The box-office turned out to be a heartbreaker on many levels over the weekend. First of all, the Dreamworks/Paramount release The Heartbreak Kid, which analysts had predicted would trounce the competition with ticket sales of $24-28 million, took in only $14 million. The fantasy film The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, from 20th Century Fox and Walden Entertainment, which critics had compared (mostly unfavorably) with the Harry Potter movies, bombed in its debut with just $3.75 million, averaging just $1,186 per theater. Analysts had predicted it would earn $9-12 million. Theaters showing Sony TriStar's Feel the Noise felt mostly silence as the movie tanked with just $3.4 million. Overall, revenue for the top-12 movies added up to just $65.7 million, down 35 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago. There were a couple of bright spots obvious in the weekend tally. The Duane "The Rock" Johnson movie The Game Plan fell just 29 percent and remained the box-office leader with an estimated take of $16.3 million. The art houses continued to boom. Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney, opened with $704,000 in 15 theaters, averaging $47,000 per theater. (It is due to open wide next weekend.) Fox Searchlight expanded The Darjeeling Limited to 19 theaters, where it grossed a solid $552,000 -- or $29,100 per theater. Focus Films moved Ang Lee's NC-17-rated Lust, Caution into 17 theaters, where it grossed a strong $368,831 -- or $21,700 per theater. And Warner Bros.' put a digitally remastered "director's cut" of the classic Blade Runner into one theater in New York and another in Los Angeles, where it took in a surprising $95,000 -- or $47,500 per theater.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. The Game Plan, $16.3 million; 2. The Heartbreak Kid, $14 million; 3. The Kingdom, $9.3 million; 4. Resident Evil: Extinction, $4.3 million; 5. The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, $3.7 million; 6. Good Luck Chuck, $3.5 million; 7. Feel the Noise, $3.4 million; 8. 3:10 to Yuma, $3 million; 9. The Brave One, $2.3 million; 10. Mr. Woodcock, $2 million.