Theaters showing mainstream movie fare were mostly empty over the weekend, a traditionally slow period at the box office. On the other hand, those showing art-house fare were doing a land-office business. The Jodie Foster vigilante flick The Brave One was the top earner with an estimated $14 million in 2,755 theaters, or about $5,100 per theater. By contrast, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises took in $553,000 in 15 theaters, or an average of nearly $37,000 per theater. The Beatles drama/musical Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor, racked up about $685,000 in 23 theaters, or nearly $30,000 per theater. Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah earned a solid $150,000 in nine theaters, averaging $17,000 per theater. Among films in wide release only The Brave One earned more than $10 million. Studio figures indicated that the debuting Billy Bob Thornton comedy Mr. Woodcock and last week's winner 3:10 to Yuma were virtually tied for second place with about $9.1 million each. (Final results will be published here on Tuesday.) Dragon Wars opened in fourth place with $5.4 million. Superbad continued to exhibit super legs, taking in another $5.2 million to place fifth and bringing its gross-to-date to $11.3 million. (It cost only $20 million to produce.)
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. The Brave One, $14 million; 2. 3:10 to Yuma, $9.2 million; 3. Mr. Woodcock, $9.1 million; 4. Dragon Wars, $5.4 million; 5. Superbad, $5.2 million; 6. Halloween, $5 million; 7. The Bourne Ultimatum, $4.2 million; 8. Balls of Fury, $3.3 million; 9. Rush Hour 3, $3.3 million; 10. Mr. Bean's Holiday, $2.7 million.