ hit Enchanted has raked in $123.78 million. The Kevin Lima-directed fantasy/romantic comedy tells the story of a fairy-tale princess who escapes her 2D world as she’s thrust into present-day New York City, where she falls in love with a divorce lawyer. In the cast: Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Amy Adams (Junebug, 2005), Patrick Dempsey, Best Actress Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, 1995), James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, and Rachel Covey. Best Actress Oscar winner Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, 1964) narrates.
- Chris Weitz’s poorly received – and somewhat controversial – fantasy The Golden Compass has brought in $68.29 million. Whereas the $180-million production is thriving overseas, its domestic box office take has been weak.
- Directed by veteran Oscar winner Mike Nichols (The Graduate, 1967), Charlie Wilson’s War has grossed $62.81 million. Starring two-time Best Actor Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, 1993; Forrest Gump, 1994), Best Actress Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, 2000), and Best Actor Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, 2005), the political comedy-drama follows real-life Texas Representative Charlie Wilson (Hanks) as he secretly helps Afghan rebels rise against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
- Tim Burton’s horror musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has earned $48.1 million. Based on Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway show, Sweeney Todd tells the story of a mid-19th-century London barber who seeks bloody revenge against the people who destroyed his family. In the cast: two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Johnny Depp (The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003; Finding Neverland, 2004), Best Actress Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove, 1997), and Alan Rickman.
- Jay Russell’s boy-and-his-underwater-monster fantasy The Water Horse has taken in $37.63 million to date. In the cast: Alex Etel as the boy, two-time Best Actress Oscar nominee Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, 1996; Hilary and Jackie, 1998), Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, and Brian Cox.
- Joe Wright’s period drama Atonement has pulled in $31.72 million. In the cast: James McAvoy, Best Actress Oscar nominee Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice, 2005), Saoirse Ronan, and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, 1977).
Cloverfield image: Paramount Pictures.
Russell Crowe American Gangster image: Universal Pictures.
“Cloverfield vs. 27 Dresses: J.J. Abrams-Produced Monster Movie Rips Through Competition” last updated in September 2018.