Box Office Analysis, Aug. 14: ‘Talladega’ Holds Lead Against ‘WTC’

Will Ferrell’s NASCAR send-off Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby lead the pack at the North American box office for the second weekend, grossing $23 million, while Oliver Stone’s somber World Trade Center debuted in third place with $19 million.

The weekend’s big surprise, however, was the high-school dance film Step Up, which placed second with a box office take of $21 million. “It stepped up out of nowhere and surprised everyone,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press. “It was totally unexpected.”

The other newcomers–Tim Allen’s kiddie superhero laffer Zoom and the broadband horror flick Pulse–also made the Top 10 list. Pulse opened in the fifth spot with a predictable $8.4 million, while Zoom took seventh with a disappointing $4.6 million.

The top 12 movies grossed $111.3 million, up 6.35 percent from last year’s draw of $104.7 but down 8.75 percent from last weekend, which took in $122 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Paramount’s Four Brothers, which opened at No. 1 with $21.1 million in 2,533 theaters, averaging $8,360 per theater; Universal’s Skeleton Key, which debuted in second place with $16 million in 2,771 theaters, averaging $5,795 per theaters; and Warner Bros. The Dukes of Hazzard, which dropped to third place in its second week of release with $13 million in 3,785 theaters, averaging $3,438 per theaters (Click here to read last year’s box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $23 million (-51%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,807 (+4)

• Per-theater average: $6,042

• Cume to date: $91.2 million

No. 2: Step Up (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $21 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,467

• Per-theater average: $8,539

No. 3 : World Trade Center (Paramount, PG-13)

• Gross: $19 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,957

• Per-theater average: $6,425

• Cume to date: $26.8 million (opened Wednesday)

No. 4: Barnyard (Paramount, PG)

• Gross: $10.1 million (-36%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,311 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $3,050

• Cume to date: $34.1 million

No. 5: Pulse (Weinstein Company, PG-13)

• Gross: $8.4 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,323

• Per-theater average: $3,640

No. 6: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $7.2 million (-34%)

• Weeks opened: 6

• Theaters: 2,941 (-495)

• Per-theater average: $2,451

• Cume to date: $392.4 million

No. 7: Zoom (Sony, PG)

• Gross: $4.6 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,501

• Per-theater average: $1,839

No. 8: The Descent (Lions Gate, R)

• Gross: $4.6 million (-48%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,095 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $2,196

• Cume to date: $17.5 million

No. 9: Miami Vice (Universal, R)

• Gross: $4.5 million (-56%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,659

• Per-theater average: $1,692

• Cume to date: $55.1 million

No. 10: Monster House (Sony, PG)

• Gross: $3.3 million (-46%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,434 (-595)

• Per-theater average: $1,356

• Cume to date: $63.6 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Half Nelson (ThinkFilm, R)

• Gross: $54,950

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2

• Per-theater average: $27,475

House of Sand (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

• Gross: $33,104

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 5

• Per-theater average: $6,621

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