The first weekend of new releases for the year is usually quiet, though at times it has seen even some poorly reviewed schlock like “White Noise” open to a solid $20 million or so. This year it was a bumper time with each of the top three films clearing the $20 million mark.
In first place was Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” which expanded into wide release and nabbed a stellar $29 million, an excellent $10,337 per screen average, and a $40.1 million total so far. With a budget of just $33 million and very good reviews, this should prove one of the holiday’s little sleeper hits.
After that came the two newcomers – romantic comedy “Bride Wars” and horror flick “The Unborn”. Both scored scathing reviews, yet managed to bring in $21.5 million and $21.1 million respectively. With their low costs to produce, both are set to turn a quick but modest profit for their studios.
Even though it was on only a third of the screens of the other films in the Top Ten, the African-American drama “Not Easily Broken” made it to eighth position with $5.6 million. Other films fell as expected, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” holding the best of the Top Ten with a 49.4% drop while “Seven Pounds” fell the most with a 61.3% fall off.
“Revolutionary Road,” “The Wrestler,” “Waltz with Bashir,” “Last Chance Harvey” and “Rachel Getting Married” all saw boosts in their tallies from the recent awards talk.