With a four-day total of $18.5 million*, horror sequel Creepers 2--about a wily, winged monster who feeds on hapless teenagers--far outshined its predecessor, which took in $15.8 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend in 2001. And it also made it clear there could only be one horror flick at the top, as Creepers 2 knocked the two-week champion, Freddy vs. Jason, off its perch and sent it down several notches to seventh place. Slash that, Freddy and Jason!
Considering that Creepers 2 was the only new film in wide release this weekend, its victory isn't all that surprising. What is surprising is the rest of the top five, where some of this summer's favorite films are back in action.
Moving up a two spots after a month in theaters was Disney's family fare Freaky Friday, which came in at No. 2 with $11.7 million. Police drama S.W.A.T., also in its fourth week, took third place with $10.5 million. The far-from-cursed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl also moved up two places to steal fourth at $10.2 million, tying with the wild west saga Open Range, which roped in the same amount.
THE TOP TEN
MGM's R-rated Jeepers Creepers 2 debuted in the top spot with an ESTIMATED $18.5 in 3,124 theaters. Its $5,922 per theater average was the highest of any movie playing wide this week.
The sequel follows a group of varsity basketball players, cheerleaders and coaches who are returning home from a championship game and become stranded on a dark road. They eventually become victims of the Creeper's final voracious feeding frenzy.
Buena Vista's PG rated family remake Freaky Friday laughed its way up two spots to take No. 2 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million (-2%) in 3,067 theaters (+9 theaters; $3,815 per theater). Its cume is $90 million.
Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated S.W.A.T. dropped just one place to No. 3 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $10.5 million (-22%) in 2,781 theaters (-423 theaters; $3,776 per theater). Its cume is approximately $102.4 million.
While films generally wane after a few weeks on the charts, Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated success story Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl gained momentum, shimmying up two spots to fourth place in its eighth week with an ESTIMATED $10.2 million (+9%) at 2,227 theaters (-177 theaters; $4,580 per theater). Its cume is approximately $274.4 million.
In a tie with Pirates of the Caribbean, Buena Vista's R rated Western Open Range also came in with an ESTIMATED $10.2 million (-18%) in its third week in 2,244 theaters (+81 theaters; $4,545 per theater). Its cume is approximately $42.9 million.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated equestrian drama Seabiscuit also gained a spot to finish in the No. 6 position in its sixth week with ESTIMATED $8.15 million (+4%) in 2,556 theaters (+22 theaters; $3,190 per theater). Its cume is approximately $103.7 million.
New Line Cinema's R rated horror flick Freddy vs. Jason got whacked down to seventh place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $8.12 million (-50%) in 2,929 theaters (-85 theaters; $2,774 per theater). Its cume is approximately $73.4 million.
Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated martial arts actioner The Medallion dropped considerably from fifth to eighth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $5.7 million (-45%) at 2,652 theaters (+4 theaters; $2,149 per theater). The Jackie Chan-starrer has earned approximately $16.3 million so far.
MGM's PG-13 rated riches-to-rags tale Uptown Girls slipped one spot to ninth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $5.2 million (-26%) in 2,166 theaters (-329; $2,419 per theater). Its cume is approximately $30 million.
Rounding out the Top Ten is Dimension Films' PG-13 rated comedy My Boss's Daughter, which held onto tenth place for the second week with an ESTIMATED $4.5 million (-28%) in 2,206 theaters (+5 theaters; $2, 057 per theater). Its cume is approximately $11.6 million.
In the film, a young executive housesits for his boss and tends to his prized pet owl in hopes of skipping a few rungs on his way up the corporate ladder.
The box office grosses this Labor Day weekend were up 10.8 percent from the same weekend last year, when the total take was $91.2 million.
Last year's top three included: Buena Vista's PG-13 rated sci-fi thriller Signs, which held onto the No. 1 spot in its fifth week of release with $17 million at 3,437 theaters ($4,959 per theater average); the indie film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which finally got an expanded release after 20 weeks in release and came in second with $11.1 million at 1,619 theaters ($9,147 per theater); and Sony's PG-13 rated actioner xXx, which dropped to third in its fourth week with $10.3 million in 3,536 theaters ($3,707 per theater average).