Weekend Wrap-Up: Spartans Destroy Giant Monster

Looks like the monster movie Cloverfield ain't such a monster after all: after its record-breaking debut last weekend, it took a huge drop of 68 percent in its second outing to earn a paltry $12.7 million, putting it way down at No. 4 for the weekend. Yikes. I love the movie so much I went to see it again on Saturday night, and brought a bunch of friends with me, but I guess my little band wasn't enough to offset the bizarre news that's been all over the Net about how, apparently, the movie is actually giving some people motion sickness to the point where they're vomiting.

Even for the top movies of the weekend, though, it wasn't very busy, but that's typical for this time of year. The biggest earner, the spoof Meet the Spartans, took in only $18.7 million. (That one was not screened for critics, and though those who dared to check it out over the weekend were less than pleased: it's currently only four percent Fresh.) Rambo, a pointless retread, was so close behind at No. 2, earning $18.2 million, that these two films could switch places when the final numbers come in later today. At No. 3, the dull romantic comedy 27 Dresses was far enough behind, with a haul of $13.6 million, that it won't threaten the top two. The top five is rounded out by Untraceable, a wannabe high-brow take on torture porn, which earned $11.2 million.

A few movies reached important box-office milestones this weekend: Juno passed $100 million; National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Alvin and the Chipmunks both passed $200 million (that's particularly astonishing for Alvin); and I Am Legend passed $250 million. Look for more science fiction action movies starring Will Smith and more animated singing squirrel movies in the near future.

In limited release, the abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days had the best per-screen average of the weekend: it earned $24,100 on each of its two screens. Its nearest competition was U2 3D, at $15,508 on each of 61 screens. (For comparison's sake, Meet the Spartans earned $7,188 on each of its 2,605 screens.)

[Box office numbers via Box Office Mojo.]

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MaryAnn Johanson (email me)

reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com