North American box office: ‘This Is It’ ain’t all that

The Michael Jackson flick does well enough, but doesn’t approach the predictions:

1. Michael Jackson’s This Is It: $23.2 million (NEW)
2. Paranormal Activity: $16.4 million (3rd week in wide release; drops 22%)
3. Law Abiding Citizen: $7.4 million (3rd week; drops 40%)
4. Couples Retreat: $6.5 million (4th week; drops 39%)
5. Where the Wild Things Are: $5.9 million (3rd week; drops 58%)

actual numbers, not estimates
Overall business was up a scant four percent over the same weekend last year, which doesn’t seem like much, considering how This Is It was supposed to be the biggest movie ever. Speculation was running high that the film would have a five-day opening of $250 million — instead, it has taken in less than $35 million since opening last Wednesday. Which is very respectable for a concert film, but downright embarrassing compared to Sony’s fevered expectations.

In other can’t-miss, sure-thing news: Saw VI dropped 63 percent in its second week.

On the flip side, Amelia dropped only 22 percent in its second week, despite an almost complete lack of advertising, which suggests excellent word of mouth among those few who have seen it.

Cult word-of-mouth did well by The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, too: though it was playing on only 68 screens, it clocked in at No. 14 overall, with a far better per-screen average than all 13 films above it: $8,040. Paranormal Activity was second, with $6,817 at each of 2,404 locations, with This Is It a close third, $6,675 at each of 3,481 locations. Only An Education ($9,737 on each of 48 screens) and The House of the Devil ($8,398 on each of 3 screens) performed better, in this respect, than Saints.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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