The Box-Office Top Five
The press may not have had a chance to prescreen Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," but the scarcity of reviews didn't keep audiences away, allowing the flick to take #1 for the weekend with $56.2 million. It's the fourth-biggest August opening to date, though it didn't come close to the opening numbers of that other Hasbro adaptation, "Transformers." But online buzz has been positive, so it may continue to climb the charts in the weeks ahead, particularly with men seeking out a dose of childhood toy nostalgia.
On the "home" front, "Julie & Julia" cooked up a strong stew of $20.1 million. Sony distribution president Rory Bruer described the film's opening as "sweet" and predicted that it would have long legs due to positive reviews and its obvious appeal with older moviegoers. The film has even attracted early Oscar buzz thanks to another strong performance from the legendary Meryl Streep.
The weekend clearly belonged to French cooking and Hasbro toys and not to horror. Rogue Pictures' "A Perfect Getaway" opened quietly at #7 with only $5.8 million. With a budget of only $14 million, the film will likely turn a profit, though the studio was undoubtedly hoping for a bigger splash. It's a soft summer for horror, as "Orphan" had a similarly limp debut two weeks ago.
While the box office was up 17 percent from last year and rang in $127 million from its top 10 films, some of our holdovers saw a sharp drop in profits. "G-Force" and "Harry Potter" held on at #3 and #4, but Judd Apatow's "Funny People" fell from the top spot all the way to #5 with only $7.9 million. The Universal comedy dropped 65 percent in the last week, and with a cumulative of only $40.4 million, it doesn't seem likely to match the slow and steady earnings of previous Apatow-directed films "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up." Both films were nearer the $20 million mark in their second week, which bodes badly for "Funny People."
On the independent front, the Samuel Goldwyn/ IDP comedy "Cold Souls" opened in seven theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a strong $63,300. IFC finally debuted Dominic Monaghan's Victorian thriller "I Sell the Dead" in one New York theater for earnings of $3,500. Both films are undoubtedly looking to the success of "(500) Days of Summer," which spent weeks buzzing in limited release and opened wide at #9 with $3.7 million.
Sony offers up sci-fi thriller "District 9," and Warner Bros. is finally releasing "The Time Traveler's Wife." Meanwhile, Paramount Vantage goes wide with the Jeremy Piven comedy "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," and Summit goes back to high school with "Bandslam."
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