Box Office: The Town Goes to Town

The Reject ReportThat Ben Affleck kid’s got a future here. We pretty well knew his second endeavor into the world of directing (the first film he has directed himself in) would come out in the #1 spot, but The Town pulled in better numbers than anticipated.

In fact, the film made more this opening weekend than Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, made in its entire run. The Town also had the biggest opening for an Affleck starring role since 2003’s Daredevil, and that film definitely had more powering its box office take than just its star power. With as well as The Town did this weekend, and with the amount it is sure to make in the coming weeks based off the positive buzz, it will be interesting to see how quickly Affleck jumps back into the director’s chair.

Another film that did far better than expected was Easy A, and many critics are thankful for that. The high school comedy stands at a commendable 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. That, combined with good word of mouth over the Internet, helped the film overcome the stigma surrounding recent high school comedies. With a budget of only $8 million, we’ll be sure to see director and producer Will Gluck bring his fresh take on the genre again soon.

A film that wasn’t completely successful in overcoming a stigma around it was Devil. It’s unconfirmed if the M. Night Shyamalan factor had much to do with the film dropping in on low double digits or if there was some other underlying reason for it. The film had much going for it: a PG-13 rating, positive buzz off midnight screenings, and a rather accessible premise considering its genre. It didn’t have an opening worthy of being considered a bomb, but it was definitely the lowest opening for anything M. Night has had his name attached to.

Alpha & Omega hit its omega pretty quickly, and it is growing more and more evident that simply having a film for kids won’t result in high box office numbers. You have to have something more behind your film to get into the PIXAR or DreamWorks range, and Lionsgate certainly didn’t here.

Elsewhere on the chart, Resident Evil: Afterlife had the typical 60% drop that franchise is used to, Inception was able to hold on to at least one more week in the top 10, and The Expendables was able to surpass the $100-million mark in domestic sales. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has broken through the $300-million barrier. That’s all we have to say for that.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. The Town – $23.8m NEW
  2. Easy A – $18.2m NEW
  3. Devil – $12.5m NEW
  4. Resident Evil: Afterlife – $10.1m (-62.1%) $43.9m total
  5. Alpha & Omega – $9.2m NEW
  6. Takers – $3m (-47.1%) $52.3m total
  7. The American – $2.7m (-51.4%) $32.8m total
  8. Inception – $2m (-28.1%) $285m total
  9. The Other Guys – $2m (-40.3%) $115.4m total
  10. Machete – $1.7m (-60.4%) $24.3m total

With a few films hitting a little harder than they were expected to, the total box office brought in by the top 10 this weekend comes to $85.2 million. That’s a 28.2% increase over last weekend and a 3.1% increase over the same weekend last year. Not a bad weekend at all considering we’re still in that holding area between the blockbusters of Summer and the awards contenders of late Fall. It’s going to be a close race next weekend, as four new films hit, one of them all about greed and how awfully good it is.

We’ll be back on Thursday to run down how we see the weekend turning out.

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Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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