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your box office explained

Box Office: Ironically Titled Denzel Movie Places Second

The Weekend's Winners: The question of what happens when an immovable object meets an Unstoppable force found its answer at this weekend’s box office: DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind refused to budge from the top spot (estimated weekend haul: $30 million) while Fox’s runaway train chugged down $23.5 million in grosses.

The Weekend's Losers: Surely Ben Hecht spun in his grave as the J.J. Abrams–produced newsroom comedy (dare we call a ‘room-com?) Morning Glory failed to rise or shine: Its $9.6 million take was only good for fifth place.

How It All Went Down: With the weekend offering little in the way of appealing counter-programming to attract moms and older females, womenfolk clearly resigned themselves to taking the kids to Megamind, while good reviews sent adults careening toward Tony Scott and Denzel Washington’s best collaboration in fifteen years and helped make Unstoppable very nearly that.

Meanwhile, Skyline: There’s a saying among special-effects folks in Hollywood: “Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick any two.”

Relativity’s Skyline was certainly assembled quickly; it started shooting in February and had wrapped by the end of March. At $10 million, Skyline was nothing if not frugal: Its physical production cost barely half a million dollars, shooting mostly in the Marina del Rey condo where its co-director lives.

As such, “good” seemed out of the question. Critics who’d been denied any previous access pan-seared it, and audiences — which were, unsurprisingly, male, by a nearly 2:1 ratio — nuked it, giving it a "D-" Cinemascore rating. That said, with a nearly $12 million take, Skyline is clearly a financial success, if a success by no other measure.

Elsewhere, the root cause for the failure of Morning Glory seems to lie in its inability to connect with any audience other than the one that’s always hardest to get to theaters in the first place: Older women made up just shy of three-quarters of its audience.

Finally, in specialty films, 127 Hours grossed $453,000 from 22 theaters. Danny Boyle's harrowing survival tale is in four more theaters than last weekend, but still producing a very strong $20,000+ per screen average. 127 Hours is holding on just fine, thank you — even with just the one arm.


Your Top Ten:

1. Megamind (Paramount/DreamWorks Animation): $30.1 million
2. Unstoppable (Fox): $23.5 million
3. Due Date (Warner Bros.): $15.5 million
4. Skyline (Universal/Rogue): $11.7 million
5. Morning Glory (Paramount): $9.6 million
6. For Colored Girls (Lionsgate): $6.8 million
7. Red (Summit): $5.1 million
8. Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount): $3.1 million
9. Saw 3D (Lionsgate): $2.8 million
10. Jackass 3D (Paramount): $2.3 million.

Photo: 20th Century Fox