B.O. Update: ‘Paul Blart’ Rules the Malls Again

An amazing weekend at the nation’s theatres for both Paul Blart: Mall Cop and the Oscar contenders as we see the overall marketplace ahead of last year for the fifth consecutive week.

Sony is having a great weekend as their films occupy the top two spots with Paul Blart earning $21.5 million and Screen Gems’ third installment in Underworld franchise performing strongly and debuting at No. 2 with $20.7 million. Other newcomer this week, the children’s book adaptation Inkheart, placed seventh on the list with $7.7 million.

Oscar nominees kicking some major box-office butt as Slumdog Millionaire jumps from 10th place to fifth place in 829 more theatres than last weekend and realizing an 80 percent uptick. The film is now at $56 million and is certain to become a $100 million hit.

Other films that realized Oscar-enhanced box-office numbers include: Benjamin Button, up 8 percent vs. last weekend; Revolutionary Road, up 195 percent; The Wrestler, up 117 percent; Frost/Nixon, up 351 percent; and The Reader, up 10 percent. Even The Dark Knight got a huge bump in its limited re-release, Academy run, bringing its domestic total to $531.7 million.

The fifth consecutive “up” weekend vs. last year with revenues and attendance ahead of last year by 20 percent as the wide release hits and the Oscar picks continue to draw huge audiences to theatres.

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

1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony/Columbia) – $21.5M; 3143 theaters; $6,841 PTA; -32%; $64.8M cume

2. NEW! Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (Sony/Screen Gems) – $20.7M; 2942 theaters; $7,036 PTA

3. Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) – $16M; 3045 theaters; $5,255 PTA; -27%; $97.5M cume

4. Hotel for Dogs (Paramount) – $12.3M; 3271 theaters; $3,779 PTA; -27%; $36.9M cume

5. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) – $10.5M; 1411 theaters; $7,477 PTA; +80%; $55.9M cume

6. My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Lionsgate) – $10M; 2534 theaters; $3,966 PTA; -53%; $37.7M cume

7. NEW! Inkheart (Warner Bros.) – $7.7M; 2655 theaters; $2,910 PTA

8. Bride Wars (Fox) – $7M; 2621 theaters; $2,671 PTA; -40%; $48.7M cume

9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount) – $6M; 2263 theaters; $2,651 PTA; +8%; $111M cume

10. Notorious (Fox Searchlight) – $5.7M; 1641 theaters; $3,473; -72%; $31.7M cume

Go to our Box Office section for recent weekend movie analysis.