Looks like even the big football game could not interrupt the mainlining of movies we’re all doing of late in an attempt to comfort and/or inebriate ourselves in these tough times:
1. Taken: $24.7 million (NEW)
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop: $13.9 million (3rd week; drops 36%)
3. The Uninvited: $10.3 million (NEW)
4. Hotel for Dogs: $8.6 million (3rd week; drops 33%)
5. Gran Torino: $8.2 million (4th week in wide release; drops 49%)
actual numbers, not estimates
Taken’s take represents the second biggest ever for a Super Bowl weekend, and the weekend overall was the biggest Super Bowl weekend ever at the movies. And it capped the first-ever billion-dollar January at North American theaters.
I really wouldn’t have thunk it. I really would have thought that, sure, entertainment will be up in Great Depression II as people look for cheap escapes from their miseries. But I really would have thought that TV and DVD and maybe video games and the Internet would sap a lot more of the movies’ mojo than this. Because movies aren’t cheap these days. And, indeed, Netflix’s profits are up hugely. And video game sales were up a lot last year, too.
But movies are way up, too. Weird.
Not every movie did well this weekend, though. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans dropped 64 percent in its second week — ouch. But it still did better than New in Town, which debuted way down at No. 8, taking in only $6.7 million.
Fluff is ruling, though, as might be expected if people are looking for escape and not a challenge. The Reader and Milk expanded into wide release this weekend, but even their Oscar nominations couldn’t boost attendance: both were barely noticed at the multiplex, bringing in, respectively, only $2.4 million and $1.5 million. Slumdog Millionaire, in its second week of wide release, dropped only 29 percent… but it did add 222 locations.
[numbers via Box Office Mojo]