Shutter Island clung to the top of the box office over the weekend, while Cop Out and The Crazies posted relatively decent showings in their debuts. As far as late February weekends go, overall business was quite solid and up six percent over the same timeframe last year.
Dropping 45 percent to $22.7 million, Shutter Island's sum leapt to $75.5 million, maintaining an edge over the past Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio collaborations, including The Departed. While its fall was steeper than The Departed, it was in line with, if not better than, more genre-comparable titles such as 1408, Identity and Secret Window. It has also surpassed the final grosses of those movies.
Hitting approximately 3,900 screens at 3,150 sites, Cop Out bagged $18.2 million, which was close to National Security and Showtime among past action buddy comedies but below average for the sub-genre. Featuring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan and Seann William Scott and directed by Mr. Willis' Live Free or Die Hard co-star Kevin Smith (who notched a career-high opening), Cop Out benefitted as the first buddy cop comedy in a while and was distinct as a non-romantic comedy amidst a generally dark crop of movies. Distributor Warner Bros. mounted an aggressive marketing campaign, but relied on personalities and verbal gags instead of plot. Warner's exit polling indicated that 57 percent of the audience was male and 60 percent was aged 25 years and older.
The Crazies ripped a solid $16.1 million out of around 2,800 screens at 2,476 sites, which was about half the attendance of the openings of Dawn of the Dead and The Happening but a bit bigger than Quarantine and Land of the Dead among others. The remake of George A. Romero's 1973 horror had a tense and focused marketing campaign, selling the picture essentially as a striking survival/outbreak/zombie horror thriller. Distributor Overture Films' research showed that 56 percent of the audience was male and 65 percent was under 25 years old.
Avatar plowed past the $700 million mark on Saturday, its 72nd day of release. For the weekend, it had another sensational hold, easing 16 percent to $13.7 million and lifting its total to $706.6 million in 73 days. It also logged the second-highest grossing 11th weekend ever (behind Titanic).
Other holdovers leveled off somewhat. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief further out-paced other recent mid-range fantasies like Bridge to Terabithia and The Spiderwick Chronicles with its $9.6 million third weekend, off 37 percent for a $71 million tally in 17 days. Valentine's Day didn't fall as hard as last weekend, but it was still down 46 percent to $9.1 million and its total grew to $99.9 million in 17 days. Dear John dipped 33 percent to $4.8 million for a solid $72.4 million tally in 24 days. The Wolfman bled 57 percent to $4.3 million for a $57.4 million total in 17 days.
Meanwhile, Avatar spent its 11th weekend in a row atop the foreign box office, easing 18 percent to $39.8 million and increasing its astronomical total to $1.84 billion. It was followed by Shutter Island with nearly $22 million in 21 markets (over $35 million total) and Percy Jackson with $19.3 million in 64 markets ($95.3 million total).
• 'Shutter Island' Lights Up
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2009 - 'Madea' Gives 'Jonas Bros.' a Lickin'
• 2008 - 'Semi-Pro' Can't Jump
• 2007 - 'Ghost Rider' Stays in the Saddle
• 2006 - 'Madea' Drags Moviegoers to 'Family Reunion'
• 2005 - 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' Comes Out Swingin'
• Weekend Box Office Results
• Buddy Comedy Opening Weekends
• Horror Remake Opening Weekends
• All Time 11th Weekends
• All Time Grosses (Domestic)
• All Time Grosses (Worldwide)