The Box Office Top Five
#1 “Resident Evil: Extinction” ($24 million)
#2 “Good Luck Chuck” ($14 million)
#3 “The Brave One” ($7.4 million)
#4 “3:10 to Yuma” ($6.4 million)
#5 “Eastern Promises” ($5.7 million)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the stars of “Resident Evil: Extinction” feel quite fine. The third in a series of video-game adaptations about a zombie plague, “Extinction” rose from the grave and went straight to the top, finishing in first place with a series-record $24 million opening, putting it on pace to out-earn both previous installments. Say what you will about the flick, but how many threequels this year can boast a series’ high gross? Just one; and “The Bourne Ultimatum” had the benefit of being, well, actually really good. Slice it any way you want, but the success of “Extinction” shows the talent behind it has some serious “brraaaainnns!”
Speaking of overwhelming invasions from hive-minded foes, since when did every parent in this country start naming their kids Chuck? Within two months of each other came “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” and this week’s “Good Luck Chuck,” which opened in second place at a tepid $14 million. Both films, obviously, have “Chuck” in the title, both star a comedian who first rose to fame doing stand-up (Adam Sandler and Dane Cook) and both co-star a fat comedic actor as the lead’s best friend (Kevin James and Dan Fogler). But “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” made $34.2 million in its opening weekend. The difference? We finally have clear, compelling and incontrovertible proof that Jessica Biel in her underwear is 2.44 times better than Jessica Alba in hers. Silence! Science has spoken.
Last week’s #1 film, “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster as a woman who poses as a victim to take revenge on the villainous scum who attacked her, fell to third place with $7.4 million, while “3:10 to Yuma” took a late train to fourth place with $6.4 million.
But the big story of the weekend was Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg’s “Eastern Promises,” which rose to fifth place with $5.7 million after expanding into over 1,400 theaters. The story of a woman (Naomi Watts) in over her head with the Russian mafia, “Eastern Promises” is a surefire Oscar contender this winter.
As is “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” starring Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt, which made an astounding $28,800 per theater in limited release. That’s large. “Into the Wild,” meanwhile, was insanely so. The Sean Penn-directed flick had a per-theater average of $51,750. Both movies expand next week.
Among other new releases, “Sydney White,” starring Amanda Bynes, came in sixth place with $5.3 million.
How’d We Do?
With a win this weekend, Larry Carroll has not only pulled even with Josh Horowitz for the lead in our year long box-office contest, he’s continued a see-saw battle that’s now in its seventh week, with the competitors trading victories every other weekend. Here are the standings:
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (3)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (3)
Celebrity guest (1)
The Rock becomes a dad, Morgan Freeman a counselor when “The Game Plan” and “Feast of Love” open next weekend. Meanwhile, Owen Wilson visits India in “The Darjeeling Limited,” while Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner visit hell in “The Kingdom.”
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