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Box Office: MIGHTY "JOE"
Source: Jeff Bock
Date: Aug 9, 2009
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G.I. JUGGERNAUT

“Yo, Joe!” That was the familiar rally cry heard around multiplexes this weekend as “G.I. Joe” stormed the box office, lifting the Paramount title to the top spot with $56.2 million. Considering the hefty price tag for the 80’s cartoon adaptation (rumored to be $175 million) this comes as a relief to the studio which did not screen the film for critics, as negative buzz had filled the blog-o-sphere throughout the summer. Debuting as the fourth best August opener ever will help blockbuster-to-be, but it will have to hold onto a sizable audience in weekend #2 to actually become a hit and crank out a profit. Although no “Transformers,” it’s still possible to build a tent pole out of this commodity, however, considering that it made $22 million on Friday and just $34 million over the rest of the weekend, that could be an ominous sign for the future of the franchise. And knowing that…is half the battle.

Sony effectively counter-programmed with “Julie and Julia” as it whipped up $20 million to nab the runner-up spot. The Meryl Streep comedy opened in just 2,343 theatres for a sensational per theatre average of nearly $9,000 per. Expect this title to play strongly throughout the summer, as it has received a solid A- from audiences on Yahoo! and will have excellent word of mouth coming out of the weekend.

“G-Force” held strong in the third slot absorbing a 44% drop in its third weekend, grossing $9.8 mil and $86 million total. The guinea pig elite commando force will no doubt hit $100 million when all is said and done, and sequelize soon thereafter.

“Harry Potter 6” dipped from second to fourth in weekend #4, but still conjured up $8.8 million. Total for the Warner Bros. release now stands at $273 million--about $20 million shy of “Order of the Phoenix.”

In fifth place, “Funny People” found out dramedy was no laughing matter. The Judd Apatow/Adam Sandler film fell all the way from the top spot, dropping a precipitous 65%--$7.8 million and $40 million total. Don’t expect Universal execs to be in a good mood, as both their high profile comedies, “Bruno” and now “Funny People” dropped like rocks after decent openings. Comedy, for the most part, earns its laughs by being able to sustain in the marketplace from week to week…not so for these titles.

Debuting in seventh place, “A Perfect Getaway” hit a deadend, grossing just $5.7 million in over 2,000 sites. The Universal film had been an MGM release for some time, and was plopped down into the summer schedule earlier this year without much support.

“(500) Days of Summer” went into wide release in weekend #4 and surged into the Top 10 with $3.7 million and $12 million total. With a per theatre average of over $4,500+ the Fox Searchlight title still has plenty of mileage left in its love tanks.

In limited release, Overture’s “Paper Heart” cut up $206,000 from 38 sites for a per theatre average of $5,400+. The pseudo-documentary that tries to define what love is stars Micheal Cera and Charlyne Yi. Also debuting in solid fashion was “Cold Souls” from Samuel Goldwyn. The Paul Giamatti pic totaled $63,000+ from just seven screens and an average of $9,000+ per.


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