Box Office Analysis, Oct. 19: Feeling No ‘Payne’

It’s clear movie-goers are still looking to escape our trying times.

The dark and mysterious opener Max Payne, starring Mark Wahlberg, took the top spot this weekend with $18M, usurping the two-week box office champ Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which dropped to second place with $11.2M.

Max Payne, backed by a great marketing campaign, is one of the first videogame adaptation in while to do well at the box office, while those tenacious pups in Beverly Hills Chihuahua continued to provide some needed humor.

Other newcomer Secret Life of Bees, a sentimental story starring Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning, managed a surprising third place, playing in 1,591 theaters and earning an excellent per-theatre average of $6,945 (the best in the top 12).

Meanwhile, openers W., Oliver Stone’s biopic look at our current president, rounded out the top four with $10.5M, a very nice debut for the film and right in line with estimates, while the teen comedy Sex Drive, starring Seth Green and James Marsden, debuted in ninth place with $3.5M.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $86.4 million, down .19 percent from last weekend’s $86.5 million take but up 10 percent from last year’s draw of $78.4 million.

The top three films at the box office this time last year were: 1. NEW! 30 Days of Night (Sony) with $15.9M; 2. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (Lionsgate) with $12.1M; and 3. The Game Plan (Disney) with $8.1M

TOP 10 BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES (source: Media By Numbers)

1. NEW! Max Payne (Fox) — $18M; $5,332 per theater average

2. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Disney) — $11.2M; $3,458 PTA; -36%; $69M cume

3. NEW! Secret Life of Bees (Fox Searchlight) — $11M; $6,945 PTA

4. NEW! W. (Lionsgate) $10.5M; $5,197 PTA

5. Eagle Eye (DreamWorks/Paramount) — $7.3M; $2,208 PTA; -33%; $81.3M cume

6. Body of Lies (Warner Bros.) — $6.8M; $2,535 PTA; -47%; $24.4M cume

7. Quarantine (Sony/Screen Gems) — $6.3M; $2,558 PTA; -56%; $24.6M cume

8. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sony/Columbia) — $3.9M; $1,740 PTA; -39%; $26.7M cume

9. NEW! Sex Drive (Summit Ent.) — $3.5M; $1,473 PTA

10. Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Bros.) — $2.6M; $1,267 PTA; -41%; $36.8M cume