The studios' ongoing campaign to keep as many movies from the eyes of critics before their release paid off yet again this weekend when Prom Night, a PG-13-rated remake of the 1980 flick of the same name, took the No. 1 spot at the box office, earning $22.7 million. (Which, as the ongoing slump at the multiplex continues, looks pretty good compared to this weekend last year, when Disturbia also earned just over $22 million in its first weekend.) The movie is only 13 percent Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, and the studio's own description of the movie is asinine:
Donna's senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends.
Her past? She's 17 years old. Who has a "past" at 17?
But that's no obstacle these days to box-office triumph.
Far behind in the No. 2 slot this weekend is the new hardboiled cop thriller from David "Training Day" Ayer: Street Kings earned $12 million in its debut. Which is too bad: it's a bleak but intense experience, and features an excellent performance from Keanu Reeves. (Don't laugh: he's a much better actor than he's given credit for.) In its third week, at No. 3, 21 continued to hold relatively strong, earning another $11 million, and at No. 4, in its second week, Nim's Island also held up well, adding $9 million to its coffers. Leatherheads, at No. 5, didn't do so well, dropping more that 50 percent to scrape up $6.2 million this weekend.
As has tended to be the case this sorry year at the multiplex, small indies and foreign films remain the bright spots in the movie lineup, if tiny ones. The Visitor, the wonderful new drama from filmmaker Tom "The Station Agent" McCarthy, earned $22,000 on each of four screens in New York and Los Angeles in its first week, by far the best per-screen average of the weekend. The documentary Young@Heart, also on four screens, enjoyed a per-screen of $13,075. For comparison's sake, Prom Night's per-screen was a distant $8,407.
MaryAnn Johanson (email me)
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