Weekend Box Office – THE TOWN Takes In $28.3 Million

     September 19, 2010

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Everything went according to plan for the movie The Town after its somewhat surprising first place finish on Friday. That means that the R-rated drama is America’s new number one movie; taking in an estimated $23.8 million from 2,861 locations.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Town $23,800,000 $23.8
2 Easy A $18,200,000 $18.2
3 Devil $12,500,000 $12.5
4 Resident Evil 3D $5,840,000 $43.9
5 Alpha & Omega $9,200,000 $9.2
6 Takers $3,000,000 $52.3
7 The American $2,756,000 $32.8
8 Inception $2,015,000 $285.1
9 The Other Guys $2,000,000 $115.4
10 Machete $1,700,000 $24.3

Had The Town failed (or just been sort of average) on this first weekend, there were going to be a lot of very sad people: from the WB lot all the way to Boston. The roll-out for this film was especially comprehensive; with the stars hitting eleven cities in seven days not to mention just about every talk show – daytime or late night – they could book. On Friday Jon Hamm was on Bill Maher, for God’s sake.

In just three days The Town has already eclipsed director Ben Affleck’s first feature, 2007’s Gone Baby Gone. That film opened to $5.5 million its first weekend and took in a total of $20.3 million by the end of its run. The Town has also come close to matching the $26.8 million Scorsese’s Boston crime epic The DepartedThe Town’s true sire, if all of its advertising is to be believed – made on in its debut back in October of 2006. Of course, Departed went on to gross over $132 million thanks to a little gold statue it won a couple months later and, though The Town has been getting excellent reviews, nothing suggests that it is on its way to a Best Picture win.

Conventionally, when an R-rated movie wins on a Friday it usually gives way to a more all-inclusive PG-13 release over the weekend. This September that convention has not been in evidence. Two weeks ago the R-rated Machete battled the similarly-rated The American for the top spot and now we like The Town. This weekend two PG-13 releases were hoping convention would fall in their favor: Easy A and Devil.

Easy A made it to number two with $18.2 million from 2,856 locations. That makes the romantic comedy from Sony/Screen Gems an automatic winner due to its tiny $8 million budget. The movie has also scored some pretty positive reviews (85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) so there really is no snark worth throwing its way at this point.

Not so with Devil. Our number three film of the weekend took in just $12.5 million from its 2,809 locations. That’s a per screen average of $4,480. That is far below the $20.3 million the recent PG-13 horror/thriller The Last Exorcism took in just before Labor Day Weekend; plus it had to cost several times more than that film to make and market. Devil is actually more in line with 2008’s The Eye, which opened to $12.4 and closed at $31.4 million total. That’s not the company you want to keep if you are Universal and you had to pay $27 million for the rights to distribute Devil, however.

I’m not going to waste too much time talking about Lionsgate’s Alpha & Omega – the studio certainly didn’t waste much time telling people it was in theatres. The family film brought in an estimated $9.2 million from its 2,625 venues which was good enough for fifth place.

Next week we get three new movies: Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (type that ten times fast), You Again and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The Legends books were big with young readers, not something that helped Percy Jackson and The Olympians earlier this year, however. Shia LeBoeuf also has his fans… and I’m not going to piss them off by mentioning how crappy Wall Street 2 looks right now. Then we have the comedy You Again, which has Betty White on its posters… it’s hers to lose.

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