After narrowly beating Megamind for first place on Friday, Unstoppable lost some momentum as it rolled through the weekend. The thriller placed second with an estimated $23.5 million while Dreamworks’ 3D animated Megamind enjoyed a second week at number one and a new estimated domestic gross of nearly $90 million.
|6||For Colored Girls||$6,800,000||$31|
|8||Paranormal Activity 2||$3,000,000||$82|
As expected, the “based on true events” thriller Unstoppable was easily slowed by the 3D machinations of Megamind entering the more family-centric Saturday frame. Dreamworks’ latest release fell off by an estimated 35% – enough to put it way out in front of Denzel and that runaway train.
If current estimates hold Unstoppable will come in on par with the debut weekend of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 – that other train thriller from Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott. There are differences of course. Pelham debuted in June of 2009, opening in third place behind holdovers The Hangover and Up. Fox chose the November holiday frame for Unstoppable and gave it the week’s widest screen count with 3,207 locations. And though it outperformed other new releases like Skyline and Morning Glory by wide margins, the thriller did not have enough in the tank to overtake Megamind in the end. So wait. I guess there isn’t much difference between Unstoppable and Pelham after all.
In its second week, Todd Phillips’ road comedy Due Date fell an estimated 53%. As I mentioned last week, no one was expecting the director’s latest release to perform at the exalted level of his last. In its second weekend in 2009 The Hangover had already passed $100 million. As a November release – and one of the only comedy titles audiences can expect for some time – Due Date is performing above average. The comedy even looks pretty solid sitting in third place with an estimated $15.5 million – for that Warner Brothers can thank the total vacuum of interest that extends around both the two new releases that do not feature a runaway train.
That brings us back to Skyline and Morning Glory, the weekend’s number four and five films, respectively. Universal’s thriller Skyline sought to play up its disaster cred by launching on the same weekend that Sony chose last November for 2012. And that is where the similarities end. While 2012 was no critical rave, its reviews make it seem like an Oscar contender next to Skyline’s current Rotten Tomato rating of 10%. And where 2012 pulled in a whopping $65.2 million on this weekend last year, Skyline could only manage an estimated $11.7 million from its 2,880 locations. Luckily the film has a listed budget of just $10 million; meaning it should realize a profit for the studio when all is said and done.
No such luck for Paramount’s Morning Glory. The working-girl comedy starring Rachel McAdams cost a reported $40 million – much of which, I assume, went to insure that co-star Harrison Ford would enthusiastically promote the film (calling Morning Glory “fucking brilliant” while on The Daily Show had to be worth $15 million alone). Despite the presence of Ford and the winning McAdams, Morning Glory was not the modern version of Working Girl the studio was hoping for. The PG-13 comedy pulled in an estimated $9.6 million this weekend, bringing its five day total to an anemic $12.2 million.
It probably doesn’t matter what I say about the films in the lower half of this weekend’s top ten – yes, For Colored Girls took a Madea-sized tumble of 65% – but every movie is about to feel the pain of The Deathly Hallows. As you all must know, part one of the seventh and final Harry Potter film hits next weekend, just in time to make all the other movies on this list look tiny and insignificant.