North American box office: ‘Basterds’ is glorious

Bidness is boomin’ for the Nazi killers:

1. Inglourious Basterds: $38.1 million (NEW)
2. District 9: $18.2 million (2nd week; drops 51%)
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: $12.2 million (3rd week; drops 45%)
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife: $9.7 million (2nd week; drops 42%)
5. Julie & Julia: $8.8 million (3rd week; drops 27%)

actual numbers, not estimates
Who said August was a dumping ground for bad movies, and a dead zone for moviegoers? This past weekend was one of the busiest late-August weekends ever, with business up 20 percent over the same time last year (when The House Bunny and Death Race were new but Tropic Thunder held onto the No. 1 spot in its second week). Inglourious Basterds wasn’t just the biggest opening ever for late August, it was the biggest opening ever for Quentin Tarantino, too, by a long shot — Kill Bill: Volume 2, opening with a little over $25 million in 2004, is a distant second.

I didn’t think District 9 would drop as much as it did in its second week — 51 percent — but with other genre flicks taking much bigger drops lately, that’s probably not so bad. But look at the chick flicks holding their own: only a 27 percent drop for Julie & Julia? There’s clearly some good word of mouth at work here.

It’s not looking so good for three other new wide releases this week. Shorts, Robert Rodriguez’s new kiddie fantasy flick, debuted down at No. 6, with takings of $6.4 million. That’s better than Post Grad, the Alexis Bledel romantic comedy, which earned only $2.7 million in its first weekend, to debut at No. 11. And X Games 3D The Movie saw one of the worst openings ever for a wide release: it came in at No. 19 with a payday of $837,216 — that’s aper-screen average of $598. That’s less than my rent. Ouch. Maybe the August doldrums aren’t quite beat yet.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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