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“Megamind” makes mega bucks, “Unstoppable” comes in second

Megamind maintained its reign at the box office for the second week in a row. The animated comedy about a big-headed bad guy was a hit Saturday with the children. Although it hid behind Unstoppable and that runaway train on Friday, the movie regained its strength with big family crowds and vastly outdid all new competition. Megamind collected $30 million ending in a total tally of nearly $90 million from weekend to weekend. Newcomer Unstoppable freighted $23.5 million in U.S. Currency.

It was highly regarded as a fun popcorn flick with all-star performances from consistent hitter Denzel Washington and younger actor Chris Pine. The movie cost about $100 million to make and was right in line with the last picture Denzel shot with Director Tony Scott- The Taking of Pelham 123. That movie was a critical stinker but it still made back its budget.

The Top Ten

  1. 1. Megamind – $30.0M (weekend)…$89.7M (gross)
  2. 2. Unstoppable – $23.5M…$23.5M
  3. 3. Due Date – $15.5M…$59.0M
  4. 4. Skyline – $11.6M…$11.6M
  5. 5. Morning Glory – $9.6M…$12.2M
  6. 6. For Colored Girls – $6.7M…$30.9M
  7. 7. Red – $5.1M …$79.8M
  8. 8. Paranormal Activity 2 – $3.0M…$82.0M
  9. 9. Saw 3D – $2.7M…$43.4M
  10. 10. Jackass 3-D – $2.3M …$114.7M

Skyline will likely be able to pay off its bills as well. The low-budget alien invasion did skid row business this weekend. It raised a scant $11 million, landing in the range ofThe Fourth Kind, a travesty in filmmaking from last year. It was almost universally maligned with only a 10% tomatometer on Rottentomatoes.com. It would seem incomprehensible that a sequel was greenlit weeks before the release, but a $10-million budget means the job was done.

Morning Glory was another disappointment. The bright and sunny feel-good comedy got a head start on Wednesday. It brought in $9.6 million over five days which was only good enough for fifth place. Due Date managed to sneak into third place while For Colored Girls dipped to sixth. Red just won’t give up. It is now just $20 million shy of the $100 million milestone. Currently Jackass 3-D is the only movie in the top ten to achieve it; it sits in tenth position.

Next week, the ten movies you see above will be but a distant memory. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is overtaking 4,000 movie theaters across the nation. Kids will skip school, parents will ditch work, and teachers and bosses will join them in comfy stadium seats. The opening for a Harry Potter film lines the pockets of studio executives and provides Christmas bonuses for theater managers. Of course, it provides delight to countless movie goers around the world who will line up in rain, sleet, or snow to get even a front row seat to see it first.

Many of those moviegoers will don costumes. And, in astounding fashion people will break out of their individualized bubbles and reminisce with strangers over the previous films. This is the magic of cinema and movies like “Harry Potter.” They have such popular allure that they can bring people together if even for a few brief hours. All of this should add up to anywhere from $80-100 million dollars if tradition holds.

For those who have not caught the “Harry Potter” fever Hollywood has offered counterprogramming. The Next Three Days starring Russell Crowe will also enter the box office race. An action thriller centering on a humble family man’s attempt to break his wife out of jail is likely to appeal to adults only. It seems a typical thriller which will have a typical ending; ergo it doesn’t have a chance at number one. Nevertheless 2,500 locations will make it available to those unlucky folks who find “Harry Potter” is sold out.

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