“Unknown” wins tight President’s Day weekend race

Three-day President’s Day totals were surprisingly low this weekend. Although last year combined Valentine’s and President’s Day weekends into one, this year still did about 30 percent less business. Unless you were a kids’ film (“Gnomeo & Juliet”), you finished way below expectations.

  1. Unknown – $21.8 M (weekend) … $21.8 M (gross)
  2. I Am Number Four – $19.4 M … $19.4
  3. Gnomeo & Juliet – $19.1 M … $50.1 M
  4. Just Go With It  – $18.4 M … $61 M
  5. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son – $16.3 M … $16.3 M
  6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $13.3 M … $48.1 M
  7. The King’s Speech – $6.5 M … $103.2 M
  8. The Roommate  – $3.9 M … $32.5 M
  9. The Eagle – $3.6 M … $15.1 M
  10. No Strings Attached  – $3 M … $65.9 M

As you can see, the top four finished within $4 million of each other. Liam Neeson topped the group with “Unknown,” although “Taken” did about 20 percent better in January 2009. “I Am Number Four” disappointed with less than $20 million, proving yet again that unless you’re “Twilight,” you’re not going to capture the wallets of that demographic. In the four-day totals, “Gnomeo” beat “Four” and finished about $17,000 shy of first place.

If anything, family fare is still king. With “Yogi Bear” failing to fully capture the family audience, “Gnomeo & Juliet” had an antsy demographic to please and lucked out by sneaking in right before the March and April animated film saturation. The next offering is “Rango” in two weekends, so expect another strong week from the Starz animation movie.

“Big Mommas” proved that Fox underestimated the fan base of the previous two Martin Lawrence films. The three-quel made $10 million less than “Big Momma’s House 2” did. Not surprising in the end, considering it had been five years since the last movie.

With seven new wide releases the last few weeks, only one Oscar film has held in the top ten, that being “The King’s Speech.” It could very well hang in there again the weekend of the big ceremony at the Kodak Theatre Sunday night.


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