The Box-Office Top Five
#1 "Zombieland" ($25 million)
#2 "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" ($16.7 million)
#3 "Toy Story" & "Toy Story 2" 3-D Double Feature ($12.5 million)
#4 "The Invention of Lying" ($7.35 million)
#5 "Surrogates" ($7.34 million)
Vampires can step aside. Flesh-craving zombies have proven themselves the creatures to beat — at least for one weekend.
[movie id="407353"]"Zombieland,"[/movie] the Sony-produced dark comedy starring [movieperson id="26961"]Woody Harrelson[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="275681"]Jesse Eisenberg[/movieperson], took the top box-office spot during its opening weekend, scoring a total of $25 million. The film has multiple reasons to celebrate, not the least of which being that it surpassed its $23.6 million budget during its first weekend in theaters. Also noteworthy is the fact that "Zombieland" is the sixth first-place finisher for Sony in 2009.
In that regard, the film's predecessor is "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," the Sony Pictures Animation flick that held onto a prominent spot in the top five this weekend at second place. Earning $16.7 million, "Meatballs" joined forces with "Zombieland" to yield a $41.7 million weekend for Sony, giving the studio a major advantage over rival companies.
Anyone that's doubted the longevity of "Meatballs" only has to look at Disney's 3-D re-release of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," which came in third place with $12.5 million. The double feature would have likely done better business without the Bill Hader-starring "Meatballs" in theaters, but the relative success of Woody and the gang's big-screen revival still brings good tidings for "Toy Story 3," the third installment in the franchise, set for release next summer.
The Ellen Page-starring "Whip It," on the other hand, didn't fare very well. Drew Barrymore's directorial debut tied with Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" for sixth place. Both films brought in $4.9 million apiece, falling before the fifth-place finisher, "Surrogates." "Whip It" marks yet another recent failure for the "Juno" creative team; just a few short weeks ago, the Diablo Cody-written "Jennifer's Body" met a similar demise by barely making a dent in its opening weekend at the box office.
Ricky Gervais had better luck with "The Invention of Lying," which finished in fourth place. The comedy earned $7.35 million by Sunday's end, proving itself the second most popular new release of the weekend — if you're not counting the "Toy Story" reunion, that is.
Hollywood is sending in the clowns as two different comedies — "Couples Retreat" with Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, and Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair" — invade next weekend's box-office scene.
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