Weekend Recap: Box office shutters and shudders


Anticipation is a powerful tool. Released six months after it was scheduled and millions of TV spots and trailers later, Shutter Island finally opened this weekend and to the tune of an impressive $41 million. Despite an R rating and opening in fewer theaters than most of last week’s big films, it defied my box office prediction by more than a lot.

After The Departed, it appears everyone’s into the Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration. Many people I talked to expressed concern over how scary the film looked, but no less, people turned out in solid numbers to see the great director’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning film. It was certainly warranted. Read my review here.

  1. Shutter Island – $41 M (weekend) … $41 M (gross)
  2. Valentine’s Day – $16.6 M … $86.9 M
  3. Avatar – $16.2 M … $687.9 M
  4. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – $15.2 M … $58.7 M
  5. The Wolfman – $9.9 M … $50.3 M
  6. Dear John – $7.1 M … $65.8 M
  7. The Tooth Fairy – $4.3 M … $49.7 M
  8. Crazy Heart – $2.9 M … $21.5 M
  9. From Paris With Love – $2.6 M … $21.3 M
  10. Edge of Darkness – $2.2 M … $40.3 M

I suspected that Valentine’s Day would see a steeper-than-usual drop with the holiday it was named for being over, but it was incredibly steep. The romantic comedy, which I wrongly predicted would finish No. 1 again, dropped 70 percent from nearly $60 million to $16 million. In fact, nearly all of last weekend’s films suffered a major hangover despite a lack of competition.

I expected The Wolfman would suffer a lot with competition from an R-rated thriller and as such it fell nearly 70 percent too, earning less than $10 M in its second week, which will make it very hard to catch its $150 million budget – not that Universal expected to make its money back on this film anyway by releasing it in February.

Last week’s films plummeting made it easy for Avatar to move back up to third. Other strong performers were Crazy Heart, proving the power of a Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination. Even The Tooth Fairy has continued to stay strong, earning back its production budget over the weekend.


  1. Michael says:

    We need to have a discussion about how to draw dialog bubbles in photoshop, haha.

  2. Steven says:

    that was by far my worst. awkward photo to put a bubble in and I am without my mouse in florida

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