Weekend Recap: Wild box office rumpus for WB

It probably comes as no surprise to you that Where the Wild Things Are took the weekend box office, but it might be a bit more surprising to learn that it’s not because of families.

Personally, I had no doubts about the older demographics feeding solidly into the weekend gross, but did I expect them to be the driving force behind it? Not exactly. Families with children made up just 27 percent of “Wild Things”’ weekend take.

As last Friday neared, I suppose I was hearing a lot of buzz from parents about concern for taking children. During early screenings of “Wild Things,” children apparently cried (out of fear, not because they were touched emotionally, would be my guess) and although the next edit supposedly eliminated that problem, you know how parents are.

That’s why I geared my review toward the demographic of parent wondering if this is actually a kids’ movie. My response was that I felt it would be a great film for people who have already done the childhood thing and one that could be appreciated and understood to some degree by a child age nine or older.

Then again, if a parent knows their kid, they know if he/she can sit through a serious movie and also if people dressed up in giant weird animal suits scares the bejeezes out him/her. I worry a lot of smart children who’d find something to like about the movie didn’t get to go because his/her parents suck.

Then you have the parents like the mom I saw at the movie theater Friday, who took her three-year-old child for a potty break because he couldn’t hold it for the duration of The Stepfather. I suppose I should’ve taken into account the family demographic when I guessed “Stepfather” wouldn’t hit the Top 5. How silly of me.

  1. Where the Wild Things Are – $32.7 M (weekend) … $32.7 (gross)
  2. Law Abiding Citizen – $21 M … $21 M
  3. Paranormal Activity – $19.6 M … $33.1 M
  4. Couples Retreat – $17.2 M … $62.6 M
  5. The Stepfather – $11.6 M … $11.6 M
  6. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – $8 M … $108.2 M
  7. Zombieland – $7.6 M … $60.6 M
  8. Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3D – $3 M … $28.5 M
  9. Surrogates – $1.91 M … $36.3 M
  10. The Invention of Lying – $1.9 M … $15.5 M

“Stepfather” will have to enjoy it while it lasts, however, when Saw VI enters the picture next weekend and Paranormal Activity gets an even wider release, most likely. “Activity” opened in an extra 600 theaters this weekend and saw profits go up by 148 percent. It wasn’t enough, however, to beat out Law Abiding Citizen.

“Citizen” pulled an impressive amount for my biggest surprise, considering no other film this season has made that much in the No. 2 spot. It was enough to really hurt Couples Retreat, which after being king last weekend fell nearly 50 percent , good enough to finish where I thought “Citizen” would.

For biggest flop, I have to say I was disappointed that Zombieland fell from second to seventh. The novelty of “Citizen” and “Stepfather” proved too much for that demographic it appears, even though Zombieland has gotten the better reviews.

In other news, Coen brothers’ film A Serious Man was one of the few other films to climb upward this weekend. Check back Wednesday and I’ll have a review of that one for you.


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