Weekend Box Office:
1) Bee Movie $26 million
2) American Gangster $24.3 million
3) Fred Claus $19.2 million
4) Lions for Lambs $6.7 million
5) Dan in Real Life $5.8 million
6) Saw IV $5 million
7) The Game Plan $2.4 million
8) P2 $2.2 million
9) 30 Days of Night $2.1 million
10) Martian Child $1.7 million
This weekend looked a lot like last weekend at the box office. Only, the two biggest hits flip-flopped and traded places on the charts. Jerry Seinfeld's Barry B. Benson managed to knock those ruthless heroin dealers in American Gangster back a space. That's right, in its second week of release, more people went to see Bee Movie than anything else being offered up. It made $26 million, bringing its overall earnings at the box office to $72.2 million. That means the film is well on its way to becoming a smash hit.
American Gangster took a mild hit, falling into the second place position with $24.3 million. That makes it's cumulative gross for the last two weeks $80 million. Ridley Scott's drama is being considered a surprise hit, as it has earned more that insiders thought possible. Both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are sitting pretty, as they are being considered this year's top Oscar contenders (that is, if the strike is over in time for us to have an Oscar Telecast).
Most of these week's new releases failed to garner much interest from the paying public. Fred Claus won the race, coming in at third place. The Vince Vaughn holiday comedy only pulled in an estimated $19 million. Not the box of money Warner Brothers was expecting to get from this Christmas treat. Tom Cruise and Robert Redford also stalled on the way to the box office, as their drama Lions for Lambs opened at number four with a measly $6.7 million. Opening in one hundred fewer theaters was P2, which crept into the number eight spot with just $2.2 million. I guess audiences weren't in the mood for this holiday/slasher hybrid. It will surely turn a profit when it comes to home video in a few months.
A couple of smaller films opened to great success. The Coen Brothers film No Country For Old Men took in $1,202,000 playing on just 28 screens. Look for it to go wider in the coming weeks. After Dark Horrorfest 2007 did half that business playing on 323 screens. It only managed to pull in $560,000. But that is being considered a good haul for this genre festival.
Will the gangsters and the bees manage a three-peat next week? Only time will tell. But Jerry, Denzel, and Russell will be going up against Southland Tales, Beowulf, and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Those films will surely be packing some heavy fists.