Weekend Report: Knowing What The People Want

It’s a pretty down time for movies, not just during this time of year, but in the quality and variety of movies in general. This past weekend took in $105 million overall, down $8 million from last year, $30 million from 2007, and $4 million from 2006, a time when tickets were about 10% cheaper. My predictions were all off in the neighborhood of $4-5 million.

Knowing came in first with $24,604,751, awfully close to the same number Race to Witch Mountain did last week, despite getting pretty bad reviews. Nicolas Cage used to have a reputation for taking on very diverse and interesting roles, but since he won Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas, he’s plunged himself headlong into generic action-y movies, only really resurfacing in Adaptation. People still seem to like him, though: for every $18 million Next, there’s a $200 million National Treasure. He’s got talent in there somewhere, but the paychecks are more important.

I Love You, Man ended in second place at $17,810,270. It was a little lower than Role Models and a little higher than Forgetting Sarah Marshall. About what you’d expect from a crude, dude-focused comedy.

Neither Julia Roberts nor Clive Owen nor their synergy could get Duplicity past $14 million. But it was the biggest opening for Julia Roberts in nearly five years, three years for Owen.

Watchmen continued it’s decent into footnote territory, falling off 62% this weekend, down to $6,801,114. That’s a drop of $49 million over the first three weekends, or 88%. The only two movies in the top 15 that didn’t drop over 40% were Coraline (21.6%) and Taken (38.2%). Despite only being one week old, Miss March could only muster $381 per theater for the weekend. That’s about four people per showing, about 1.5% capacity. There wasn’t anything worse until you get all the way down to the 60th biggest movie this weekend, something called Super Capers which showed on all of 80 screens.

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