Holdovers keep new openers from top spots
Over a free-for-all weekend at the multiplexes, Paramount/DreamWorks’ PG-13 thriller “Disturbia” was tops, taking in $23 million in its debut.Holdovers “Blades of Glory” and “Meet the Robinsons” took the second and third spots on the weekend chart. And after a disappointing opening the previous frame, “Grindhouse,” the Weinstein Co.’s experimental double bill from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, plunged 63% in its second weekend. The three-hour-plus gorefest’s per-theater average was just $1,612 in 2,629 playdates. “Disturbia,” a sort of higher tech teenage twist on “Rear Window” starring Shia LeBeouf, made most of its money from young auds and the female fans who tend to turn out for PG-rated pics with scares. Par/Dreamworks claimed the No. 1 and 2 pics on the weekend, the second time that phenomenon has happened this year for a studio, according to Nielsen EDI, after Warners finished with a one-two punch in March of “TMNT” and “300.” The other, mostly R-rated, openers largely stumbled. Sony’s racy thriller “Perfect Stranger” bowed in fourth place with $11.5 million. Pic stars Halle Berry as an investigative journo snooping into the high-powered world of a suspected murderer, played by Bruce Willis. But older female auds usually take time to turn out for pics, and Sony was encouraged by successful international launches for “Strangers” over the frame. Fox’s “Pathfinder” — an epic about Vikings battling Native Americans, which didn’t go out as widely as the other new studio releases — grossed $4.8 million. Pic didn’t have the same buzz as Warner Bros.’ violent fantasy pic, “300,” which is still reaping major moolah. Lionsgate’s “Slow Burn,” meantime, an ensemble crime pic starring Ray Liotta and rapper-actor LL Cool J, was anything but hot, taking in just $800,000 from 1,163 theaters for a paltry per-screen average of $688. Overall, B.O. in the U.S. and Canada was down, as the top 10 pics combined for $12.2 million less than they did the previous weekend. A spate of other indie pics also failed to find auds. Chicago Pictures’ first release — the gearhead action vehicle “Redline” — motored to just over $4 million in its debut weekend. The recently rejigged banner First Look’s bigscreen version of the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” animated series bit off $3 million, finishing out of the top 10 amid poor reviews. In a week featuring a cadre of heavy-hitting holdovers, three-week-old “Blades of Glory,” the laffer starring Will Farrell and Jon Heder as a same-sex figure-skating pair, hit $90 million. “300” crossed the $200 million mark in its sixth frame, and Disney’s “Wild Hogs,” the midlife crisis comedy, passed $150 million. Mouse House’s animated “Meet the Robinsons” has been tuning in some big numbers following an OK opening three weeks ago. Pic is now past the $72 million mark and has weathered encouragingly slight drops in ticket sales from week to week. Warners’ “The Reaping” slid 54% in its second weekend. Genre pic with religious overtones, starring Hilary Swank, has grossed less than $20 million in two weekends of release. In other limited action, Miramax expanded its Richard Gere starrer “The Hoax” to 413 screens, but the pic’s biz spiked by only 14% from its first frame last weekend. Pic has taken in $3.6 million to date. Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions’ “Lonely Hearts,” starring John Travolta and Salma Hayek, took in $92,175 from 23 screens. Companies’ period piece “Amazing Grace,” meantime, has been an indie success, and is closing in on $20 million after eight weeks in theaters. Par Vantage’s Mike White-helmed comedy “Year of the Dog” chewed up $112,000 off seven screens for a well-heeled $16,000 average. Sony Classics’ Paul Verhoeven pic “Black Book,” which has been well reviewed, wrote up $224,625 in its second weekend, with a strong per screen average of better than $8,000 from 23 theaters. Unit’s “Lives of Others,” the best foreign-language film Oscar winner, has translated into $8.2 million for the distributor after 10 weeks. Fox Searchlight’s “The Namesake” continued to play well. Pic by Mira Nair has passed $8.7 million in six weeks of platform release. ThinkFilm’s “Avenue Montaigne” crossed the $1 million mark in its 10th frame, while the company’s comedy “The TV Set” has tuned in $71,978 in two weekends. Milestone Films’ “Killer of Sheep” cut $16,000 from two screens. Pic rolled out March 30.