By Rodrigo Perez | The Playlist November 7, 2010 at 7:29AM
It had all the ingredients of a big winner. "Due Date" was widely known as Todd Phillips' R-rated follow-up to the massively successful R-rated "The Hangover," and he had that film's biggest breakout comedian Zach Galifianakis onboard, plus one of the world's biggest stars Robert Downey Jr. But perhaps seasonal timing is everything. "The Hangover" was a surprised hit in the early summer of 2009, and perhaps R-rated comedy that's occasionally nasty doesn't work quite as well in the fall. It's also possibly one of those instances when audiences actually listened to critics for once. "Due Date" was met with mixed reviews and currently holds a rather pitiful 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, far worse than any of us would have anticipated. So while we drubbed the film in one review and then said in another, "hey, it wasn't that bad," clearly its caustic notes -- which some of us actually appreciated -- didn't work with audiences or critics so much. That said, its 2nd place $33.5 million opening wasn't dreadful by any means and is nothing to be ashamed of, but in terms of box office punditry, well, it slightly underperformed. Conversely "The Hangover" made $44 million on its opening weekend, but positive word of mouth meant the following weekend drop-offs were remarkably low (only 28% in its 2nd weekend and a remarkable 18% in its third weekend when the film started picking up steam as the runaway hit of the summer). So yeah, not a disaster for Phillips by any means, but he'll want to top this with "The Hangover 2" to keep his comedy cachet up there and frankly, with a well-known sequel like that, doing double what "Due Date" took in is conceivable.
Otherwise, box-office business this weekend was brisk and might even break records when all is said and done and the final tallies come in (these, as usual, are the somewhat early estimates). With two number one films in four weeks ("Paranormal Activity 2," "Jackass 3D" and 'PA2' at #2 its following week) Paramount Pictures are a having a very respectable fall. Their latest entry into theaters, the animated "Megamind," (produced by DreamWorks Animation) landed at number one with a $47.5 million take. The figure comes in just where the studio had expected and for parents, the film undoubtedly filled a void -- for some time now, multiplexes have been barren of flicks to take the kids to. But Paramount better enjoy it while it lasts as it in two weeks "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" will arrive and sweep parents, kids and really, everybody, into theaters for the first part in the final chapter of the hugely successful franchise.
The Tyler Perry brand proved, even with little awareness marketing -- at least mainstream marketing compared to "Due Date" and "Megamind" -- it is still a force to be reckoned with. While it wasn't a 'Madea'-like success, made for $21 million and hauling in $20 million to take the number three slot, his latest, the drama "For Colored Girls," which was barely screened for critics, will do more than OK in the long run. Lionsgate will essentially continue to open its doors to anything Perry wants to try out. He and their horror franchises are pretty much what keep the lights on over there. That's three new films entering theaters and cumulatively topping $100 million -- not bad at all, and with a $154 million total for all films, it may break a first weekend in November all-time record.
Coming in in the 4th slot was Summit's "RED," which added another $8.8 million to its $71.8 cume so far and the drop-off this week was only 17.4%, so it seems to be holding steady. In its fourth week of release and made for a fairly modest $58 million, if the film can hold on this hard for the rest of the year in theaters it could possibly reach $100 million, or just under. The fifth spot was taken by Lionsgate's "Saw 3D," which, as you can imagine now that Halloween is gone, dropped off a massive 63.6% in its second week. The film took in an additional $7.2 million for a $38 million total so far. If the exponential drop off continues, the picture should be almost out of the top 10 by next week and might not even reach the $50 million mark domestically which has to be seen as a victory for those against cheap horror and cheap 3D. Then again, it won't be a total bloodbath as the film was only made for $20 million.
Costing a meager $3 million, "Paranormal Activity 2" has already hauled in $77.2 in three weeks, so we can probably assume the official greenlight for "Paranormal Activity 3" is right around the corner. The
Oren Peli Tod Williams-directed film took the number six box office spot with a decent $7.2 million intake. Still hanging on and doing fairly strong business is "Jackass 3D." It's grossed $110 million so far and this week won the number seven position, adding another $5.09 million to its healthy total. The principles in the cast are getting old and nearing 40, but who says they can't find a new generation of Jackasses to take over? Paramount surely won't argue.
Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" came in at number eight, grossing $4 million for a fairly low $28.7 million total so far. Budgeted at $50 million, some called the film a bomb early on, but with four weeks in theaters, one of them only being limited release, perhaps, like Eastwood's other films of late, slow and steady wins the race. He's obviously got an older crowd that attend films at a more leisurely pace, so while "breaking even" (obviously minus P&A costs) is likely out of the question, it's possible, he could stick in the top 10 or top 15 for a few weeks longer and diminish his losses. Warner Bros. may have to slightly rethink the return on investment on his next project though if it's as anemic and D.O.A. as "Hereafter" was, but they're still probably counting profits from his very successful, "Gran Torino." Whatever the case, don't even dream that "Hereafter" has any chance at impacting the Oscar race.
Having spent five weeks in the top 10 since its release, "Secretariat" is not breaking any records, but with a $50.9 million dollar total so far, this horse has proved it has legs, which could propel it further should it make Oscar waves for Diane Lane's touted performance. In the number nine position, the film grossed an additional $4.02 million.
Last but not least, David Fincher's "The Social Network," grabbed the tenth spot with $3.6 million making for a healthy $85 million gross so far. The film will continue to stick around in theaters (though maybe not the top 10) and will surely see another surge when it's likely nominated for multiple Oscar awards.
In the indie circuit, Danny Boyle's "127 Hours," easily one of the best films of the year and still the best pick for Best Picture, raised the roof perhaps gave a preview of how well it will perform when it expands into theaters next week. On just four screens in New York and L.A., the film grossed $265,925, making for a whopping $66,481 per-theater-average, the second highest per-theater average of 2010. On 46 screens across the nation, Doug Liman's "Fair Game" grossed $700,000 in the number 15 box office position. It's unclear how much the picture will expand next weekend, but with Oscar talk cooling for its leads Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, the political drama will need all the help it can get so it's not completely ignored by audiences.
Box-Office Charts For November 5-7, 2010
1. "Megamind" - $47,650,000
2 . "Due Date" - $33,500,000
3. "For Colored Girls" - $20 million
4. "Red - $8.8 million (total so far $71.8 mil)
5. "Saw 3D" $8.2 million (total so far $38 mil)
6. "Paranormal Activity 2"- $7.2 million (total so far $77.2 mil)
7. "Jackass 3D" - $5.09 million (total so far 110.8 mil)
8. "Hereafter" - $4 million (total so far $28,7 mil)
9. "Secretariat" - $4.02 million (total so far $50.9 mil)
10. "The Social Network" - $3.6 million (total so far $85 million)