Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Isnin, Mac 16, 2009

#269. Cinema : ‘Witch Mountain’ Is Top Film, First of ’09 for Disney

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- “Race to Witch Mountain” earned $25 million to lead the U.S. and Canadian box office its opening weekend and give Walt Disney Co. its first No. 1 film this year.

The children’s adventure movie, starring Dwayne Johnson, displaced the superhero drama “Watchmen,” which fell to second with $18.1 million, researcher Media By Numbers LLC said today in an e-mailed statement.“Witch Mountain” is Disney’s third release this year. “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” opened in second place and “Confessions of a Shopaholic” was fourth. Both came out last month. Going into the weekend, Disney ranked seventh in domestic ticket sales this year with $143.2 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo LLC. The company finished 2008 in sixth place with $1.09 billion.

“The ‘Race to Witch Mountain’ did well, but not as well as some in other years,’” said Brandon Gray, president of researcher Box Office Mojo LLC, in a telephone interview. “It’s only racing with itself.”

“Race to Witch Mountain” is loosely based on Disney’s 1975 release “Escape to Witch Mountain.” That film was followed by a sequel, “Return From Witch Mountain,” according to the Internet Movie Database.

‘Last House on the Left’

Johnson, the former professional wrestler who has stopped going by The Rock, plays a cab driver who befriends two children trying to avoid capture by a secretive organization. As they flee, they demonstrate paranormal powers.

Second place’s “Watchmen,” based on the 1986 graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, has taken in $86 million since it opened on March 6. The movie follows a Cold War plot that ties a murder to a potential nuclear conflagration.

The movie, released by Time Warner Inc., stars Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman and Carla Gugino. It cost about $130 million to make, according to Internet Movie Database.

Among other new releases, “The Last House on the Left,” a remake of director Wes Craven’s 1972 film, opened with $14.7 million, placing third. In the film, distributed by Rogue Pictures, two parents fight back after their daughter is assaulted by a gang.

‘Miss March’

“Taken,” a thriller starring Liam Neeson, dropped to fourth with $6.65 million, and has made $126.8 million in seven weeks. In the film, from News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, Neeson plays a former CIA operative whose daughter is abducted.

“Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” dropped to fifth from second with $5.13 million, according to Media By Numbers. In the film, Perry stars in drag as an outspoken matriarch who is arrested after a freeway chase.

Among other debuts, “Miss March,” from News Corp.’s Fox Searchlight, opened in 10th place with sales of $2.31 million.

In “Miss March,” a man awakens from a years-long coma to learn that his high school girlfriend has posed for a men’s magazine. With the help of a friend, he sets out to reclaim her. The film stars Zach Cregger and Molly Stanton.

News Corp. is the domestic box-office leader this year with $438.7 million.

Receipts for the top 12 movies fell 16 percent to $89.2 million from the year-ago period, Los Angeles-based Media by Numbers said. This year, box-office sales have gained 14 percent to $2.06 billion. Year-to-date attendance is up 12 percent.

“It’s a down week and that may be somewhat disappointing compared to the blistering pace of January and February,” Gray said. “What that tells us is that it’s not the recession, it’s the movies and there was a weak slate of movies this week.”

The following table has figures provided by studios to Media By Numbers. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales from March 13 and yesterday and estimates for today.

Movie Rev. Theaters Wks Avg./ Pct. Total
($mln) Theater Chg. ($mln)
1. Witch Mnt $25 3,187 1 $ 7,844 -- $ 25.0
2. Watchmen 18.1 3,611 2 5,004 -67 86.0
3. Last House 14.7 2,401 1 6,105 -- 14.7
4. Taken 6.65 2,858 7 2,327 -9 126.8
5. Madea 5.13 2,203 4 2,329 -40 83.2
6. Slumdog 5.03 2,578 18 1,949 -26 132.6
7. Paul Blart 3.1 2,281 9 1,359 -25 137.7
8. Not Into You 2.91 1,890 6 1,537 -28 89.0
9. Coraline 2.65 1,768 6 1,502 -18 69.1
10. Miss March 2.31 1,742 1 1,323 -- 2.31

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