Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Oct. 8: 'Game Plan' Beats 'Heartbreak Kid'

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Oct 08, 2007 | 5:44am EDT

The Heartbreak Kid broke a few hearts this weekend--namely the reunited team of Ben Stiller and the Farrelly brothers. The Heartbreak Kid, their first R-rated comedy since their smash hit There's Something About Mary, failed to reach No.1 at the North American box office.  Heartbreak came in at No. 2 with $14 million, behind Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's The Game Plan, which grossed $16.2 million and held onto first place for a second week.

Paramount and DreamWorks had gotten positive reaction from audiences at advance screenings, but reviews for The Heartbreak Kid came in much harsher than expected, DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan told The Associated Press.

"We were surprised," Sullivan said. "The reviews hurt us. We love the movie. We've seen it play great. But I think reviews do matter on an R-rated movie."

An update of the 1972 comedy written by Neil Simon and directed by Elaine May, The Heartbreak Kid did manage to come in slightly ahead of the $13.7 million first weekend of There's Something About Mary, which lingered in theaters for months and became one of 1998's top hits at $176.5 million. But back then, movies could gain steam a lot easier than they can now.

"The shelf life of films is so much shorter today than it was 10 years ago," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers told AP. "You have to make your mark early to sustain yourself in today's marketplace."

Other newcomers this week were: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, an adaptation of a popular children’s novel, which opened at No. 5 with $3.7 million; and the dance-fueled Feel the Noise, starring Omarion, which debuted in seventh place with $3.4 million.

In another "down" weekend, the Top 12 movies took in a total of $65.7 million, down 34.85 percent from last year’s total of $100.8 million and down 13.80 percent from last weekend’s total of $76.2 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year: Warner Bros. The Departed, which opened at No. 1 with $26.8 million in 3,017 theaters, averaging $8,912 per theater; New Line’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which opened in second place with $18.5 million in 2,820 theaters, averaging $6,563 per theater; and Sony’s Open Season, which dropped to third in its second week with $15.6 million in 3,833 theaters, averaging $4,077 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10 ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: The Game Plan (Buena Vista, PG)

• Gross: $16.2 million (-29%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,105 (+2)

• Per-theater average: $5,237

• Cume to date: $42.8 million

No. 2: The Heartbreak Kid (Paramount, R)

• Gross: $14 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,229

• Per-theater average: $4,345

No. 3: The Kingdom (Universal, R)

• Gross: $9.3 million (-45%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,802 (+9)

• Per-theater average: $3,335

• Cume to date: $31.3 million

No. 4: Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony/Screen Gems, R)

• Gross: $4.3 million (-46%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,848 (+20)

• Per-theater average: $1,510

• Cume to date: $43.4 million

No. 5: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (Fox, PG)

• Gross: $3.7 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,141

• Per-theater average: $1,186

No. 6: Good Luck Chuck (Lionsgate, R)

• Gross: $3.5 million (-44%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,467 (-145)

• Per-theater average: $1,419

• Cume to date: $29.1 million

No. 7: Feel the Noise (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.4 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,015

• Per-theater average: $3,350

No. 8: 3:10 to Yuma (Lionsgate, R)

• Gross: $3 million (-28%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,567 (-439)

• Per-theater average: $1,184

• Cume to date: $48.5 million

No. 9: The Brave One (Warner Bros., R)

• Gross: $2.2 million (-39%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,358 (-479)

• Per-theater average: $958

• Cume to date: $34.3 million

No. 10: Mr. Woodcock (New Line, PG-13)

• Gross: $2 million (-31%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 1,950 (-245)

• Per-theater average: $1,038

• Cume to date: $22.3 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Michael Clayton (Warner Bros, R)

• Gross: $704,000

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 15

• Per-theater average: $46,933

My Kid Could Paint That (Sony Classics, PG-13)

• Gross: $28,285

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 7

• Per-theater average: $6,354

The Good Night (Yari Film Group, R)

• Gross: $12,708

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2

• Per-theater average: $6,354

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