Weekend Box Office – THE SOCIAL NETWORK Stays On Top; LIFE AS WE KNOW IT Second; SECRETARIAT Third

     October 10, 2010


With some of the lowest totals I’ve seen since, um, Labor Day; Columbus Day 2010 got off to a weak start at the box office. Sure, The Social Network made a good showing in its second week, falling just 31% to push Life as We Know It into second place – but those two films combined could not match last year’s single debut Couple’s Retreat. Meanwhile Disney’s Secretariat stumbled badly, coming in a distant third in a race they hoped to win.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Social Network $15,500,000 $46
2 Life as We Know It $14,600,000 $14.6
3 Secretariat $12,600,000 $12.6
4 Legends $7,015,000 $39.4
5 My Soul to Take 3D $6,900,000 $6.9
6 The Town $6,350,000 $73.7
7 Wall Street 2 $4,625,000 $43.6
8 Easy A $4,200,000 $48.1
9 Case 39 $2,630,000 $9.6
10 You Again $2,470,000 $20.7

Life as We Know It movie image KATHERINE HEIGL and JOSH DUHAMELStarting off at the top, David Fincher’s The Social Network took in an estimated $15.5 million from its 2,771 locations to claim a second week as the nation’s number one film. The film’s close second place showing on Friday hinted towards a repeat on top – though most thought that  Life As We Know It would stick a lot closer.

But there was an obstacle to Life As We Know It sneaking back into first place. Unlike The Social Network, which has some of the best reviews I’ve read this year, the new romantic dramedy has a fairly abysmal 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite a sneak peak last weekend where audiences were said to be “In Love” with the pairing of Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, it seems that this picture lost a lot of ground in just one day. Though, with its $14.6 million estimate from 3,150 locations it has already gone farther than the recent spate of baby/romance pics like The Switch and The Back-Up Plan.

secretariat_movie_image_diane_lane_john_malkovich_04Disney has a rich history of making inspiring sports movies. Remember the Titans? No really? Remember that movie? And Miracle? So when the studio decided to make a movie about, arguably, the most famous racehorse of all-time, people wondered: where’s the inspiration? We all know the horse wins.

The inspiration was supposed to come from Diane Lane’s dogged, Blind Side-esque determination to take her horse all the way. Too bad audiences didn’t care. Despite its PG-rating and non-stop promotion, Disney could not get Secretariat past third place. Its estimated $12.6 million from 3,072 venues represents a significant step down for the Disney sports legacy – which is used to ringing up $20 million on opening weekends. Luckily, Secretariat looks like it was a bargain at around $30 million; and with no family films on the horizon, the film could still win some fans in subsequent laps… Legend of the Guardians-style.

After covering our bets with the ‘win, place and show’ contenders, we are left only to consider this week’s “also-ran” spot. And that goes to Wes Craven’s 3D horror film My Soul to Take. Despite its 3D price advantage at over 80% of the film’s 2,572 locations, My Soul to Take took in an estimated $6.9 million for fifth place. That is only a bit above what the 2D horror films Let Me In and Case 39 made last weekend and it points to a new low for the once ascendant 3D horror movie phenom which peaked last summer with The Final Destination.

This weekend’s releases failed to drum up much excitement – either from audiences or critics. But that should turn around next week when Red and Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter hit theatres. And they’re not going out on a holiday weekend (even a fake holiday like Columbus Day) so that means at least one of them should be able to pass $15 million…

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