Weekend Receipts: That's Great, It Starts With An Earthquake
After a couple slow weeks at the box office, the Hollywood Industrial Complex belches back to life with a movie about the end of the world in which John Cusack is upstaged by Woody Harrelson and a chicken. Yes, it's business as usual at Weekend Receipts. Click on to see how that one, and the rest of the top five, fared.
Gross: $65,000,000 (new)
Screens: 3,404 (PSA: $19,095)
Layering Titanic, Towering Inferno, Airports '70 through '75, and The Poseidon Adventure into a gigantic, disaster-movie club sandwich (with extra cheese), director Roland Emmerich -- aka Cecil B. De End -- has delivered Sony a cash tsunami, and the second-biggest opening of his career. An additional $165 million in foreign markets make it the fifth-biggest opener (and top non-sequel) in overseas box office history, guaranteeing Amy Pascal a spot aboard a rescue vessel should the world ever come to an end.
2. A Christmas Carol
Gross: $22,325,000 (cume: $63,289,000)
Screens: 3,683 (PSA: $6,062)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -25.7%)
The brakes on what was looking to be Disney's runaway holiday disaster train have kicked in, saving dozens of dead-eyed children and adding a healthy $22 million to Scrooge's coffers. Execs petrified the Ghost of Shitcanning Future's bony hand might tap them in the middle of the night and point towards a grave bearing their own employment dates must be enormously relieved.
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats
Gross:$6,200,000 (cume: $23,376,000)
Screens: 2,453 (PSA: $2,528)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -51.2%)
That Clooney vs. Goat was barely able to squeak a victory over Mo'nique vs. Daughter, despite playing on 2,279 more screens, should give you some indication of the sheer power of an Oprah endorsement. Had the talk show host dedicated an episode to unlocking one's potential via telepathic yak communication, Men would surely have found a much broader audience.
4. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Gross: $6,090,000 (cume: $8,915,000)
Screens: 174 (PSA: $35,000)
Weeks: 2 (Change: +225.2%)
5. Michael Jackson's This Is It
Gross: $5,100,00 (cume: $68,211,000)
Screens: 3,037 (PSA: $1,679)
Weeks: 3 (Change: -61.2%)
As Precious continues its historic journey to the Kodak Theater in March, I'm struck by how much Michael Jackson would have loved this film, were he to have lived long enough to have seen it. Surely Jackson would have identified with the abused, misunderstood, gawked-at and isolated heroine, as he would have also seen parallels between his cruel, domineering father and the monstrous Mary Jones. Also, he would have pissed his pants laughing and pointing at Mariah Carey with a mustache. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
22. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Gross: $260,000 (new)
Screens: 4 (PSA: $65,000)
Yowza: Wes Anderson's latest, meted out over just four screens in LA and New York, pulled in a fantastic sum. Whistle and click, Mr. Anderson. You've earned it.
[Figures: Box Office Mojo]