According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks' Just Like Heaven opened in the top spot this weekend with a respectable but not quite heavenly estimate of $16.5 million from 3,508 theaters. The romantic comedy, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo and helmed by Mark Waters, landed on the low side of expectations heading into the frame. Prospects were a bit higher for Heaven because the biggest September opening on the books is another Witherspoon-starring romantic comedy, Buena Vista's Sweet Home Alabama with $35.6 million.
Each of this weekend's three new wide releases arrived in theaters with less-than-stellar results. But the story was a bit brighter for the majority of the surfeit of films that debuted in limited release this weekend. Taken together it marked the third consecutive up weekend at the boxoffice as compared with last year, a welcome respite from a disappointing summer. The estimated total for the top 12 films this weekend was $71.3 million, up a hearty 13% from the comparable session last year.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory held on to No. 1 in Japan and was the top film overall at the international boxoffice this weekend, but Cinderella Man performed strongly and Pride & Prejudice romped home in the U.K. as Fantastic Four conquered Italy.
Charlie grossed an estimated $11.5 million from about 4,113 prints in 53 countries. The movie's cumulative total now stands at $175 million. In South Korea, Charlie grossed almost $1.6 million (including sneaks) from 106 screens.
Excluding previews, the Saturday-Sunday weekend total eclipsed Madagascar by 5%, The Polar Express by 6% and Stuart Little by 53%.