New US No 1 Has Unique Vantage Point

Thriller sits atop American b.o. chart

New US No 1 Has Unique Vantage Point

by Chris Hewitt |
Published on

It was a particularly poor weekend at the American box office, but that didn’t stop the political thriller, Vantage Point, from assuming a lofty, erm, vantage point at the top of the charts.

The relatively starry thriller (Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker and William Hurt all appear), directed by Paul Greengrass protégé Pete Travis, opened to a 3-day gross of an estimated $24.9 million, commensurate with other similar thrillers such as The Interpreter, and more than enough to place it comfortably on the top spot.

Whether it holds up over the coming weeks is debatable, as reviews were less-than-generous, but that’s also not a bad gross considering that the weekend after Presidents Day in the States is notoriously weak – and the Oscars also would have taken away a fair bit of business on Sunday night.

In second place, falling – or, if you will, teleporting – from the top spot, was Doug Liman’s Jumper, which posted a 53.8% drop from last weekend. Its $12.65 million gross gives the sci-fi thriller $56 million after two weeks, so it looks unlikely that we’ll be seeing a sequel (Doug Liman’s Slacks? Doug Liman’s T-shirt?) anytime soon. But you never know.

In fact, because the grosses are currently estimates, it’s possible that Jumper may be relegated to third place when all is said and done, with The Spiderwick Chronicles pulling in an estimated $12.6 million – just $50,000 dollars behind. Its drop of just 33.7% indicates that word-of-mouth is good for the kids’ fantasy flick, which now has $43.5 million in the bank after two weeks.

There were three other new releases this weekend, but they all fared pretty disastrously. Jack Black, who has proved in the past that he can open a movie, and a beguiling trailer couldn’t inspire audiences to show up for Be Kind Rewind, which took in just $4.1 million, albeit on 808 screens.

But that was still a damn sight better than Larry The Cable Guy’s latest effort, Witless Protection, and the really rather good Charlie Bartlet, which grossed $2.19 million and $1.82 million, respectively. In fact, they didn’t even make the top 10. Ouch.

Part of the reason was because the top 10 was dominated by Oscar-nominated movies, thus ensuring there was no room at the inn for such low-grossing newcomers.

Both Juno and There Will Be Blood posted low drop-offs, and now have $130 million and $34.9 million respectively. Neither are leaving the top 10 without a fight, while No Country For Old Men, the big winner this year of course, moved up to twelfth place, ahead of Witless Protection and Charlie Bartlet, with a 20.8% increase. The Coen Bros.' movie now has $64.1 million after sixteen weeks – expect it to break back into the top 10 next weekend.

Speaking of next weekend, Will Ferrell’s R-rated comedy, Semi-Pro, should be the big winner, opening on over 3,000 screens. Ferrell cleaned up with Blades Of Glory in a similar slot last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s an appetite for another of his sports comedies. The R rating might also be a hindrance, but we’ll see.

Also opening are The Other Boleyn Girl and Penelope, but don’t expect either to make much of a dent.

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