What on Earth is going on with the box office lately? I feel like a navigator on a ship, who has used the stars to guide and direct him on his journeys for his whole life, only for the stars to just up and switch places, without warning. I mean, how else do you explain the inexplicably gigantic debuts of the top two films this weekend? Did anyone see this strong of a debut coming for Paul Blart: Mall Cop? And who thought that Notorious would open to these kinds of numbers? Box office gods, I surrender!
The number one film on Friday was Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which earned a disturbingly great $9.5 million on its first day. The Sandler-produced slapstick comedy starring Kevin James attraced droves of young males, who were apparently not scared away by the awful reviews. It’s like the male version of Bride Wars… Its looking at a possible 3-day gross of $27 million, with $32 million over the full MLK weekend. Maybe there’s just no use being bitter, though. You know what they say: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” I might actually go see this! Actually nevermind, I’d definitely rather be bitter.
As impressive as Blart‘s performance is, though, Notorious is undoubtedly the strongest debut of the weekend. Out in just 1,637 theaters, Notorious found $9 million on its first day, and it will have the strongest per theater average this weekend. Producer Sean “P Diddy” Combs has to be thrilled with this result right now, and I’m sure he’s already in the process of somehow pitching MTV a new reality show based on the success of this film. (Making The Band 5: Making The Movie!) The film chronicling the life of rap superstar, the Notorious B.I.G., will probably be a bit frontloaded, so a $25 million total over the 3-day seems right, with a stunning $30 million over four.
At least My Bloody Valentine: 3D and Hotel For Dogs were acting somewhat normal yesterday. The 3D horror flick took in a good $7.5 million, which should translate into a frontloaded $20 million weekend, with $24 million overall. Hotel For Dogs grabbed a solid $4.7 million on Friday, but its grosses should pump up over Saturday and Sunday. Totals of $18 million over the 3-day, and $22 million over the 4-day are probably in store for the kiddie comedy.
Other than the straight-out-of-left-field debuts of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Notorious, things should pretty much match up with my predictions, which makes me feel a little less inadequate. But, hey- I’m not complaining! You know, it’s just one crazy weekend of box office after another, and I’m loving the ride! Here are the full Friday estimates:
Top 12 Friday Estimates for January 16th
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $9.5 million
2. Notorious – $9 million
3. My Bloody Valentine 3D – $7.5 million
4. Gran Torino – $6.5 million
5. Hotel For Dogs – $4.7 million
6. Bride Wars – $3.5 million
7. Defiance – $2.9 million
8. Marley & Me – $2.3 million
9. The Unborn – $2.2 million
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – $1.7 million
11. Bedtime Stories – $1.6 million
12. Slumdog Millionaire – $1.3 million