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Box office: No. 1 'Megamind' stops 'Unstoppable'

MEGAMIND

"Megamind" is still ruling the world.

The DreamWorks Animation 3-D comedy featuring the voices of Will Ferrell and Tina Fey cruised to the top of the box office for the second straight weekend. The movie, about a bad guy who has to change his ways when his longtime rival is out of the picture, took in just over $30 million.

That's a drop of only 35% from its opening-weekend take of $47.7 million and bodes well for the staying power of "Megamind" as we cruise toward Thanksgiving weekend. Of the $30 million, 64% of the box office was from 3-D-screen locations, of which 6% were Imax.

"It's terrific," said Anne Globe, head of worldwide marketing for DreamWorks Animation, of the second weekend results. The movie's strongest appeal continues to be among young boys -- good news for DreamWorks as the next two big movies for kids, Warner Bros. latest "Harry Potter" and Disney's "Tangled," will be aimed at older kids and young girls, respectively.

Overall, "Megamind" has taken in almost $90 million in domestic box office since its opening. Internationally, the 3-D movie has taken in $27 million, with most of that from Russia. It will open in Europe and Latin America next month.

"Megamind," which is tracking similarly to DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon," had enough stamina to avoid being overrun by Denzel Washington's "Unstoppable."

"Unstoppable," which is Washington's second recent foray into the runaway-train genre (anyone remember his remake of "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3" with John Travolta?), took in $23.5 million, good enough for second place. 

That is in line with industry estimates, which had the movie taking in $20 million to $25 million.

"We never thought we'd be No. 1," said Bert Livingston, general sales manager for 20th Century Fox, which financed the movie along with Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Film Partners. The audience for the  movie was divided evenly between men and women, with 35% younger than 25 and 65% older. In international box office, "Unstoppable" took in $18.2 million from four markets.

"Unstoppable" was not cheap. According to one person familiar with the production, the movie cost about $100 million. A studio executive downplayed that number and said the cost was between $75 million and $85 million.

Either way, "Unstoppable" will need a strong second weekend and continued strength from overseas to be a big winner for 20th Century Fox, which Livingston didn't think would be a problem.

"We're going to be on the screen for a long time," he predicted.

What might not be on the screen for a long time is "Morning Glory," the adult drama from Paramount Pictures starring Rachel McAdams as a peppy producer trying to save a sagging morning news show. The movie, which was compared unfavorably by some critics to the 1987 James L. Brooks classic "Broadcast News," finished fifth and took in just $9.6 million in its opening weekend and $12.2 million since its opening last Wednesday. It also stars Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford as mismatched anchors.

Paramount brass said this was in line with what they were projecting for the movie, whose strongest appeal was among older women.

"I think what you have here is a movie people are going to tell their friends to see," said Don Harris, Paramount's executive vice president and general sales manager. Harris said when Paramount screened "Morning Glory" for theater owners, the studio told them, "If you're not in it for the long haul, don't book the  movie."

Whether theater owners will show that kind of patience for "Morning Glory" remains to be seen. Harris said he thought the movie would deliver the way "Secretariat" had for Disney. "Typically, older-skewing movies take a while to get where they have to get to," he said.

Finishing just ahead of "Morning Glory" was Universal Pictures' "Skyline." The movie, which Universal is distributing for Relativity Media, took in $11.7 million, which, given its low budget of around $10 million, was not an end-of-the-world number for the movie about an alien invasion.

The other big movies entering their second weekend -- Warner Bros.' "Due Date" and Lionsgate's "For Colored Girls" -- saw a steep decline from their debut earnings.

"Due Date" finished third for the weekend with $15.5 million. That's a 52% drop from its premiere weekend for the thinly veiled revamp of the 1987 John Hughes laugher, "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," with Robert Downey Jr. in the role of an uptight traveler struggling to get home who gets saddled with an annoying sidekick, played by Zach Galifianakis, opened to mixed reviews but should stick around a few more weeks.

"For Colored Girls," a serious drama from Tyler Perry, continued to play primarily to females and took in $6.7 million, a 65% decrease from its opening weekend.

Still continuing to perform well in limited release is "127 Hours" from Fox Searchlight. The movie, based on the true story of a hiker who has to amputate his own arm, played in 22 theatres and took in $453,104.

-- Joe Flint

1. "Megamind" (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount): Took in $30.05 million in its second weekend, a drop of only 35%. Domestic total: $89.8 million

2. "Unstoppable" (20th Century Fox): The runway-train thriller sped to $23.5 million. A solid, if not spectacular, open.

3. "Due Date" (Warner Bros./Legendary): Delivered $15.5 million in its second weekend. A drop of 52%. Domestic total: $59 million.

4. "Skyline" (Universal/Relativity): The aliens invaded and made off with $11.7 million in their opening weekend. 

5. "Morning Glory" (Paramount): Ratings were not spectacular for this drama about a morning news show. It took in $9.6 million. Domestic total: $12.2 million.

6. "For Colored Girls" (Lionsgate): The adult drama aimed at African American women made $6.7 million in its second weekend. Domestic total: $30.9 million.

7. "Red" (Summit): $5.1 million in its fifth weekend. Domestic total: $79.8 million.

8. "Paranormal Activity 2" (Paramount): The sequel took in $3 million for Paramount and has made $82 million in domestic box office.

9. "Saw 3-D" (Lionsgate): Cut its way to $2.7 million. Domestic total: $43.5 million.

10. "Jackass 3-D" (Paramount): Pulled in another $2.3 million. Domestic total: $114.7 million

Source: Hollywood.com

Photo: "Megamind." Credit: DreamWorks Animation



 
Comments () | Archives (5)

I just love how these patronizing Paramount execs say their lousy movies are for "older women" ...I'm in my mid-fifties and I STILL don't want to see "Morning Glory"--do you assume, Mr. Harris that as we women get older that we lose all sense of what's a good film and you can thus throw any piece of cinematic junk at us, and we'll just be grateful for the attention? Dream on, buddy...and no, I am not recommending anybody else see it either.(but on the bright side, I'm sure you can get your Mom to go)

"Fair Game" was not mentioned. It went from very limited release to more "art house" theaters this weekend. I saw it and thought it was incredible.

I agree kv, these studios think we "older women" are as stupid as the teen audience who will watch any junk they put out. I have zero interest in setting "Morning Glory" because I managed to see "Broadcast News" before I became an "older woman" and I'm not interested a piss-poor copy of a classic.

This is an excellent article -- deep, detailed, compassionate, respectful, elegantly written, and a pleasure to read.

How is $23.5 million solid? Denzel earns $20mill a film. This weekend just paid his salary. What about the cast's salary? advertising? etc?

How is he able to earn $2omill when his movies don't have a big return?

Would Will SMith have made the film earn $40mill? 60mill?


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