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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: gone to the dogs

Oh dear god. Is it a sign of that Great Depression II is indeed upon us when absolute fluff completely dominates at the box office?

1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua: $29 million (NEW)
2. Eagle Eye: $17.7 million (dropping 39% in its second week)
3. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist $12 million (NEW)
4. Nights in Rodanthe: $7.4 million (dropping 45% in its second week)
5. Appaloosa: $5 million (first week in wide release)
Of course, it was at the other end of GDI when all those really great movies came along — 1939 was an amazing year at the flicks — so maybe the talking-dog movies will go away and we’ll get another Wizard of Oz and another Gone with the Wind and another Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It’ll give us something to look forward to.

Hell, the chihuahua movie dominated even though this weekend was in a six-way tie for the second busiest weekend ever, with seven new films in wide release. Maybe people are nostalgic for the day when they could afford to eat at Taco Bell…?

A bit further down the weekend roster, it looks like a battle between the left and the right, with Bill Maher’s snarking against faith, Religulous, going up against the right-wing fantasy An American Carol. The numbers don’t lie, people: Maher’s the clear winner. While Carol was ahead at No. 9, earning $3.8 million, Religulous was close behind at No. 10, earning $3.5 million… but Maher’s movie was on less than a third of the screens of Carol: 502 versus 1,639, giving Maher’s flick a per-screen average of $6,972 next to Carol’s far poorer $2,325.

What happened to my man Simon Pegg? His new flick, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, debuted way the hell down at No. 19: it took in only $1.4 million on 1,750, making its per-screen a pathetic $801. Ugh. Can the film be that bad?

Nice to see, on the other hand, the wonderful Rachel Getting Married winning the weekend on a per-screen basis. Though it played on only nine screens, it took in a spectacular $33,667 on each of them. Couldn’t have happened to a better film. The next closest flick on a per-screen basis was the talking-dog movie, at $9,020 at each of 3,215 venues; then The Duchess, earning $7,047 on each of 72 screens; and then Religulous.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]



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  • JoshDM

    This should console you.

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