Box Office Analysis, Oct. 10: ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Takes Top Spot

Clay animation was all the bomb at the box office this weekend.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the clay-animated family film about a hapless inventor and his stalwart canine companion, debuted as the top weekend movie with $16.1 million. It pushed the reigning champ, Flightplan, down to second place with $10.8 million.

“Audiences are evidently paying attention to critical raves and really showing up in big numbers for these independent movies that have been very well-reviewed and kind of get a must-see vibe going for them,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, a rush of new wide releases filled out the top five, led by Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine‘s tale of squabbling sisters, In Her Shoes, which opened at No. 3 with $10 million.

Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey‘s sports-gambling flick Two for the Money debuted in fourth place with $8.4 million, while the restaurant comedy Waiting…, with Ryan Reynolds, premiered in seventh place with $5.7 million.

The Gospel, a little known movie starring Boris Kodjoe as an R&B singer making peace with his faith and his estranged father, a church bishop, had a surprisingly strong opening of $8 million, placing fifth on the list. The movie played in just 969 theaters, barely one-fourth of the cinema count for Wallace & Gromit, AP reports.
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The Top 12 films grossed an estimated a four-day total of $87.7 million, down 9.85 percent from last year’s draw of $97.3 million but up 16.61 percent from last weekend’s $75.2 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: DreamWorks’ PG-rated Shark Tale, which stayed at No. 1 for the second week with $16 million in 3,645 theaters, averaging $4,416 per theater; Universal Pictures’ PG-rated Friday Night Lights, which debuted in second place with $20.2 million in 2,667 theaters, averaging $7,600 per theater; and Buena Vista’s PG-13 rated Ladder 49, which dropped to third in its second week with $13.1 million in 3,261 theaters, averaging $4,019 per theater. (Click here to read last year’s box office report)

(This week’s box office Top 10 below…)

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES (Four-Day Totals)

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (DreamWorks, PG)

Gross: $16 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,645

Per-theater average: $4,416

No. 2: Flightplan (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $10.7 million (-27%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,323 (-101)

Per-theater average: $3,246

Cume to date: $60.9 million

No. 3: In Her Shoes (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $10 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,808

Per-theater average: $3,570

No. 4: Two for the Money (Universal, R)

Gross: $8.4 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,391

Per-theater average: $3,513

No. 5: The Gospel (Screen Gems, PG)

Gross: $8 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 969

Per-theater average: $8,256

No. 6: Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (Warner Bros., PG)

Gross: $6.5 million (-35%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 3,004 (-200)

Per-theater average: $2,177

Cume to date: $42.1 million

No. 7: Waiting (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $5.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,652

Per-theater average: $3,450

No. 8: A History of Violence (New Line, R)

Gross: $5.1 million (-37%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 1,340 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $3,825

Cume to date: $16.6 million

No. 9: Serenity (Universal, PG-13)

Gross: $4.9 million (-51%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,189 (+1)

Per-theater average: $2,238

No. 10: Into the Blue (Sony, PG-13)

Gross: $4.8 million (-32%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,789 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $1,721

OTHER OPENINGS

Good Night, and Good Luck (Warner Independent, PG)

Gross: $420,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 11

Per-theater average: $38,182

The Squid and the Whale (Samuel Goldwyn, PG-13)

Gross: $123,708

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4

Per-theater average: $30,927

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