Don't Stop 'til You Gross Enough


Happy Día de los Muertos, everybody. We now bid a fond farewell to the biggest and brightest luminary claimed by the infamous Summer of Death by leaving gifts of sugar skulls and rain forest butterflies at his box office altar. Sizzle on, Michael.

1. Michael Jackson's This Is It

Gross: $21,300,000 (cume: $32,509,000)

Screens: 3,481 (PSA: $6,119)

Weeks: 1

Michael Jackson's surprisingly engrossing swan-song came in well short of the $250 million, 5-and-a-half day total spit out by AEG Live's Inflate-O-Tron trackometer, but it still managed to add over $21 million to its coffers and the weekend's top spot. Add to that a $101 million haul overseas, and it really should come as no surprise that the announced two-week run has now been extended to three by Sony.

In a related matter, the bass line should end abruptly as the tractor shovel reaches the highest point -- then lower in complete silence. It simmers better that way.

2. Paranormal Activity

Gross: $16,540,000 (cume: $84,780,000)

Screens: 2,404 (PSA: $6,880)

Weeks: 6 (Change: -21.6%)

Coasting steadily towards the $100 million mark is Oren Peli's unbudgeted horror phenom, now the go-to thematic model for recession-era blockbuster filmmaking. ("It's Paranormal Activity meets Ghosts of Girlfriends Past! You could make this thing for $11.75 if you get Matthew McConaughey to wave his asking fee for a piece of the backend...")

3. Law Abiding Citizen

Gross: $7,303,000 (cume: $51,385,000 )

Screens: 2,764 (PSA: $2,642)

Weeks: 3 (Change: -41.1%)

Overture's quiet hit has spawned an unintentional trend in national law enforcement: naked surrenders. They're just not quite as sexy when the criminals are 400 lb. meth lab foremen with persistent psoriasis.

4. Couples Retreat

Gross: $6,097,000 (cume: $86,663,000)

Screens: 3,074 (PSA: $2,015)

Weeks: 4 (Change: -42.6%)

Peter Billingsley should be proud. After 26 years, he's no longer going to be referred to as "the kid from A Christmas Story," but rather, "the kid from A Christmas Story who directed that movie on the island with Vince Vaughn."

5. Saw VI

Gross: $5,560,000 (cume: $22,824,000)

Screens: 3,036 (PSA: $1,831)

Weeks: 2 (Change: -60.6%)

There's something really sad about a Saw that no one bothers showing up for. Do you know how much preparation and effort it takes to set up those Rube Goldberg killing devices? If you can't bother, why should Jigsaw. I'm sorry, but it needed to be said.

[Figures: Box Office Mojo]