Two small independent films stole the spotlight from the big studio releases over the Labor Day weekend as Yari Film Group's The Illusionist and Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine earned more per theater than any other films in wide release. The Illusionist earned $8 million despite playing in only 971 theaters. It averaged $8,261 per theater, to place 10th. Little Miss Sunshine played in 1,602 venues, earning $9.7 million and averaging $6,071 per theater, to place fourth. Two new releases had so-so debuts. Lionsgate's Crank opened in second place with $13 million, while Warner Bros.' The Wicker Man, starring Nicolas Cage, opened in third place with $11.7 million. Sony's basketball drama, Crossover, sat on the bench, unable to crack the top ten, as it opened with $4.5 million. Remaining in first place was the Mark Wahlberg football movie Invincible, which raed in $15.2 million. Analysts said that the results were particularly impressive given the fact that raging storms enveloped most of the East Coast over the holiday period.
The top ten films for the Labor Day weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Invincible, $15.2 million; 2. Crank, $13 million; 3. The Wicker Man, $11.7 million; 4. Little Miss Sunshine, $9.7 million; 5. The Illusionist, $8 million; 6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, $7.7 million; 7. Barnyard, $6.4 million; 8. Accepted, $5.9 million; 9. World Trade Center, $5.8 million; 10. Step Up, $5.5 million.