'Bucket List' Lives It Up at Top Spot

by Brandon Gray
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List
January 14, 2008

The weekend box office was robust again, propelled by some hearty holdovers and vigorous upstarts The Bucket List and First Sunday.

The Bucket List checked in with a healthy estimated $19.5 million on approximately 3,200 screens at 2,911 theaters, after a 16-theater run that started on Christmas. The comedy-drama about two terminally ill men bonding and living life to its fullest in their final days relied on the considerable presence of its two leads, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, in roles matching their famous personalities. Bucket List marks Mr. Nicholson's fifth hit in a row, a run that started five years ago with About Schmidt, and the picture's start was in line with Something's Gotta Give and As Good as It Gets. Distributor Warner Bros.' exit polling indicated that 70 percent of Bucket List's audience was over 35 years old and 58 percent was female.

On Bucket's heels was First Sunday, which collected a good estimated $19 million on around 2,500 screens at 2,213 theaters. The crime comedy was within the range of lead actor and producer Ice Cube's Friday and Barbershop movies. The movie's distributor, Sony, said the picture's audience was 54 percent female.

Juno had the smallest drop among nationwide holdovers. Upping its venue count to 2,448, it grossed an estimated $14 million at 2,448 venues, down 12 percent. With $71.3 million in 40 days, the comedy will soon top Sideways as distributor Fox Searchlight's highest grossing movie and it's trajectory points north of $100 million. National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, I Am Legend and P.S. I Love You continued their winning ways, though none had noteworthy holds.

Also opening, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything dipped from its 2002 predecessor, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. The Christian talking vegetable cartoon sprouted an estimated $4.4 million at 1,337 sites, compared to Jonah's $6.2 million at 940 sites. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale was worse. The fantasy video game adaptation mustered an estimated $3.3 million at 1,631 locations, faring only a tad better than past similar movies Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne.

Besides Bucket List, three other pictures reached nationwide release, but their results were modest at best. In its sixth weekend, Atonement climbed to 950 venues and grossed an estimated $4.3 million for $25.2 million total. Spanish horror The Orphanage wasn't the next Pan's Labyrinth with an estimated $2 million at 707 locations, while The Kite Runner made an estimated $1.7 million at 715 sites. Meanwhile, There Will Be Blood dug up a solid estimated $1.9 million in its expansion to 129 locations and it's scheduled to triple that theater count on Friday.

Review: 'The Bucket List'
1/16/07 - 'Stomp' Steps Up (Same Weekend, 2007)

1/17/06 - 'Glory Road,' 'Hoodwinked' in Photo Finish (Same Weekend, 2006)
1/18/05 - 'Coach Carter' Delivers (Same Weekend, 2005)

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