The Box-Office Top Five
The monsters of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" leapt from the illustrated page to the big screen this weekend, courtesy of Spike Jonze's directorial vision — and the results were, well, wild.
"Wild Things" easily took the top spot at the box-office during its debut weekend with a very respectable $32.5 million intake. The road wasn't always easy for the adaptation, however, as production on "Wild Things" was plagued by a multitude of delays and setbacks. Even now, many reviews suggest that Jonze's movie is bleaker than the typical family film, but that doesn't appear to have deterred its box office prospects by any means.
The weekend's second-place finisher was "Law Abiding Citizen," the F. Gary Gray-directed crime thriller that pits Gerard Butler against Jamie Foxx in a deadly battle of the wits. The movie earned $21.3 million by Sunday's end, despite lukewarm reviews and stiff competition from other films occupying theaters over the weekend.
One such competitive movie was "Paranormal Activity," the low-budget horror flick with seemingly endless momentum courtesy of a strong fan movement. While the scarefest has been in theaters since late September, this weekend marked its widest release at 760 theaters. As a result of the expansion, "Paranormal" emerged in third place with a $20.3 million weekend and a $33.7 million total thus far. Already, there's speculation that "Paranormal" could eventually come close to the success of the similarly fan-driven "The Blair Witch Project," which earned $140.5 million domestically following its debut in 1999.
Last week's victor, "Couples Retreat," fell to fourth place this weekend at only $17.9 million, but the Vince Vaughn-starring comedy has plenty to smile about — the film's cumulative intake so far is $63.3 million, which is just a few strides short of its reported $70 million budget.
In fifth place was "The Stepfather," director Nelson McCormick's newly released update on the 1987 horror film. Despite mostly negative reviews, "Stepfather" still managed a not-too-shabby intake of $12.3 million by the weekend's close.
The debuts of "Saw VI" and "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" next weekend offer a thrill-packed reminder that Halloween less than two weeks away, while "Astro Boy" looks to appeal to both comic book lovers and the family crowd alike.
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