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“Megamind” makes villains look good at the box office

It was a big weekend for three new films in Tinseltown. Animated feature Megamind led critically and commercially with a $47 million opening. That was about $10 million shy of surprise hit Despicable Me, which had the advantage of a summer timeslot. Still, that villain-turned-softie story was produced for just half the budget of DreamWorks’ creation. It was a similar story for Due Date, which was estimated at $33 million for the weekend.

The Hangover, Todd Phillips’ predecessor to this road trip comedy, opened with $44 million in early summer last year. Due Date cost nearly twice as much to make, likely due to the demands of Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. For Colored Girls did typical Tyler Perry business. It opened solid in the third position with $20 million in sales. It did take a slight dip from his past two features but given the source material and the absence of his name from the title that was to be expected.

The Top Ten

  1. 1. Megamind – $47.6M (weekend)…$47.6M (gross)
  2. 2. Due Date – $33.5M…$33.5M
  3. 3. For Colored Girls – $20.1M…$20.1M
  4. 4. Red – $8.8M…$71.8M
  5. 5. Saw 3D – $8.2M…$38.8M
  6. 6. Paranormal Activity 2 – $7.2M…$77.2M
  7. 7. Jackass 3-D – $5.0M …$110.8M
  8. 8. Hereafter – $4.0M…$28.7M
  9. 9. Secretariat – $4.0M…$50.9M
  10. 10. The Social Network – $3.6M …$85.0M

The three films together made for a lucrative kickoff into holiday and Oscar movie season. But they did unseat some holdovers. Life As We Know It, Conviction, and The Town were the causalities of the newcomers. That is not to say that they are failures. The Town made a respectable $89 million before dipping off the charts. Life As We Know It made back its production budget and an additional $10 million after five weeks on the boards.

A chipper little film called Morning Glory opens nationwide on Wednesday. The marketing for the female lead comedy has been mixed emphasizing trailers ahead of other films and bus stop posters but little by way of television spots. Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams star in this upbeat romp about an ambitious morning news producer working with a cantankerous veteran broadcast journalist. Respectable actors Jeff Goldblum and Diane Keaton play large parts in the story.

Morning Glory will capture 2,350 locations while Skyline will overtake 2,600 cinemas. Alien invasion flicks are a favorite among American moviegoers. The Strause brothers, who directed Alien Vs. Predator Requiem are hoping to give Independence Day a run for its money. That picture opened at more than $50 million and began Will’s Smith’s consistent reign as a box office force. But Will Smith was a well known television actor. Skyline features a host of regular but little known actors. The special effects were made on the cheap but still appear enticing.

The outcome of the alien domination movie is a tossup but Fox is putting its force behind Denzel Washington and his new film Unstoppable. Denzel is doing his usual average guy turned hero role in a story about a runaway train. The concept seems dry and boring but trailers have been cut to indicate action and thrills. The thriller overruns 3,100 theaters this Friday.

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