You gotta know when to hold 'em, and know when to run. This weekend the movie about college students beating Vegas casinos at the Black Jack table held out for one more hit and managed to avoid going bust. With a hearty "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner" 21 clung to the number one spot like a slots player on his last quarter by only dropping a remarkable 37% from last weekend. At $15 million it handily beat out the newcomers, no small feat given who the newcomers were.
George Clooney and Renee Zellweger may have Oscar on their side, but that wasn't enough to get audiences into theaters for Leatherheads. The film kicked off this weekend in second place to the tune of $13.5 million, a miserable total given the all star cast. Clooney's bankability tends to be hit-and-miss when it comes to these kinds of comedies. Sure, Michael Clayton had a weak opening start at the box office (only $10 million when it hit wide release), but thanks to a boost from its questionable Oscar nomination for best picture it went on to quintuple that amount over its full run. Leatherheads will have no such luck, doomed to rely on foreign ticket sales just to break even.
Nims Island, was only a few thousand behing the football flick, meaning that either movie could actually end up in second place when the final results roll in. On the other hand, the gap between them could widen, a more likely outcome given that the best Nim could offer was a slapstick Jodie Foster competing with the comic antics of animals a la Swiss Family Robinson.
The Ruins kept the ball rolling for horror films by proving to be a disaster of a film. The horror genre is 0 for 5 so far this year, with little hope on the horizon. At fifth place, the movie banked only $7.8 million. Unless Jenna Malone has started commanding Hollywood-class paychecks, I doubt the movie's budget was all that large, but I'd be willing to be the money it's made so far won't even start to cover the special effects.
Martin Scorsese's concertamentary on the Rolling Stones, Shine A Light, opened this weekend at $5,474. That's bad news given that U2's film made over $15,800 per theater a few months ago. But, before you Bono fans start celebrating, remember that Hannah Montana's cinematic concert experience raked in over $40,000 per theater. Maybe if U2 and the Stones might have had a chance if they'd gotten themselves TV shows on Nickelodeon or Disney.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP TEN April 4 - 6, 2008
LW = Last Week WR = Weeks Released THTRS = Number of Screens * Denotes new release. Click on title to read CB Review