Disney broke hearts at DreamWorks this weekend as a strong $16.3 million second weekend for “The Game Plan” vanquished the weak $14 million bow of “The Heartbreak Kid.”
Ben Stiller starrer, the first under the new DreamWorks-Paramount moniker meant to emphasize the former studio’s independence from its corporate parent, averaged just $4,345 per screen at 3,229 theaters. Remake was one of Stiller’s lowest openings of recent years, behind comparable pics such as “Along Came Polly” and “Zoolander.”
Soft showing is the third in a row for helmers the Farrelly brothers, whose “Fever Pitch” and “Stuck on You” saw slightly lower debuts. However, 1998’s “There’s Something About Mary” opened with roughly the same B.O., albeit on 1,000 fewer screens, before going on to become a word of mouth hit and rake in $176 million.
“The Game Plan,” meanwhile, proved it had staying power as it fell only 29% on its second frame.
“We continued to draw very strong into families, but the adult audience actually expanded,” said Disney distribution topper Chuck Viane.
Sunday perf was undoubtedly helped by Monday’s holiday status, as more kids were able to go to movies at night.
The Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson starrer has now cumed $42.8 million, and it looks well positioned to extend its lead with Columbus Day still to come.
The other wide openers also fared poorly.
“The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising,” the first family pic from the new Fox-Walden partnership, barely registered, debuting at a dismal $3.75 million. Pic, which opened at 3,141 locations, averaged only $1,186 per play.
Sony bowed Jennifer Lopez-produced “Feel the Noise,” from TriStar, at 1,015 and grossed a soft $3.4 million, averaging $3,350 per screen.
Sony Pictures Classics took “The Jane Austen Book Club” wide on its third frame but wasn’t able to recruit many members, grossing a weak $1.5 million at 1,232. Per-play average was $1,246; cume is now $2 million.
Universal’s “The Kingdom” held well in its soph sesh, declining 45% to $9.3 million. That was good enough to land the Saudi Arabia-set terrorism thriller at No. 3 and up its cume to $31.4 million.
In limited release, Warner Bros.’ “Michael Clayton” had one of the best limited bows of the year, grossing a boffo $704,000 at 15 theaters. George Clooney starrer averaged $46,903 per screen and looks well positioned as Warner Bros. plans to take it wide to around 2,400 theaters Friday.
Warner Independent added 216 theaters for “In the Valley of Elah” in its fourth weekend. Iraq war drama grossed $1.36 million, down 10% from last week, and averaged $1,395 per play. Cume is $5.4 million.
Paramount Vantage’s “Into the Wild” played 135 locations, up from 33 last weekend, and grossed $1.3 million, giving it a per-play take of $9,592. Sean Penn-directed adaptation of the bestselling book has cumed $2.5 million.
Studio plans to keep the print count roughly even Friday before expanding further in two weeks.
Fox Searchlight expanded “The Darjeeling Limited” from two to 19 playdates and grossed a strong $552,876. Wes Anderson-helmed comedy averaged $29,100 per theater and upped its cume to $781,494. It will grow to nearly 100 locations Friday.
Focus grew Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” from one to 17 runs and grossed a solid $368,831, averaging $21,696 per play. Cume for the NC-17 Chinese import is $477,181. It will hit 10 more markets and some suburban theaters next weekend.
Warners’ “The Assassination of Jesse James” went from five to 61 plays and grossed a so-so $408,000. Brad Pitt starrer averaged $6,690 and upped its cume to $747,000.
Sony Pictures Classics debuted docu “My Kid Could Paint That” at seven locations and took in $28,285, or $4,041 per play.
IFC opened Bruce Lee mockumentary “Finishing the Game” at is own IFC Center in Gotham and grossed $13,867.
Warner Bros. also re-released sci-fi classic “Blade Runner” in a digitally remastered print at two theaters in Gotham and L.A, where it grossed an outstanding $95,000.