Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” enjoyed the biggest post-Oscar bounce since “Titanic” at the domestic box office, grossing an estimated $12.2 million as it boldly expanded to 2,943 runs in its 16th sesh.
“Slumdog” is fast approaching the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office, with a $115.1 million domestic cume and foreign cume of more than $75 million. Film also saw gains abroad over the weekend, underscoring the global appeal of the Academy Awards, where “Slumdog” triumphed with best pic and seven other wins.
The upset of the frame belonged to Lionsgate holdover “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” which beat the debut of Disney’s “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” to stay at No. 1 domestically.
“Madea” declined 60% to an estimated $16.5 million from 2,052 theaters; cume is $64.9 million in its first 10 days. Pic is now Perry’s highest grosser.
“Jonas Brothers” — which had been predicted to win the weekend –grossed an estimated $12.7 million from 1,271. Audience turnout was softer than expected, although the film posted a respectable per-screen average of $9,992, the best of any pic on the top 10 B.O. chart.
Concert film faced a tough comparison — Disney’s “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” opened to $31.1 million a year ago.
Hyde Park’s vidgame adaptation “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li,” the weekend’s only other new entry, did modest biz, grossing $4.7 million from 1,136 and placing No. 8. Fox is distrib.
Overall, the blitz at the domestic B.O. continued. Weekend was up as much as 15% over the same sesh a year ago. Through Sunday, revenues for the year are up 13%, while admissions are up a sizable 11%. (Some box office pundits are circulating higher percentage gains, but those calculations factor in Jan. 1. Studios consider New Year’s Day to be part of the previous year’s revs.)
Twentieth Century Fox’s sleeper hit “Taken” jumped the $100 million mark in its fifth sesh, declining only 12% to an estimated $10 million to place No. 4. What makes the film particularly notable is its narrow week-over-week declines. Cume is $107.9 million.
Warners/New Line’s “He’s Just Not That Into You” continued to show svelte legs, placing No. 5 in grossing an estimated $5.9 million from 2,858 runs in its fourth sesh for a domestic cume of $78.5 million. Movie has earned north of $31 million overseas.
“He’s Just Not That Into You” has made life difficult for Disney’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” which grossed an estimated $4.5 million over the weekend for a domestic cume of $33.7 million in its third weekend. Pic’s international cume is north of $39 million, including a $2 million Italian launch over the weekend.
Disney stayed upbeat about “Jonas Brothers,” saying the pic succeeded in playing to its fanbase, which are girls of all ages. It also nabbed the second-best opening gross for a concert film after “Hannah Montana.”
No one expected “Jonas Brothers” to match “Hannah Montana’s” opening number, but most thought it would hit the high teens.
“This brings into focus just how sensational ‘Hannah Montana’ was,” Disney prexy of domestic distribution Chuck Viane said.
One key difference — “Hannah Montana” was billed as a one-week run, making it a must-see event. Also, Miley Cyrus’ concert tour had ended two days prior to the movie’s opening.
Some are speculating that parents may not have wanted to shell out the extra money for a 3-D ticket, which can cost $3-$4 more on average. Yet Focus Features’ 3-D “Coraline” is still going strong at the B.O.
For Lionsgate, “Madea’s” pull at the B.O. is much needed. Studio’s head of distribution Steve Rothenberg said the pic’s resilience is a sign that auds are clearly looking for laughs.
“The only two films to repeat at No. 1 so far this year are ‘Madea’ and ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop,’ ” Rothenberg said.
While the Oscars have long been influential in boosting box office grosses, particularly for specialized titles, “Slumdog’s” momentum was impressive.
“This is the highest post-Oscar gross for a best picture in more than a decade,” Searchlight’s Sheila DeLoach said.
“Titanic” earned $15.2 million the weekend following its win in 1998. Since then, no best picture winner has hit double digits.
Overseas, “Slumdog Millionaire” drew a nice boost as well, grossing an estimated $7 million. Film rocketed back to the top spot at the U.K. box office, grossing $2.3 million for an eye-popping cume of $37 million.
“Slumdog” also launched impressively in Spain with a first-place gross of $2.5 million. In Mexico, pic was up 62% to $1 million, and it had nice momentum in France, Belgium and Holland.
“Slumdog” wasn’t the only Oscar winner seeing a bounce.
The Weinstein Co.’s “The Reader,” for which Kate Winslet picked up the Oscar for best actress, saw a 10% uptick as it grossed an estimated $2.9 million from 1,203 runs for a cume of $27 million.
“Reader” also took advantage of Winslet’s win overseas, scoring a first-place launch in Germany with $3.2 million at 540.
Focus Features’ “Milk” was up 37%, grossing $1.5 million at the domestic box office for a cume of $30.1 million. Sean Penn won the actor Oscar.
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” may have walked away without the big kudos from the Academy Awards after being nominated in top categories, but the Paramount/Warner Bros. film is turning into a worldwide curiosity. Over the weekend a foreign gross of $13.4 million sent “Button” over the $300 million mark, and the pic remained No. 1 for the fourth consecutive weekend.
“Button’s” foreign cume is $176.2 million (domestic is $125.4 million). Japan’s become the top foreign market for “Button,” declining only 13% over the weekend to $1.8 million for a $20.7 million cume.
Weekend’s other big winner overseas was Warner Bros.’ “Gran Torino,” shut out of the Oscar race entirely. In Warners’ first major foreign expansion, the Clint Eastwood pic saw solid results as Warners made its first major expansion. “Gran Torino” grossed $8.3 million from 1,115 runs in 10 markets to come in No. 2 at the international box office.
Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” continued to generate respectable offshore coin, grossing $7.6 million for a foreign cume of $93.2 million, $11 million ahead of the domestic total. Pic placed No. 3 internationally.
Coming in No. 4 was Disney’s “Bolt,” which continued to draw families, grossing $7.2 million –mostly from France ($2.2 million) and the U.K. ($1.9 million). “Bolt” has totaled $166.5 million outside the U.S., $52 million ahead of the domestic total.
Sony’s “The Pink Panther 2” saw more moderate biz, coming in No. 5 and grossing $6.8 million for a foreign cume of $22.7 million — $10 million behind the domestic total.