According to The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Gems' When a Stranger Calls dialed in to the top spot at the boxoffice during the weekend, eclipsing the rest of the field as the horror-thriller from Davis Entertainment rang up an estimated $22 million. The Simon West-directed Stranger, a PG-13 remake of the 1979 film, marked the first time any movie has grossed more than $20 million on Super Bowl weekend.
For Screen Gems, it's the third year in a row the Sony genre label debuted at the top spot during the Big Game frame. In a game of another kind, four of the five nominees for the best picture Oscar ramped up their respective theater counts in a race to spin the prestigious accolades into gold at the boxoffice. One of the best picture nominees, Lionsgate's Crash, which debuted in theaters in May, is not in theaters but is available on DVD. Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain was in the most theaters with 2,089, up 435 from a week earlier. The romantic drama from director Ang Lee placed fourth with an estimated $5.7 million, down 14% from a week ago. The per-theater average was a modest $2,729, and the cume-to-date for the film is $59.8 million.
Although they have five Oscar nominations apiece, Steven Spielberg's Munich and James Mangold's Walk the Line drew unequal receptions overseas during the weekend, with the former maintaining its No. 1 boxoffice status for the second week in a row and the Johnny Cash biopic bowing internationally in the No. 3 slot. Thanks to the addition of 10 new markets, including a strong Japan bow, United International Pictures' Munich grossed an estimated $13.3 million at 3,400 screens in 40 markets in its second weekend internationally, resulting in an overseas cume of $34.3 million. It easily outpaced this weekend's No. 2 title, Memoirs of a Geisha, and is on course to surpass its domestic boxoffice tally ($43 million to date) within the next week.
Line bowed in 23 markets to an estimated $8 million during the weekend, according to 20th Century Fox International. It opened at No. 1 in Australia ($2.0 million at 249 screens) and nearly finished first in the U.K. ($2.0 million at 200 screens). Line placed No. 2 in Norway ($253,000 at 31 screens) and No. 3 in Germany ($1.4 million at 181 sites) and in Austria ($207,225 at 23 screens). The weekend estimate includes projections from nine smaller markets that had not reported final figures, Fox said. (The title's domestic cume stands at $110.7 million.)