Box Office Analysis, Jan. 11: Clint’s Day Was Made

Clint Eastwood rocks his best wide release opening ever as Gran Torino expands into wide release.

With decades in the movie industry both in front of, and behind the camera, the iconic star proves that even at age 78 he is a major box-office force to be reckoned with.

At No. 2, the “chick flick” that is Bride Wars opened stronger than expected with $21.5 million and was closely followed by the PG-13 horror film The Unborn, thus proving that when audiences are offered a wide range of choices, they will line up at the multiplex.

Golden Globes Sunday night will showcase many of the films playing very strongly in the limited release arena, with Slumdog Millionaire and others poised for a nice box-office boost from their Globes exposure.

Another great weekend as audiences continue to feed the movie-going momentum that started three weeks ago and support the films, new and old, in the marketplace.

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

1. Gran Torino (Warner Bros.) — $29M; 2808 theaters; $10,337 PTA; +888%; $40M cume

2. NEW! Bride Wars  (Fox) — $21.5M; 3226 theaters; $6,665 PTA

3. NEW! The Unborn (Universal) — $21M; 2357 theaters; $8,950 PTA

4. Marley & Me (Fox) — $11.3M; 3478 theaters; $3,263 PTA; -53%; $123.7M cume

5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount) — $9.4M; 2947 theaters; $3,207 PTA; -49%; $94.3M cume

6. Bedtime Stories (Disney) — $8.5M; 3511 theaters; $2,435 PTA; -58%; $97.1M cume

7. Valkyrie (MGM) — $6.6M; 2838 theaters; $2,347 PTA; -53%; $71.5M cume

8. Yes Man (Warner Bros.) — $6.1M; 2955 theaters; $2,083 PTA; -56%; $89.4M cume

9. NEW! Not Easily Broken (Sony/Screen Gems) –$5.6M; 724 theaters; $7,735 PTA

10. Seven Pounds (Sony/Columbia) — $3.9M; 2456 theaters; $1,588 PTA; -61%; $66.8M cume