B.O. Analysis, Feb. 8: Comedies Still the Rage

In a world riddled with bad economic news, the theatrical movie-going experience continues to generate huge numbers as people looking for an escape from everyday worries are finding solace in a darkened movie theatre.

Opening better than expected is the female-driven romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You, starring Jennifer Aniston and an ensemble cast of appealing and well known actors. Based on the best-selling book, the $27.5 million debut was about seven million above most estimates and again proves that women should be the most coveted audience as they continue to prove their box-office clout.

At No. 2, Taken, starring Liam Neeson, continues to be a critical and audience favorite dropping a mere 18 percent in its second weekend as it crosses the $50 million mark. In third with a much bigger than anticipated debut of $16.3 million was Coraline. Directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), the film saw nearly 60 percent of total box office from RealD 3-D situations with RealD 3D outperforming 2D by 3:1.

In fourth place was The Pink Panther 2, which was expected to perform at a higher level than the $12 million that it generated. Perhaps it was hurt by the fact that the fifth place film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop (with a weekend gross of $11 million) has had the market cornered on goofy comedy as evidenced by its $97 million in the bank and a fourth weekend drop of just 21 percent.

Overall another absolutely terrific weekend at the box-office with revenues for the Top 12 films up a staggering 46 percent over the same weekend a year ago when Fool’s Gold, starring Kate Hudson topped the chart with $21.6 million. The January box-office momentum continues as the month February starts off with a bang.

THREE-DAY STUDIO ESTIMATES (source by Media By Numbers)

1. NEW! He’s Just Not That Into You (Warner Bros.) — $27M; 3175 theaters; $8,650 PTA

2. Taken (Fox) — $20.3M; 3184 theaters; $6,376 PTA; -18%; $53.3M cume

3. NEW! Coraline (Focus) — $16.3M; 2299 theaters; $7,105 PTA

4. NEW! The Pink Panther 2 (Sony/MGM) — $12M; 3243 theaters; $3,700 PTA

5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony/Columbia) — $11M; 3169 theaters; $3,471 PTA; -21%; $97M cume

6. NEW! Push (Summit Ent.) — $10.2M; 2313 theaters; $4,412 PTA

7. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) — $7.4M; 1724 theaters; $4,292 PTA; -3%; $77.4M cume

8. Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) — $7.2M; 2705 theaters; $2,677 PTA; -12%; $120.2M

9. The Uninvited (Paramount) — $6.4M; 2344 theaters; $2,730 PTA: -38%; $18.3M cume

10. Hotel For Dogs (Paramount) — $5.8M; 2734 theaters; $2,129 PTA; -33%; $55.2M cume