BOX OFFICE FALLS FOR SECOND WEEK
Although Summit Entertainment's sci-fi thriller Knowing hauled in a better-than-expected $24.60 million over the weekend, the box office overall fell for the second week in a row. Total revenue was down 6.05 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago. Nevertheless, for the year, revenue now stands at $2.2 billion, up 11.96 percent from 2008 at this point. Attendance is up 10.27 percent, according to figures released Monday by Media by Numbers. Two other newcomers placed second and third on the box-office list, but at the low end of expectations. Paramount's I Love You, Man placed second with $17.81 million, while Universal's Duplicity came in third with $13.97 million. Continuing to show remarkable legs, Fox Searchlight's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire placed eighth in its 19th weekend with $2.68 million. The figure is especially remarkable given the fact that the movie is due to be released on DVD next week.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. Knowing, Summit Ent. $24,604,751 (New); 2. I Love You, Man, Paramount, $17,810,270 (New); 3. Duplicity, Universal, $13,965,110 (New); 4. Race to Witch Mountain, Disney, $12,786,041, 2 Wks. ($44,496,593); 5. Watchmen, Warner Bros., $6,801,114, 3 Wks. ($98,140,886); 6. The Last House on the Left, Universal, $5,776,160, 2 Wks. ($23,902,420); 7. Taken, 20th Century Fox, $4,057,695, 8 Wks. ($133,096,403); 8. Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, $2,676,369, 19 Wks. ($137,178,177); 9. Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, Lionsgate, $2,566,535, 5 Wks. ($87,264,219); 10. Coraline, Focus, $2,130,746, 7 Wks. ($72,841,173).
KATZENBERG: ECONOMY HURTS 3D
DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who, only a year ago, was forecasting that the animated Monsters vs. Aliens would open in around 5,000 theaters in 3D -- and had reduced that number by half only last month -- has now concluded that fewer than 2,000 theaters will be capable of showing it in 3D when it opens on Friday. In an interview with the Associated Press in Hong Kong, where the movie is about to have its premiere, Katzenberg pointed out that it costs about $100,000 to install 3D digital projection equipment in a theater. The problem is, he observed, "it's harder to get financing right now." He estimated that only about 15-20 percent of theaters that will be showing the movie when it opens on Friday are 3D compatible.
EBERT WON'T ALLOW FURTHER SURGERY
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert says that he has no intention to undergo surgery again to regain the use of his voice. Previous surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary glands left him without the ability to speak and subsequent operations to repair the damage failed. "No more surgery. They did the best they could to restore those abilities, and the result was I almost died three times. I've had enough. Quit while you're ahead," the film critic, speaking through a computer, said in an interview with Chicago TV station WLS-TV. His wife Chaz, however, told the TV station, "I'm not going to lie. I want him to have another surgery, but I want it to be successful."
JAPAN DOMINATES ASIAN FILM AWARDS
Japanese filmmakers dominated the winners' list at the Asian Film Awards Monday, with Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata taking the best film award. (It also received the jury prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes film festival last year.) Hirokazu Kore-eda won the best director award for Still Walking and Motoki Masahiro received the best actor award for Departures, the movie that won the Oscar for best foreign-language film this year. The best actress trophy went to China's Zhou Xun for The Equation of Love and Death.