On Friday, Race to Witch Mountain arrived atop the box office with an estimated $6.8 million at 3,187 sites, taking a commanding lead for the weekend ahead of Watchmen and The Last House on the Left (2009). Walt Disney Pictures' family adventure featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had a bit bigger first day than their last Johnson vehicle, The Game Plan, which debuted to a $6.3 million Friday on its way to a $23 million weekend.
The Last House on the Left opened in second with an estimated $5.6 million. The remake of Wes Craven's 1972 horror movie of the same name had a similar beginning as another Craven remake, The Hills Have Eyes, which grossed $5.6 million its first day.
Watchmen nose-dived 78 percent to an estimated $5.4 million, lifting its total to $73.4 million in eight days. By comparison, 300 fell 64 percent to $10.1 million in its second Friday (with $106.4 million in the till). Among superhero movies, Watchmen's Friday-to-Friday drop was one of the steepest, rating slightly worse than X-Men: The Last Stand and the first Hulk. Still, Watchmen will wind up in second for the weekend, ahead of The Last House on the Left, which will have a more front-loaded weekend due to its genre and newness.
Taken had its best Friday hold yet. The action thriller eased ten percent from last Friday to an estimated $2.1 million, bringing its total to $122.3 million in 43 days. Placing fourth, it will be the first picture since The Dark Knight to spend seven consecutive weekends in the Top Five.
Delivering the highest-grossing and best-holding fourth Friday for a Tyler Perry picture by far, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail bagged an estimated $1.5 million in fifth, down 40 percent from last Friday. Losing more steam after its Academy Awards high, Slumdog Millionaire dipped 29 percent to an estimated $1.4 million, ranking sixth.
The weekend's other new nationwide release, Miss March, failed to arouse much interest, grossing close to $900,000 at 1,742 venues. The ribald comedy was on the low end for its type, coming in a tad higher than College but faring worse than Sex Drive among like-minded titles.
In addition to Taken, two other pictures held well. Coraline was off 16 percent to an estimated $660,000 for $67.2 million in 36 days, continuing to level off after it lost most of its 3D presentations to Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Jonas Brothers lost 71 percent, ranking 16th with an estimated $240,000, and has made only $17.5 million in 15 days. The other small drop was posted by Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which was down 23 percent to an estimated $860,000.