Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: A litany of fail

In the parlance of our times, it was a weekend of “fail” and “epic fail” as The Social Network topped the box office for a second straight week and left a host of also-rans scrambling for crumbs. With $15.5 million in receipts—and a very modest 31% drop in attendance from Week One—The Social Network did just well enough to top the $14.6 million opener for the romantic comedy Life As We Know It, the latest evidence that Katherine Heigl’s image problems, warranted or not, are catching up with her. That left the heavily promoted underdog sports movie Secretariat to finish third by a few lengths with $12.6 million, suggesting that people rejected its The-Blind-Side-but-with-a-horse promotional strategy. The ongoing struggle of horror movies this year continued with Wes Craven’s not-screened-for-critics 3-D debacle My Soul To Take, which finished all the way back in fifth with $6.9 million.

News was not much brighter in limited circles. Half Nelson and Sugar creators Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden tried their hand at comedy with It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, but tepid reviews led to tepid box office, as it took only $2700 per screen on 742 screens. The little-loved remake of the little-loved rape-revenge thriller I Spit On Your Grave performed just as dismally, with $2750 per screen on only 12 screens, portending a quick burial on DVD. The Stephen Frears-directed graphic novel adaptation Tamara Drewe inspired a bit more interest, but not nearly enough to be labeled anything like a success at $4825 per screen on four screens. The Robert De Niro-Edward Norton drama Stone fared well by comparison, with $12,160 per screen on six screens, but measured against a $22 million budget and reviews that are more mixed than they need to be, a rapid fade seems inevitable. The $14,025 per screen taken by the John Lennon origin story Nowhere Boy is much healthier, but the only real winner of the week was Inside Job, Charles Ferguson’s muckraking exposé on the 2008 global financial crisis. Its $21,000 per screen average was by far the strongest of any film in wide or general release, continuing a resurgent year for documentaries.


For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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