The Name The Weekend The Location The Sum
1 High School Musical 3: Senior Year $42,000,000 $11,593 $42,000,000
2 Saw V $30,500,000 $9,967 $30,500,000
3 Max Payne $7,600,000 (-56.9%) $2,248 $29,664,000
4 Beverly Hills Chihuahua $6,916,000 (-39.5%) $2,168 $78,142,000
5 Pride & Glory $6,325,000 $2,447 $6,325,000
6 The Secret Life of Bees $5,935,000 (-43.6%) $3,641 $19,208,000
7 W. $5,330,000 (-49.3%) $2,600 $18,749,000
8 Eagle Eye $5,136,000 (-26.9%) $2,008 $87,987,000
9 Body of Lies $4,065,000 (-40.4%) $1,891 $30,890,000
10 Quarantine $2,550,000 (-58.1%) $1,145 $28,770,000

This just in: GZA says to vote yes on Prop 2 in Cali. How you gonna fuck with the GZA? He made Liquid Swords. Sadly, this may lead to more East Coast-West Coast rivalry, as Nate Dogg has suggested voters go No on prop 2. We need to stop the violence, because it leads to Self-Destruction. Didn’t the anti-gang videos of the late 80’s teach us anything?

Do you think that Disney is looking at that $42 Million dollar opening and regretting the subtitle Senior Year? My vote is yes, as it looks like this franchise – which went from the small to big screen – could well have some legs. But how do set up HM4? Do you call it High School Musical 4: Freshmen at College? That’s sot of like SNL’s Thursday Night show. I always wanted someone to make a sequel to the first Grease where it followed the characters ten years later. It would likely be the most depressing film ever made as the main characters would be crushed by their failed dreams and lower-middle class lives as the 60’s rolled on. Similarly, I would love to see High School Musical continue until it merged with Michael Apted’s Up franchise.

How fast do you think Saw VI gets greenlit Monday if it hasn’t been already? I’m sure they’re prepping the next one, but just the same – with a $30 Million dollar weekend and a reported $10 Million dollar budget – the math says we may yet get to ten of these films. Sure It’ll top out around $65 or so, but we’re gonna keep getting these films until the audience drops the heck off.

Max Payne dropped over 50%, so it’ll have to do better internationally to mean much, but it’s not a disaster, and probably did as well as should be expected. But with the action and gunplay, I’m sure it’ll have a strong Eastern European life. Whereas I suspect a film like Beverly Hills Chihuahua doesn’t translate well outside of the (North and South) American markets, so that it’ll get close to – if not over – nine digits means that a sequel will probably come out of it, but they’ll try and do it cheaper and as more of a cash-in. The movie has made enough money for it probably not to go straight to video, but only just.

Pride and Glory was sitting in cans for a while, and now that Warner Brothers is handling New Line’s remains, this dump will not do the film any favors. Then again (from what Devin said) it’s not a particularly good film, so there’s that. I don’t think New Line has much left (Inkheart‘s one of them), and Warner Brothers probably have a vested interest in them not necessarily bombing, but wouldn’t mind if they underperformed. That way everyone looks better on the decision.

Bees may yet stay fit and play long enough to get to $40, because the audience for it may not respond well to weekends, and the film could hang out in a multiplex for a while. But since it was done reasonable, getting to around $30 and the DVD sales should make it a smart play. W. did not catch on, and so it’s not the second coming of Fahrenheit 9/11. That’s what Lionsgate wanted, but it may represent the Teutonic shift in the country and in Democrat thinking. Some think that the success and national spotlight Michael Moore’s film created may have gamed the election by giving the Far Right stronger talking points, and with this election looking to favor the Dems for the second cycle in a row – like that mounted trout sings – it’s not time to rock the boat (baby), so turning Stone’s film into a national discussion (which might have happened four years ago), benefits no one. I wonder if it’ll find an audience internationally.

Eagle Eye is still performing, and may get the limp to $100 if it can hang out next weekend (it should be able to), as the Fall press doesn’t begin until Madagascar 2 on 11/7. Two weeks should be just enough to get it there. Especially since theaters are more likely to shed Body of Lies, which I’m sure Warner Brothers will be happy to sweep under the carpet. they’ve got Four Christmases (a New Line title, so…) and Yes Man to round out their year. So maybe it gets better for them. Maybe. Quarantine is done, but it made some money, so there’s that.

Right out of the top ten is – for the second week in a row at 11 – Fireproof. A very cheap film, I haven’t commented much on it after it’s first weekend, which had an impressive bow, and has continued to attract an audience through its run. for the people involved it’s a victory, and there may be a business model in its success, and I think there is interest and excitement that could be garnered for special market releases and regional film-making that Hollywood often ignores. That said – in terms of the big picture – the film is a blip that Hollywood won’t be bothered with, and so I’m not going to focus on it simply because it remains an anomaly. The studios don’t know how to handle these films, and releasing religious films can politicize a studio, so they’d rather not deal with anything too controversial except in the most superficial of ways (unless some talent wants to make it who can get things through the development process). Yes, the people who made Fireproof will likely continue making films like this, but the system will also continue to ghettoize it because of the ceiling involved. Following the money is never about quality, or anything revolving around qualitative judgments about the films themselves – it can’t be because good films don’t always make money and bad films don’t always bomb. It’s about trends, and if I haven’t spent much time on the runaway success of a film like Fireproof until now, it’s because what it is has no effect on the larger picture. Fox will look at the success or failure of a film like The Secret Life of Bees, or Quarantine and decide to make other pictures like it. The Passion of the Christ spawned The Nativity Story. End of line.