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Monster Movie vs. ‘Women’s Picture’: Which Was the Big Winner?

Cloverfield: Godzilla + The Host meet real-life terror attacks
Cloverfield: Monster movie tops domestic box office. Produced by J.J. Abrams of TV’s Lost and (the director of) the Tom Cruise sequel Mission: Impossible III, and directed by Matt Reeves from a screenplay by Drew Goddard, Cloverfield is a sort of Godzilla meets The Host meets Independence Day meets Friday the 13th meets real-life terror attacks. The result has been a sleeper hit: $40.05 million on opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. Reported budget (not including marketing and distribution expenses): $25 million. On the big screen, expect New York City – like Tokyo back in the day – to be re-destroyed in the not too distant future.

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, 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:

Diane Kruger. Justin Bartha. Bruce Greenwood.

Best Actress Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, 2006).

Four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris (as Best Actor for Pollock, 2000; as Best Supporting Actor for Apollo 13, 1995; The Truman Show, 1998; The Hours, 2002).

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel (Bugsy, 1991).

Best Actor Oscar winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, 1978).

‘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 Russell Crowe: Newark cop vs entrepreneurial Vietnam-to-Harlem heroin smugglerAmerican Gangster with Russell Crowe. Based on real-life events, the 1970s-set American Gangster reteamed filmmaker Ridley Scott with his Oscar-winning Gladiator star Russell Crowe, now cast as a Newark police detective on the trail of a heroin smuggler making huge profits out of the end of the Vietnam War. In a Training Day-like role, Denzel Washington plays the entrepreneurial drug trafficker. Steven Zaillian was credited for the American Gangster screenplay. Crowe and Washington, by the way, had previously been seen together in Brett Leonard’s 1995 action sci-fier Virtuosity.

‘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).
The Heartbreak Kid Ben Stiller
The Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller: Widely panned remake of 1972 comedy.

Oct. 28 update: Saw IV stormed to the top of the North American box office this weekend with an estimated $32.1 million.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, the fourth installment in the popular Saw series opened at 3,183 theaters on Friday, slightly surpassing the $31.7 million opening gross of Saw II. The Lionsgate release, however, failed to beat the $33 million opening of its predecessor, Saw III.

New entry Dan in Real Life ranked in second, collecting $12.1 million from ticket sales at only 1,921 locations. Directed by Peter Hedges, this romantic comedy stars Steve Carell as a lonely advice columnist and single father who falls for his brother’s girlfriend. Juliette Binoche co-stars.

Last week’s winner 30 Days of Night dropped to No. 3, earning $6.7 million from 2,859 theaters. The David Slade-directed zombie shocker lifted its cumulative gross to $27.3 million after an impressive two-week run.

Oct. 22

30 Days of Night soared to the top of the North American box office this weekend with an estimated US$16 million.

David Slade’s adaptation of the popular graphic novel stars Josh Hartnett (above, right) as an Alaskan town sheriff who faces his most challenging mission yet when a gang of bloodthirsty vampires invade the community amid 30 days of darkness.

Last week’s champion, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, dropped to No. 2, collecting a solid $12.1 million from ticket sales at 2,034 locations. The film lifted its cumulative gross to $38.9 million after two weeks in release.

Walt Disney’s family comedy The Game Plan slipped to No. 3, earning $8.1 million from 3,301 markets. Directed by Andy Fickman and starring wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the movie reached a total haul of $69.2 million after a strong four-week run.

Oct. 14

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? topped the North American box office this weekend with an estimated US$21.5 million.

The latest adaptation by playwright-turned-director Perry opened at 2,011 sites Friday and largely surpassed the $13-million opening-weekend gross of his previous film, Daddy’s Little Girls, which hit theaters earlier this year.

Last week’s winner The Game Plan missed a touchdown this weekend and dropped to No. 2, scoring $11.5 million from 3,128 locations. Directed by Andy Fickman, Walt Disney’s latest PG-13 comedy starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson lifted its cumulative gross to $59.4 million after an impressive three-week run.

Tony Gilroy’s thriller Michael Clayton expanded to 2,362 theaters this weekend, earning $11 million and reaching a total haul of $12.1 million after two weeks in release. Starring George Clooney, the movie focuses on an attorney who faces his toughest challenge, yet, when his most important case is sabotaged.

Meanwhile, new entry We Own the Night arrived at the No. 4 spot, pulling in $11 million at 2,362 locations. James Gray’s crime drama stars Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix as two brothers whose family loyalty is challenged after the Russian mob plans to assassinate their father, the chief of police.

