To no one’s surprise Shutter Island, director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest collaboration, claimed the number one spot on the domestic box office chart this weekend. What may have been a bit of a surprise, however, was just how well the thriller actually did.
|9||From Paris w/Love||$2,500,000||$21.2|
|10||Edge of Darkness||$2,210,000||$40.3|
With the bad buzz that surrounded Shutter Island after the thriller was pulled off of its original October 8th release date, many wondered if Scorsese’s latest would end up as a stain upon the master’s reputation. The critical response to Shutter Island has indeed been mixed, although audiences haven’t seemed to notice. In fact, with an estimated debut weekend of $40.2 million from 2,991 theatres, Shutter Island has given Scorsese and DiCaprio their highest opening ever – either separately or as a team.
The director’s highest opening day prior to this weekend was $26.8 million for 2006’s The Departed, co-starring one Leonardo DiCaprio. That film went on to win a few awards, most notably an Oscar for Best Picture. DiCaprio’s biggest non-Scorsese debut did not come from Titanic, as one might assume. The one-time highest grossing movie of All Time got off to a modest start back in 1997 with $28.6 million. Leo bested that figure five years later with the $30 million brought in after the debut of Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if you Can.
Paramount, perhaps realizing that the Oscar potential for Shutter Island was limited, ended up looking pretty smart by pushing the film’s release date. They chose a weekend that they could have all to themselves while avoiding the reign of Avatar which kept the debuts of this year’s other high profile adult fare (like Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness) fairly low.
Speaking of Avatar; a mere ten weeks after it hit theatres James Cameron’s titanic hit is still comfortably ensconced in the top three. During the film’s relentless march to destiny, a feature of nearly every week’s box office commentary was the remarkable percentage hold Fox’s hit managed week after week. In case you were wondering why all of us seemed so impressed by this feat, here’s why: remember last weekend? Three new movies came out and they all did pretty well, right? Well this week they all fell off big.
Valentine’s Day was able to hold on to second place, but its estimated take of $17.1 million represented a drop of over 69% from its debut. Universal’s The Wolfman did only marginally better, falling an estimated 68.7% for a second week total of $9.8 million.
Only Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief avoided the chasm, dropping a more manageable 51% to fourth place with $15.3 million. And so, how does Avatar stack up on week ten? The blockbuster is down only 31% for third place and a new domestic total of $687.8 million. That is how it’s done.
Next week we’ll get to see how well Avatar and its inferiors hold up against two new releases: Kevin Smith’s Cop Out (Oh, why did they have to change that title?) and Breck Eisner’s remake of the George Romero 70s horror flick The Crazies. I’m guessing that James Cameron isn’t too worried.