Friday Report: ‘Witch Mountain’ Leads, ‘Watchmen’ Falls

by Brandon Gray
Dwayne Johnson in Race to Witch Mountain

March 14, 2009

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.

Related Chart
Grosses for Friday, Mar. 13

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WEEKEND: Weekend Estimates, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday Estimates, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/9 (33 tracked)