Box office: Ben Stiller ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ suffers from low stamina

Oct. 8: Starring Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock, The Game Plan topped the North American box office this weekend (Oct. 5–7, ’07) with an estimated $16.3 million. Andy Fickman’s PG-rated comedy has thus prolonged its reign at the top of the chart for a second consecutive week, reaching a total gross of $42.8 million – while relegating newcomer The Heartbreak Kid to the second spot.

Released by Walt Disney Pictures, the poorly received The Game Plan follows am egocentric star quarterback who finds out he has a 7-year-old daughter (Madison Pettis) from a previous marriage.

As found at, new entry The Heartbreak Kid ranked in second, earning $14 million in ticket sales from 3,229 sites. The Bobby and Peter Farrelly-directed comedy stars Ben Stiller as a newlywed who falls for another woman during his own honeymoon. Malin Akerman and Michelle Monaghan costar.

Despite predictions by “experts,” the movie failed to grab the no. 1 spot, possibly because of its R rating coupled with widespread negative reviews.

‘The Kingdom’ goes down one

Down one spot to no. 3, Peter Berg’s The Kingdom collected $9.3 million from 2,802 markets. Starring Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Chris Cooper, the action thriller lifted its cumulative gross to $31.4 million after two weeks of release.

Meanwhile, Russell Mulcahy’s Resident Evil: Extinction delivered yet another strong performance at no. 4, taking in $4.3 million. The third installment in the series based on the popular Capcom videogame reached a total haul of $43.5 million, and is only $7 million short of its predecessor’s total gross (not adjusted for inflation).

Ben Stiller The Heartbreak Kid image: Paramount Pictures.

Oct. 1

The Game Plan Dwayne Johnson The Rock solid box office score‘The Game Plan’ with Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock and Madison Pettis: Solid box office score.

Dwayne Johnson ‘The Game Plan’ outruns competitors despite negative reviews

The Game Plan debuted at the top of the North American box office this past weekend (Sept. 28–30) with an estimated $22.7 million.

The Walt Disney Pictures’ PG-rated comedy directed by Andy Fickman and starring Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock opened at 3,103 sites on Friday, outrunning its competitors despite having been slammed by poor reviews.

The Game Plan focuses on an egocentric star quarterback who faces his biggest challenge yet when he discovers that he has a 7-year-old daughter (Madison Pettis) from a previous marriage.

Saudi Arabia bombing ahead of machine-gun-toting heroine

As found at, new entry The Kingdom trailed The Game Plan while still earning a solid $17.7 million from ticket sales at 2,793 locations. Helmed by Peter Berg, and starring Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Chris Cooper, the movie follows four elite FBI agents in their investigation of the bombing of an American housing compound in Saudi Arabia.

Last week’s winner, Resident Evil: Extinction, starring Milla Jovovich, slipped to no. 3, collecting $8 million and lifting its cumulative gross to $36.8 million after two weeks in theaters. The third installment in the series based on the popular Capcom videogame is $14 million short of surpassing the total (unadjusted) gross of its predecessor, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

‘Chuck’ running out of luck

Mark Helfrich’s comedy Good Luck Chuck dropped from no. 2 to no. 4, taking home $6.3 million from 2,612 locations and reaching a total haul of $23.6 million after a passable two-week run.

Down one spot from no. 4 to no. 5, James Mangold’s Western 3:10 to Yuma picked up $4.2 million, lifting its cumulative gross to $43.9 million after four weeks. Starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, the movie follows a troubled rancher on his quest to put a ruthless criminal on a train heading to a high-security prison.

The 1957 original was directed by Delmer Daves and starred Glenn Ford and Van Heflin.

Will Ben Stiller beat Caribbean beats?

Next weekend, three wide releases will compete for the top spot at the box office.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly return with The Heartbreak Kid, a remake of a 1972 Charles Grodin-Cybill Shepherd romantic comedy about a newlywed who discovers that his marriage causes him more agony than happiness. The 2007 version stars Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, and Michelle Monaghan, and is scheduled to hit 3,000 theatres.

In The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, a teenager discovers that he is the last of a group of immortals chosen to battle the forces of darkness. Directed by David L. Cunningham, the adventure tale is based on Susan Cooper’s acclaimed novel.

Also set to open is Feel the Noise, a musical drama about a Harlem rapper who, after fleeing to Puerto Rico, finds his peace with Reggaeton, a musical genre mixing reggae, salsa, and other Caribbean/Central American beats. Omarion Grandberry stars, while Jennifer Lopez acted as the film’s producer.

Maddison Pettis and Dwayne Johnson The Game Plan image: Walt Disney Pictures.

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.

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Nan -

I don’t think that NATIONAL TREASURE was AWFUL. I enjoy it so much!

reasa -

i love enchanted because i love how they act it and i like when they catch each other when they fall.

lauren -

I love Enchanted because of the prince and princess


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