Who Let the Dogs Out?
1 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Sees a Ho! $25,100,000 (-44.2%) $6,336 $86,470,000
2 Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns $20,010,000 $9,975 $20,010,000
3 Shutter $10,700,000   $3,886 $10,700,000
4 Drillbit Taylor $10,200,000 $2,916 $10,200,000
5 10,000 B.C. $8,660,000 (-48.4%) $2,507 $76,100,000
6 Never Back Down $4,861,000 (-43.5%) $1,781 $16,824,000
7 College Road Trip $4,630,000 (-40.7%) $1,798 $32,005,000
8 The Bank Job $4,100,000 (-18.9%) $2,541 $19,430,000 
9 Vantage Point $3,800,000 (-30.4%) $1,789 $65,300,000
10 Under the Same Moon $2,602,000 $9,781 $3,329,000

This just In:Texting and driving kills. Morons. It kills morons, you see.

For this Easter weekend it’s no surprise that a kids movie came out on top, but it is worth noting that the film didn’t coast on those laurels. That 45% drop Horton Hears a Who fell suggests that the family audiences weren’t exactly in love with the film – which has gotten better notices than the last two Seuss films put together (though Ron Howard’s Grinch got a number of sucker-bet good reviews). And with next weekend’s weak slate, all it has to do is fight off the diminishing returns of Superhero Movie to go three weeks at the top of the chart. Which is something in terms of charts, but $150 is looking like an uphill battle to which there will be no love or glory found. Other than Pixar films and Shrek, it looks like the glass ceiling on CG Animation titles is $130-ish, and that’s with above the title stars. Since the films are not exactly cheap, there may be a rethink on the process if there hasn’t been already. As such that means in a year or two Blue Sky will have to reconfigure how they do. A side note. I was told by a print journalist he was asked to soft peddle his pan of Grinch because the paper knew people would complain. The Wire is the truth.

This Just in: Black people love Tyler Perry (re-runs!). My close, personal friend David Walker wrote a great piece on Tyler Perry, and since he’s all black and stuff, he makes some cogent points much like Obama did earlier this week. Read it here. Fair enough, but from a box office perspective, Meet the Browns is no surprise. Tyler Perry has done nothing to turn off his audience, and if there is a sense of diminishing returns (this one just crested $20), there may be no way to change the formula, so why not puyt two films a year out until it runs dry? Still, this picture will get past $40 Million, and as such it will surely be in profit. The Perry machine will continue until the wheels fall off sometime in 2010 or 2011, or until Perry does something so scandalous the audience rejects him. Likely it would have to involve a dead girl or a live boy.

Shutter outperformed Drillbit TaylorDT looked like something to shake off, but perhaps the greater impression is made by Shutter.  I will always point readers to the end game, and the fourth quarter suggests that it would take a lot of audience love and respect for this film to do much more than $25 Million. That is to say, One Missed Call business. Since Joshua Jackson probably doesn’t command a great deal of cash (also, respect. Also, armies of the dead), it’s likely the film will turn a couple of bucks if they made an unrated version. No one likes to pay for a rehab film, and I’m sure that Steven Brill is bummed that he keeps getting the lame projects from hot people. The man directed Little Nicky, but saved himself with the modest successes of Mr. Deeds and Without a Paddle. Now he comes to the Apatow group and gets a script by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen from a story idea by John Hughes. But it’s likely people aren’t ready to laugh w/r/t Owen Wilson. And this would-be gold turned out to be Iron Sulfide (thanks, Silence of the Lambs, you’ve made my life immeasurably better). He’s the Rodney Dangerfield of comedy directors. Drillbit might find a life on DVD and with cable play, but that’s years away. And The Pineapple Express might be the Apatow “comeback” film, though – arguably – the off films are so cheap they’ll make money anyway. The Apatow umbrella might not be as big as once thought, but it’s folly to not want to be in the Apatow business. And with three films this year likely to do over $100 (Pineapple, Step-Brothers, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan), a still modestly profitable film like Forgetting Sarah Marshall is worth the juice.

The question with 10,000 B.C is: Will it limp its way to $100 Million? If you’ve been reading this column for the year I’ve been writing it, know this: Universal got Evan Almighty to $100. This? This is nothing. Having traded on the the great success of the late Johnny Hart’s lovable comic strip, the film, with its comic cavemen and cute loveable animals might become a franchise if international does its thing. I hope it means we get to B.C. 2: Grog’s Revenge, but I’m like that. Or 9,999 B.C. Yeah. I went for both jokes. Pick which one you like, try it on, see what fits. I’m not going to pressure you to buy one over the other, or you know, take them both.

Under the Same Moon is a Weinstein release of a Mexican film that features America Ferrara. A niche release, it’s likely that the film was targeted at a specific demo that may likely want to go to the theater and see films much like the Tyler Perry crowd. Here’s a great anecdote about working in the film distribution side of things. I was told that having a screen or a theater that played specifically to the Mexican-American base – that played films with Spanish subtitles, dubbing, or Mexican-made films – was untenable because INS would eventually target the theater. I am not making that up.

Otherwise, the story is that The Bank Job is playing to an audience because it’s only been taking teen percentage hits each week. Which means that when theater owners are culling their least wanted, it might survive a couple weeks longer than a College Road Trip or a Vantage Point. The problem for Lionsgate is that they command no respect, and so where a picture like CRT might be done, Disney may get some matinee shows even with Bank Job outperforming it, simply because you know Disney’s going to deliver some winners this summer. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Bank Job play longer than most if this keeps up. Maybe even get close to $30.

We’re coming into one of the least interesting sections of the year for film, and it’s scary to think we’ll be done with 25% of the year come the end of next weekend. So far, for me, the best film of the year has been Rambo. That’s not a pretty thought.