‘Taken’ Packs Punch Among Strong Holdovers

by Brandon Gray

February 9, 2009

While He's Just Not That Into You claimed the top spot over the weekend, several holdovers packed a wallop as well, even by post-Super Bowl weekend standards. The Super Bowl takes a sizable bite out of nearly all movies, and the weekend after sees smaller declines than the norm as a result. Pictures like Taken, Slumdog Millionaire and Gran Torino, though, had holds that were much better than typical.

Last weekend's leader, Taken, maintained much of its grip, grossing $20.5 million. The action thriller was down 17 percent, lifting its total to a strong $53.6 million in ten days and beating Man on Fire through the same point.

The calendar year's second-highest grossing picture thus far, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, dipped only 22 percent to $10.9 million, nearly as much as the debut of the similar The Pink Panther 2. The bumbling action comedy is sitting at $96.9 million in 24 days, parked at the high end of its sub-genre.

The top gun of calendar 2009 to date, Gran Torino, held even firmer than Paul Blart. Clint Eastwood's action drama slowed a mere 13 percent, notching $7.2 million. With $120.2 million in the till, the picture's attendance sailed past The Bridges of Madison County and Space Cowboys among Eastwood's past movies, when factoring ticket price inflation.

Slumdog Millionaire boasted the smallest drop among movies playing at over 1,000 theaters. Down six percent, the Oscar-contending drama snapped up $7.2 million, growing its total to $77.2 million. Fellow Best Picture nominee The Reader had the best hold among nationwide releases as a whole, down four percent even though it lost theaters. It's nowhere near Slumdog's neighborhood, grossing $2.3 million for a $16 million total. The Wrestler wasn't far behind, off nearly five percent to $2.2 million for a $16.2 million tally.

The three other Best Picture nominees, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk and Frost/Nixon, didn't have the traction of Slumdog and The Reader. Among movies not up for an Oscar, New in Town tumbled 52 percent in its second weekend, making $3.2 million for $11.9 million in ten days. The Uninvited, on the other hand, saved some face in its second weekend, nabbing $6.3 million. Its 39 percent fall was low for a horror movie, but its $18.2 million in ten days is still below par.

'He's Just' a Hit Over Busy Weekend...

Last Weekend:
'Taken' Captures Super Bowl Weekend

This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2007 - 'Norbit' Out-Grosses 'Hannibal'
• 2006 - 'Pink Panther' Slinks Past 'Destination'
• 2005 - 'Hitch' Scores Romantic Comedy Record

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