Box Office: Worst October Weekend Since 1999

The Game PlanThere was no surprise surge for The Heartbreak Kid on Saturday. The Dreamworks/Paramount comedy, starring megastar Ben Stiller and directed by The Farrelly Brothers, got a small uptick from Friday’s dismal opening for a $5.17M Saturday. That should translate to a meager $13.12M, fare below even the already low industry expectations.

As I reported Friday night, the surprise weekend winner is The Game Plan (Buena Vista), which enjoyed an estimated 69% Saturday bounce for $7.35M. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s family flick will likely finish the 3-day with $16.92M. The Kingdom (Universal) is headed for a 3rd place finish with about $9.05M, followed by Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony) with $4.07M or so.

The other 2 wide releases are unmitigated disasters. The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (Fox) probably won’t even get to $4M for the weekend. The PG fantasy film will manage only $1,100 per screen for Friday thru Sunday. Meanwhile, the Jennifer Lopez-produced Feel the Noise (Sony) should finish #7 for the 3-day with just under $3.25M at 1,015 locations.

Overall, it was a horrible weekend for the industry. In fact, the combined gross for this weekend’s top 12 was only an estimated $63.8M. That’s the worst industry performance for an October weekend since October 29-31 of 1999 ($54.8M). That also marks a 37% drop from the same weekend in October 2006. Last October 6-8, The Departed, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and week 2 of Open Season buoyed box office for a top 12 combined cume of $100.8M.

Great news for Warner Bros on the George Clooney front. Michael Clayton, a legal thriller also starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson, debuted at 15 locations on Friday, and it will finish the weekend with over $44,000 per. That gives Michael Clayton one of the top 75 Per Theatre Average performances in modern box office history.

The news was also good for Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight), which expanded to 19 locations and delivered a 3-day PTA of just under $29,000. Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution (Focus Features) met with a more muted response. Expanding from 1 to 17 screens, the Chinese language noir thriller grabbed a softer $19,000 or so per location.

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY SATURDAY ESTIMATES
1. The Game Plan (Buena Vista) – $7.35M – $2,368 PTA – $38.2M cume
2. NEW – The Heartbreak Kid (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $5.17M – $1,601 PTA – $9.8M
3. The Kingdom (Universal) – $3.76M – $1,343 PTA – $28.6M cume
4. Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony) – $1.74M – $611 PTA – $42.1M cume
5. NEW – The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (Fox) – $1.48M – $472 PTA – $2.5M
6. Good Luck Chuck (Lionsgate) – $1.37M- $555 PTA – $28M cume
7. 3:10 to Yuma (Lionsgate) – $1.27M – $499 PTA – $47.6M cume
8. NEW – Feel the Noise (Sony) – $1.25M – $1,235 PTA – $2.3M cume
9. The Brave One (Warner Bros) – $980,000 – $416 PTA – $33.6M cume
10. Mr. Woodcock (New Line) – $930,000 – $477 PTA – $21.8M cume
11. Eastern Promises (Focus Features) – $790,000 – $652 PTA – $13.7M cume
12. Across the Universe (Sony) – $750,000 – $2,050 PTA – $7.4M cume
*The Jane Austen Book Club (Sony Classics) – $585,000 – $493 PTA – $1.5M cume
*In the Valley of Elah (Warner Independent) – $485,000 – $497 PTA – $4.8M cume
*Transformers (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $390,000 – $926 PTA – $316.1M cume
*Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage) – $360,000 – $2,667 PTA – $1.7M cume
*Feast of Love (MGM) – $283,000 – $235 PTA – $2.7M cume
*Michael Clayton (Warner Bros) – $259,000 – $17,267 PTA – $443,860
*Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) – $215,000 – $11,316 PTA – $604,984 cume
*Lust, Caution (Focus Features) – $137,000 – $8,059 PTA – $343,134 cume
*The Assassination of Jesse James… (Warner Bros) – $133,000 – $2,180 PTA – $571,198 cume

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS REVISED 3-DAY ESTIMATES
1. The Game Plan (Buena Vista) – $16.92M – $5,450 PTA – $43.4M cume
2. NEW – The Heartbreak Kid (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $13.12M – $4,065 PTA – $13.12M cume
3. The Kingdom (Universal) – $9.05M – $3,232 PTA – $31M cume
4. Resident Evil: Extinction (Sony) – $4.07M – $1,429 PTA – $43.2M cume
5. NEW – The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (Fox) – $3.49M – $1,112 PTA – $3.49M cume
6. Good Luck Chuck (Lionsgate) – $3.3M – $1,333 PTA – $28.8M cume
7. NEW – Feel the Noise (Sony) – $3.23M – $3,184 PTA – $3.23M cume
8. 3:10 to Yuma (Lionsgate) – $2.88M – $1,124 PTA – $48.3M cume
9. The Brave One (Warner Bros) – $2.14M – $911 PTA – $34.2M cume
10. Mr. Woodcock (New Line) – $2.03M – $1,044 PTA – $22.3M cume

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY SATURDAY PTA ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Michael Clayton (Warner Bros) – 15 locations – $17,267 PTA
2. Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) – 19 locations – $11,316 PTA
3. Lust, Caution (Focus Features) – 17 location – $8,059 PTA
4. NEW – Desert Bayou (Cinema Libre) – 1 location – $3,123 PTA
5. Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage) – 135 locations – $2,667 PTA

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS REVISED 3-DAYS PTA ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Michael Clayton (Warner Bros) – 15 locations – $44,333 PTA
2. Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) – 19 locations – $28,895 PTA
3. Lust, Caution (Focus Features) – 17 location – $19,882 PTA
4. NEW – Desert Bayou (Cinema Libre) – 1 location – $6,950 PTA
5. Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage) – 135 locations – $6,370 PTA

Read more at FantasyMoguls.com.

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