Weekend Box Office: Audiences Go To Zombieland

By Scott Gwin 2009-10-04 13:16:06discussion comments
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Weekend Box Office: Audiences Go To Zombieland image
Zombie movies are a staple of wannabe filmmakers trying to get a hold on the craft. And why not? Your budget doesn't have to be very large, your actors don't have to be very good and so long as you can maintain a little suspense, fans of your genre don't demand much to be entertained. But when Hollywood tackles the niche it takes some creative effort to succeed. One angle is to go camp-comedy, a tact that paid off pretty well for Zombieland.

The latest offering from untested director Ruben Fleisher and quirky star Woody Harrelson took an easy number one this weekend with a $25 million debut. According to Box Office Mojo's accounting it's the second highest opening for a zombie flick. 2004's Dawn of the Dead bowed in at $26.7 million.

Disney/Pixar's double feature re-release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, this time in 3D, didn't give much competition, only making $12.5 million for a distant third place. While the nostalgic event was a thinly veiled excuse for pay-per-view advertisement for next summer's release of Toy Story 3, the continued popularity of the movies is proven by the audience that did show up. The double feature is only in theaters for two weeks and its yet to be seen if that limited engagement will keep audiences coming back next weekend.

Ricky Gervais' latest comedy The Invention of Lying, which drew waffled results from critics, also drew mediocre audiences. At fourth place it only banked $7.4 million. But, with only $20 in budget to recover and openings yet to happen in Gervais' home court UK, the kick off should be enough to guarantee a break even.

Whip It didn't make much of a crack. Drew Barrymore's directorial debut only captured $4.8 million for a sixth place tie with Michael Moore's latest ranting-masked-as-documentary-filmmaking Capitalism: A Love Story. When the weekend's estimates are replaced with the final numbers one will be declared the winner, but it's still kind of sad when a feel-good movie can't fare any better than a biased feel-like-crap flick.

For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below:

1.
Zombieland $25,000,000 -Total: $25,000,000 LW: N WR: 1
THTRS: 3,036
2.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $16,700,000 -Total: $82,392,000 LW: 1WR: 3
THTRS: 2,977
3.
Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3D) $12,500,000 -Total: $12,500,000 LW: N WR: 1
THTRS: 1,745
4.
The Invention of Lying $7,350,000 -Total: $7,350,000 LW: N WR: 1
THTRS: 1,707
5.
Surrogates $7,344,000 -Total: $26,387,000 LW: 2WR: 2
THTRS: 2,951
6.
Capitalism: A Love Story $4,850,000 -Total: $5,252,000 LW: 31WR: 2
THTRS: 962
6.
Whip It $4,850,000 -Total: $4,850,000 LW: N WR: 1
THTRS: 1,720
8.
Fame (2009) $4,754,000 -Total: $16,634,000 LW: 3WR: 2
THTRS: 3,133
9.
The Informant! $3,800,000 -Total: $26,580,000 LW: 4WR: 3
THTRS: 2,425
10.
Love Happens $2,777,000 -Total: $18,910,000 LW: 7WR: 3
THTRS: 1,922

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