After the previous weekend’s box-office contenders kicked the holiday movie season into high gear thanks to the debuts of “Megamind” and “Due Date,” this most recent weekend simply couldn’t live up to that level of success, despite the arrival of three intriguing prospects.
Of the new releases, director Tony Scott’s “Unstoppable” fared the best. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine star in the action thriller as a train engineer and conductor, respectively, who are forced to work together to stop a runaway train. But “Unstoppable” didn’t live up to its title or premise, as Will Ferrell’s animated superhero comedy “Megamind” snuck ahead with a first-place finish worth $30.1 million to earn its second straight weekend victory at the box office. “Unstoppable,” meanwhile, landed in second with $23.5 million by Sunday’s conclusion.
There was a similar struggle between director Todd Phillips’ “Due Date” and the Strause Brothers’ “Skyline,” as the raunchy R-rated comedy pulled ahead to take third place while the incoming science-fiction flick arrived in fourth with $11.7 million. Given its $10 million production cost, the modest opening for “Skyline” is hardly a failure — but without critical acclaim on its side, it seems unlikely that the movie will flourish in the same way that similar low-budget fare like “District 9″ did more than a year ago.
As for the story with “Morning Glory,” well, it doesn’t have such a happy ending. After pulling in only $9.6 million, the fifth-place debut for director Roger Michell’s latest barely cracked into the romantic comedy’s reported $40 million budget despite the star power of Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford.
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 [movie id="383050"]“Megamind”[/movie] ($30.1 million)
#2 [movie id="429466"]“Unstoppable”[/movie] ($23.5 million)
#3 [movie id="461440"]“Due Date”[/movie] ($15.5 million)
#4 [movie id="459696"]“Skyline”[/movie] ($11.7 million)
#5 [movie id="370762"]“Morning Glory”[/movie] ($9.6 million)
It’s the beginning of the end for everyone’s favorite teen-wizard tale as the first installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” arrives in theaters next weekend. But can Harry, Ron and Hermione hold themselves together against competition like “The Next Three Days,” the incoming action thriller starring Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde?
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