Weekend Report: Moviegoers Fixate on ‘Obsessed’
by Brandon Gray
April 27, 2009
|Idris Elba and Ali Larter in Obsessed|| |
Obsessed clawed its way to the top of the weekend box office with a fierce $28.6 million, or nearly as much as the debuts of Fighting, The Soloist and Earth combined. Overall, the weekend was among the most attended ever for the end of April, and business surged 25 percent over the same timeframe last year.
Unleashed on approximately 3,000 screens at 2,514 sites, Obsessed boasted the highest-grossing opening on record for a psycho stalker, erotic or "blank from hell" thriller. That's because the sub-genres' heyday of the late '80s/early '90s, which included Fatal Attraction and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, was a period when movies played at fewer theaters and had less opening weekend emphasis than they do today. Obsessed, though, outdrew any recent comparable title by a vast margin, such as Lakeview Terrace, Perfect Stranger, SwimFan and Enough.
Brandishing the tagline "All is fair when love is war," Obsessed was marketed as an over-the-top Fatal Attracton redux, inviting audiences to proclaim "Oh, no, she didn't!" and root for Beyonce to take out the psycho (Ali Larter) who's after her man. As rote as the picture may be, this type of storyline is enduring and relatable, and the trailer clearly spelled out the entire movie. Distributor Sony Pictures' exit polling suggested that 58 percent of the audience was female and 51 percent was over 25 years old.
The other nationwide debuts weren't nearly as impressive as Obsessed, but they rated at least passable by the standards of their sub-genres. Fighting grabbed $11 million on around 2,400 screens at 2,309 sites, which was superior to Never Back Down and Annapolis among other fight movies. The picture was pushed as an urban underdog drama in which Channing Tatum slugs it out to get ahead. Distributor Universal Pictures' exit polling suggest that 58 percent of the audience was male, 66 percent was under 25, and Hispanics were the most represented ethnicity (39 percent).
The Soloist drew $9.7 million on close to 2,200 screens at 2,024 theaters, soaring past several pictures in the same vein, like Resurrecting the Champ and Reign Over Me, but lagging behind A Beautiful Mind, Ray, Radio, etc. as well as the recent output of lead actors, Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.
Earth landed with a solid $8.8 million on nearly 1,900 screens at 1,804 locations, which was a bit more than March of the Penguins' seventh weekend peak of $7.1 million. Generating $14.5 million since its Wednesday start, the inaugural Disneynature release, which is a big screen variation of the television series Planet Earth, was sold on its anthropomorphized tale of three animal families as well as the spectacle of its nature photography.
The top movie of last weekend, 17 Again, wound up in second with $11.5 million, growing its total to $39.8 million in ten days. The body switch comedy's 51 percent drop wasn't quite as steep as 13 Going on 30's second weekend slide. State of Play also fell 51 percent from its opening, but, because it's an adult-appealing thriller, that was relatively worse than 17 Again. State claimed $6.8 million for $25.1 million in ten days, but past disappointing thrillers like Body of Lies and Fracture had better holds. Crank: High Voltage lost even more juice, off 62 percent to $2.6 million for $11.7 million in ten days. The first Crank slowed 53 percent at the same point.
Monsters Vs. Aliens had the smallest decline among nationwide releases, easing 36 percent. The animated comedy collected $8.6 million and its tally rose to $174.8 million in 31 days. Climbing to $65.7 million in 17 days, Hannah Montana The Movie surpassed the final gross of Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour after a 52 percent dip to $6.4 million. Meanwhile, Fast and Furious passed The Fast and the Furious to become the franchise's highest-grossing entry (though it still significantly trails the first movie in terms of attendance), pulling in $6.2 million over the weekend for a $145.4 million haul in 24 days.
• '17 Again' Is Big
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2008 - 'Baby Mama,' 'Harold & Kumar' Yuk It Up
• 2007 - 'Disturbia' Tops Idle Weekend
• 2006 - 'United 93' Doesn't Match Press Frenzy
• 2005 - 'Hitchhiker' Beams, 'XXX' Gets Reamed
• Weekend Box Office Results
• All Time April Opening Weekends
• Psycho/Stalker/Blank from Hell Thrillers