Cloverfield Crushes The Competition

The monster movie has a monster weekend

So, it turns out that rather a lot of people were curious to see that monster. This weekend Cloverfield, JJ Abrams and Matt Reeves' secretive disaster movie, took a mammoth $41 million at the US box office. That makes it the highest 3-day January opening ever, eclipsing Star Wars: Special Edition, which puiled in $35.9 million in 1997. America is currently enjoying the 4-day Martin Luther King holiday, so final opening weekend numbers for the film won't be known until tomorrow, but are expecting to top out at just shy of $50 million. That would put it way ahead of the previous Martin Luther King Jr record holder Black Hawk Down, which took $33.6million in 2002.

That's pretty spectacular for a movie that cost just $25 million to make and with no stars. Expect it to be endlessly imitated after this success. But, please Messrs Abrams and Reeves, do not now be tempted to make a sequel to your brilliant spin on the monster genre, because you'll ruin the whole point of this movie (all experience, no explanation) and likely cause us to roll our eyes and tut audibly.

Opening at number two, Katherine Heigl showed that she has movie star power without Judd Apatow as her first solo vehicle, romantic comedy 27 Dresses, opened strong with $22.4 million.

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman continued to enjoy a twilight years hit with The Bucket List at number three. The movie's now at $42.7 million in four weeks.

Juno is still looking strong in its march toward $100 million. The much lauded comedy added an extra $10.3 million to its haul, to bring it up to $85.4 million.

Rounding out the top five is National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which is about to cross $200 million, having this weekend brought its total to $198 million.

There was one other notable entry into the charts. Katie Holmes comedy Mad Money took a so-so $7.7 million and the seventh spot, thus given snarky headline writers across the world the opportunity to riff cruelly on the movie's title.