Stock Success Local All In
1 Beverly Hills Chihuahua $17,511,000 (-40.2%) $5,442 $52,541,000
2 Quarantine $14,200,000 $5,770 $14,200,000
3 Body of Lies $13,120,000 $4,841 $13,120,000
4 Eagle Eye $11,015,000 (-37.8%) $3,048 $70,551,000
5 Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist $6,500,000 (-42.5%) $2,685 $20,810,000
6 The Express $4,731,000 $1,685 $4,731,000
7 Nights in Rodanthe $4,610,000 (-37.4%) $1,790 $32,366,000
8 Appaloosa $3,340,000 (-33.9%) $2,589 $10,886,000
9 The Duchess $3,322,000 (+271.6%) $2,752 $5,620,000
10 City of Ember $3,200,000 $1,583 $3,200,000

This just in: Scientists have found a pair of slippers. They are willing to return them, though – when pressed – they will not deny that they gave them “a test drive.”

Well, hey howdy hey, October offers the Fall season, a time where tree leaves turn color and fall off, when a chill enters the air. It’s the beginning of the end of the year. It’s the beginning of death. Buddhists accept life and death as a part of the passage of time, the passage of life. We should not mourn inevitability, just as we should not mourn gravity, or density. All things have a properties, and the acceptance of the limitations of our known universe is a part of being aware. Death is simply the result of life.

But I really don’t think either Fox, Warner Brothers or Universal are going to look at the deaths of City of Ember, Body of Lies or The Express with a zen detachment. Fox is likely closer to a healthy attitude about City of Ember’s belly flop as they didn’t put a lot of effort into selling the damn thing. Then again, Fox doesn’t seem to really be in the film business any more. They release things that look like shit, and likely are shit. Ember may not be the worst film on their year’s slate, so it’s got that going for it. Which is nice. But, man, it’s going to be one of their lowest earners. Maybe international is better, maybe director Gil Keenan will work again. But this may be a career killer, so I’d get hustling. Body of Lies is one of those films that the studio didn’t go full court press, so they probably knew that it wasn’t going to do that great, but when you have Leonardo Di Caprio and Russell Crowe in a film together and you can’t get it open, you’re not doing a good job at marketing. Yeah, the film isn’t much more than proficient (read Russ on the subject matter if you’d like to know more), but still… taking third place is absurd. Warner Brothers can blame the subject matter, call it collateral damage vis-a-vis it’s Iraq-esque-ness, but this is a fundamental failure of marketing (which in this case was schizophrenic), though I’m sure most everyone involved knew this was a lost cause at some point. It’s just not there, it doesn’t come together to be more than the sum of its parts, which is a shame, but it happens.

The Express was sold on a poster that mostly shows a crowd, and a football guy wearing a helmet (to be fair, you can make out his face). I like this advertising. Next maybe they’ll show an empty room or a busy intersection. An empty couch. A bird on a wire. Wait, that sounds it has the makings for a wacky buddy picture: Winner, there. It’s likely to find a life on home video or cable, because there’s an audience for every sports movie, but maybe Uni should have gone with a January release or something. The audience for it was likely too busy watching the real thing. But these three really did shit their respective beds.

The winner here will be Quarantine. With a production budget of somewhere around $12 Million, even with the Horror drop off (expect a plunge in the neighborhood of Mr. Rodgers and 60-70% next week) it should have no problem being profitable. I thought the advertising was terrible, but it’s October and it’s a horror movie, and it’s been a couple of weeks since the last one, so why not? Down, dirty and cheap, this is how you do it if you want to make a horror movie. Young scribes, take note of a film like this. If you want to sell, if you want to break in, come up with a premise that can be done cheaply and efficiently. You want a calling card, write something a little better than this.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is going to have a hard time if it want to make it to $100, but it’s still on the slow road to a solid gross. I guess it’s been a while since a talking pet movie hit, and the film probably plays to its audience – who has never seen that movie before. BHC is a winner. And so is Eagle Eye, which may also get close to hitting $100. I don’t think it will at this point (though it should be over $80 by the end of next weekend), but it’s a solid “no one’s embarrassed” release of a film that got made rather fast. Perhaps it was contractual obligation, but regardless, it worked. Nick and Nora’s was cheap, so it’s already a big winner, but I’m guessing that people were hoping for a little more juice out of it. It’s no Apatow production, and Kat Dennings is no star, so that it’s already at double its budget is good, but the advertising on a film like this is likely as expensive (if not moreso) than the film itself. It’s good news for the director Peter Sollett, who directed the rather great Raising Victor Vargas, so hopefully he’ll move on to something a little faster with the next one.

Nights at Rodanthe is chugging and will get over $40 at some point, but that looks to be the end of the road. Appaloosa is showing some life, but something awesome would have to happen for it to get near its purported $20 Million dollar budget, whilst The Duchess has expanded, and this is as nice as the gross gets. You know, one of these days Keira Knightley might actually get an academy award. And maybe not because she deserves it, but because the year was so weak and she’s British and she’ll have been nominated so many times that why not? If this year is weak, then it’s possible she’ll sneak in as a nominee. Like a pirate in the night.

For those who care, Religulous outperformed An American Carol and outgrossed it. With a total over $6.7 Million, Religulous is also a half a million over Carol, and already in profitability, which is something Carol won’t achieve theatrically. And the political theater will be put in the fore next week with a little film called W, a film destined to cause people to curse its name when searching for it on the Internet. See also: “W Oliver Stone” or “W Josh Brolin.” Ladies and gentlemen, these are the jokes, and they don’t write themselves. Because then they’d have to be sentient. Could you deal with a sentient joke, or is that they very definition of Eddie Deezen? Think about it.