'Disturbia' Lives at Top Spot

by Brandon Gray
Sarah Roemer and Shia LaBeouf in Disturbia
April 16, 2007

The weekend was crowded with six new wide releases, but only one struck a chord, Disturbia, while the rest were ignored. With solid holdovers Blades of Glory and Meet the Robinsons in the mix, overall weekend business came in at $118.4 million, which is strong by mid-April standards.

The Rear Window-inspired Disturbia grabbed $22.2 million at 2,925 locations to top the chart, bolstered by a clear and suspenseful marketing campaign. The $20 million thriller, released by Paramount Pictures and produced by DreamWorks, was on the high end of its genre, opening to greater business than last year's When a Stranger Calls remake. According to DreamWorks, exit polling indicated that 68 percent of Disturbia's audience was under 25 years old and 60 percent was female.

The weekend's other thriller, Perfect Stranger, did half the business, drawing a flaccid $11.2 million at 2,661 sites. With a title recalling the 1980's television comedy, Sony's Halle Berry-Bruce Willis vehicle had a convoluted and contrived promotional presentation, vaguely attempting to appeal as an erotic thriller, a sub-genre that's a box office turn-off more often than not.

Perfect Stranger, though, opened to nearly as much as the other new wide releases combined. Originally set to be released last June and then bounced around the schedule for a year, 20th Century Fox's Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior packed a puny $5 million at 1,720 locations, a fraction of most recent period action movies with attendance on par with the similar 1997 dud Kull the Conqueror.

Redline stalled at $4 million at 1,607 venues. The inaugural release of distributor Chicago Pictures displayed the exotic car collection of its producer, Daniel Sadek, who spent $26 million to make the picture, in what seemed an attempt to court The Fast and the Furious crowd without a semblance of story. The poster consisted of a red sports car graphic that looked like the cover of a video game box.

The characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters slurped up a scant $3 million at 877 sites, failing to transcend its niche Cartoon Network roots. Rounding out the new wide releases, Lionsgate's crime thriller Slow Burn flamed out instantly, posting one of the weakest starts on record: $778,123 at 1,163 theaters.

Among holdovers, Blades of Glory cooled 39 percent to $13.8 million for $90 million in 17 days, while Meet the Robinsons eased 25 percent to $12.5 million for $72.4 million in the same amount of time.

On its 38th day of release, 300 crossed the $200 million milestone and inched ahead of Superman Returns on the all time chart. For the weekend, the $65 million computer-generated battle picture was down 47 percent to $4.5 million. Meanwhile, Wild Hogs rode past the $150 million mark with its $4.7 million weekend.

After disappointing out of the gate, Grindhouse collapsed 63 percent to $4.3 million. The hyped horror double feature from directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez limped to $19.8 million in ten days.

Review - Disturbia

Site Q: The Most Crowded Weekends on Record
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Weekend Box Office Results

All Time April Openings

NOTE: This report was originally written on Sunday, April 15 and was revised on Monday, April 16 with actual grosses.

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