Tyler Perry provided most of the good at the weekend’s box office, with “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” dominating an otherwise mild sesh with $24 million at 2,255 playdates.
That was more than double the next best performer during the first fall frame as Focus’ launch of its offbeat animated sci-fier “9” drew $10.9 million at 1,656. TWC’s fourth frame of “Inglourious Basterds,” Warner’s third weekend of “The Final Destination” and Fox’s soph sesh of “All About Steve” took the next three slots.
A pair of R-rated openers — Summit’s slashfest “Sorority Row” and Warner’s Antarctic murder mystery “Whiteout” — disappointed with numbers below forecasts. The duo finished sixth and seventh, respectively, combining for just over $10 million.
“I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” based on Perry’s stage play, delivered above expectations and underlines Perry’s ability to generate dependable pics at a moderate cost — with no sign of audience fatigue for the franchise. The first weekend of fall is traditionally slow, so Perry’s pic was considered a success, especially for a drama. The launch represented the third best opening for the multihyphenate, trailing only comedies “Madea Goes to Jail” with $41 million and “Madea’s Family Reunion” with $30 million.
“I Can Do Bad,” starring Taraji P. Henson, Gladys Knight, Mary J. Blige and Perry as Madea, took in $8.6 million on Friday, $9.9 million on Saturday and a projected $5.5 million on Sunday. Audience was 80% African-American and 75% over 25 years old.
Lionsgate distribution topper David Spitz pointed out that “I Can Do Bad” received an A rating from Cinemascore, giving execs hope that the pic can hold in coming frames. “We think it’s going to have great playability,” he added.
Spitz also noted that Perry — who turned 40 on Sunday — has already completed shooting on his ninth pic, “Why Did I Get Married Too,” due out April 2. “Madea Goes to Jail” is Perry’s top grosser at $90 million.
Overall biz was unimpressive, with the top 10 accounting for less than $75 million and only “Bad” and “9” topping $7 million.
Latter, which has a five-day cume of $15.2 million, opened in line with Focus forecasts, and distribution prexy Jack Foley acknowledged that the post-apocalyptic toon presented a marketing challenge due to its PG-13 rating. He forecasted long legs as “9” played well among all demos.
“We’re very happy with our numbers because it’s not in the box of the typical animated film,” Foley added. “You can’t put this in the same category as ‘Ice Age’ or ‘Wall-E.’ ”
Earlier this year, Focus managed to generate a respectable $75 million domestic cume for “Coraline,” another offbeat animated film; “9” will face competition this weekend from Sony’s animated toon “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” in 3-D, with the Sony pic aimed largely at the kid demo.
“Inglourious Basterds” continued hitting the target, drawing decent numbers in third with $6.5 million at 3,215 — off 44% — to lift its domestic cume to $104.3 million. The Quentin Tarantino epic has become the 20th title of the year to cross the $100 million mark and looks to soon overtake the helmer’s top grosser, “Pulp Fiction,” trailing by less than $4 million.
“Basterds” also stayed solid in foreign markets with $9.4 million at 3,014 for an international cume of $99 million — including four-week totals of $18.3 million in France, $16.9 million in Germany and $15.5 million in Blighty.
Fox’s soph sesh of Sandra Bullock comedy “All About Steve” came in fourth with $5.8 million at 2,265, down 48%, for a 10-day cume of $21.8 million. That’s a whopping $140 million behind the domestic total for Bullock’s “The Proposal.”
The third frame of Warner Bros./New Line’s “The Final Destination” followed in fifth with $5.5 million at 2,732, declining 56% to push its cume to $58.3 million — making it the top domestic grosser among the four “Destination” titles.
“The Final Destination” also led the frame’s foreign biz with $17.3 million at 2,900 in 28 markets, thanks to a robust $7.7 million Russian launch and a $2 million German soph sesh. International cume for “Destination” has hit $55.3 million.
Summit’s launch of horror remake “Sorority Row” — which carries a $12 million pricetag — scared up little interest with a soft $5.3 million at 2,605 as the target audience of teens and young adults stayed away. “Whiteout,” a Dark Castle project aimed at Kate Beckinsale fans, generated little heat with $5.1 million at 2,745 during what is traditionally a slow frame.
A pair of successful Sony summer holdovers took the eighth and ninth slots as the fifth frame of “District 9” grossed $3.3 million at 2,560 for a $108.4 million cume and the sixth sesh of “Julie and Julia” took $3.3 million at 2,342 for an $85.4 million total.
Lionsgate’s second weekend of “Gamer” rounded out the top 10 with $3.2 million at 2,502 as the actioner headed toward oblivion with a 66% plunge.
In the specialty arena, Roadside Attractions’ expansion of Anna Wintour documentary “The September Issue” showed decent traction with $729,000 at 111 for a $6,568 average and a $1.3 million cume.
Renee Zellweger’s “My One and Only” grossed $406,348 at 116 for Freestyle, pushing its four-week total to $1.2 million. Sony Classics’ fifth frame of rock guitar docu “It Might Get Loud” tuned in $142,247 on 61 for a cume of $801,778.
Image Entertainment’s drama “The Other Man,” starring Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney, opened decently with $56,000 at eight locations. And a pair of environmental docus launched well — Oscilloscope’s “No Impact Man” generated an impressive $17,500 at two, with plans to expand to a dozen sites next weekend; Joe Berlinger’s “Crude,” detailing the legal battle by rain forest residents against Chevron, generated $16,729 on a single screen at New York’s IFC Center.
On the foreign front, Disney’s “Up” remained a solid draw as the toon finished third behind “Destination” and “Basterds” with $8.4 million at 2,191 in 26 markets. International cume is $181.3 million midway through its offshore run.
“District 9” took in $7.6 million at 1,765 in 19 markets for a foreign cume of $35.8 million, and Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” pulled in another $7 million at 4,100 to raise its foreign cume to an eye-popping $670.2 million — the third-best international total of all time, trailing only “Titanic” at $1.24 billion and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at $752 million.
Fox also opened “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in Japan, its final foreign market, in first with $2.6 million to lift the foreign cume to $187.7 million.
Besides “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” next weekend will see launches of Warner’s Matt Damon comedy “The Informant,” Universal’s Jennifer Aniston romancer “Love Happens” and Fox’s Megan Fox horror-comedy “Jennifer’s Body.”