Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

"Things" Goes "Wild"; "Citizen" Stands Tall; Much "Activity"; PTA Holdovers are "Serious" about "Education"

This weekend was a pretty good one for opening and expanding films.  This weekend's best performer was the puppet-adventure "Where the Wild Things Are" from the much-loved children's book of the same name.  Wild Things is directed by Spike Jonze, who's best known for directing Being John Malkovic and rock music videos.  Basically, a child imagines a world where he's king of monsters (the Wild Things).  "Things" scared up $32.5 million this weekend, which is good considering I don't know anyone that was sure where this film would end up.

In second place with $21.25 million was the revenge-thriller "Law Abiding Citizen" starring Gerard Butler ("300") and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx ("Ray") and directed by F. Gary Gary ("The Italian Job").  This also beat most expectations pretty heftily, though the trailer was great.

Not far behind, in third place is the ever so surprising supernatural-horror film "Paranormal Activity".  Though it boasts exactly zero known actors and a director that had literally no credits whatsoever before hand, last week it surprised by making the top five and setting records for a film in under two hundred theaters.  This week it expanded to 760 theaters and grossed $20.2 million for a per-theater average of $26,530, which is tops at the box office this week.

The last new release was the "Disturbia"-like PG-13 horror film "The Stepfather", which surpassed my expectations with $12.3 million.

In the holdover catagory, "Zombieland" and "Couples Retreat" had respectable 47% drops while "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" had a very nice sub-30% drop.

PTA films this weekend had bi-polar results.  Holdovers and probable Oscar-bait "An Education" and "A Serious Man" did very well and had PTAs of $14,000 and $10,000 respectively.  Openers fared much worse as the drama-romance-anthology "New York, I Love You" with too many stars to mention (seriously Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Bradley Cooper, James Caan, and the list goes on...) only managed a $3,126 average.  The other PTA opener is blaxploitation-comedy "Black Dynamite" which managed a less than spectacular $2,014 average.


October 16-18 Results:

1 Where the Wild Things Are $32,470,000   ($32,470,000 total)
2 Law Abiding Citizen $21,250,000   ($21,250,000 total)
3 Paranormal Activity $20,163,000   ($33,717,000 total)
4 Couples Retreat $17,949,000   ($63,339,000 total)
5 The Stepfather (2009) $12,300,000   ($12,300,000 total)
6 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $8,100,000   ($108,284,000 total)
7 Zombieland $7,800,000   ($60,823,000 total)
8 Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3D) $3,011,000   ($28,594,000 total)
9 Surrogates $1,922,000   ($36,332,000 total)
10 The Invention of Lying $1,905,000   ($15,495,000 total)

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