The tracking services which movie studios live and die by in order to determine just how a movie is going to perform at the box office have been severely off from time to time. Just last month, no one at Sony Pictures would have expected the late Christmas present they received with the big opening of “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” February’s latest mix up? A little movie called “Friday the 13th.”
It’s not that anyone didn’t expect the reboot of the long-running horror franchise to do well, in fact, tracking showed a four day cume somewhere in the mid 20’s. Well, it looks like moviegoers missed the hockey-mask wearing killer more than anyone thought, because Jason’s return did $19.5 million alone on Friday. In a very shrewd move, the studio has also been selling the film as a date night for Valentine’s Day which means the horror flick shouldn’t experience the traditional Friday to Saturday drop most films in the genre do. With a four day weekend also in the cards, the New Line and Paramount co-production is looking at a final four day total north of $50 million. And with the film also opening day and date in the U.K. the money is just beginning to rake in. Expect an announcement within days (hours?) of another return to Crystal Lake (not that you didn’t think it was coming after that ending).
Keeping it in the New Line/Warner Bros. family, “He’s Just Not That Into You” landed in second place with a fine $5 million. The superstar ensemble dropped only 52% from the previous Friday and should do anywhere from $18-22 million over the four day weekend giving it an excellent shot at eventually passing $100 million. (Somewhere Jennifer Anistion’s agent is calculating if she can already begin asking more per picture than Angelina Jolie and how to leak that to the press.)
The third slot when to the Liam Neeson thriller “Taken” which must have hit some sort of nerve because it’s having better word of mouth than distributor 20th Century Fox ever expected. With almost $4.7 million on Friday, the Luc Besson produced flick is looking at $17-20 for the long weekend which would put it over the $75 million gross mark and like”He’s Just Not” well on its way to $100 million. Hey, “Double Jeopardy” made $177 million. Anything’s possible right?
Considering how robust the theatrical business has been, Disney has to be a tad disappointed with the opening day take of “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” The studio has sold the PG-rated comedy hard to teenage girls, so Saturday should get a fine bump, but they certainly were hoping to start off with more than $4.4 million. Still, if current trends hold, they could be looking at close to $20 million after the holiday and for an comedy toplined by Isla Fisher? That’s probably a big sign of relief.
The 3D animated “Coraline” came in fifth place with $3 million and should get a big bump from Saturday and Sunday matinees. It could do another $14-16 million this weekend as Nike’s Phil Knight, who personally bankrolled the production, begins to get his money back.
Arriving D.O.A. was the Clive Owen and Naomi Watts thriller “The International” which once again proved audiences the duo don’t have the star power to open films on their own. The Tom Tykwer flick brought in $2.6 million on its opening day and should finish somewhere around $10 million when all is said and done.
Here are the top ten Friday box office totals according to Box Office Mojo. Expect more updates on HitFix as the holiday weekend progresses.
1. “Friday the 13th,” $19.5 million
2. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” $5 million, $40.4 million to date
3. “Taken,” $4.67 million, $63.3 million to date
4. “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” $4.4 million
5. “Coraline,” $3 million, $23.2 million to date
6. “The International,” $2.6 million
7. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” $2.4 million, $101.2 million to date
8. “The Pink Panther 2,” $1.7 million, $15.2 million to date
9. “Push,” $1.7 million, $14.1 million to date
10. “Slumdog Millionaire,” $1.5 million, $80 million to date