Movie Weekend Location Total
1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $63,500,000 $15,656 $63,500,000
2 Role Models $19,251,000 $6,895 $19,251,000
3 High School Musical 3: Senior Year $9,293,000 (-39.3%) $2,683 $75,707,000
4 Changeling $7,281,000 (-22.1%) $3,925 $20,587,000
5 Zack and Miri Make a Porno $6,521,000 (-35.2%) $2,384 $20,933,000
6 Soul Men $5,610,000 $2,745 $5,610,000
7 Saw V $4,200,000 (-56.9%) $1,485 $52,320,000
8 The Haunting of Molly Hartley  $3,490,000 (-35.6%) $1,355 $10,235,000
9 The Secret Life of Bees $3,125,000 (-22.1%) $2,110 $29,938,000
10 Eagle Eye $2,594,000 (-25.5%) $1,844 $96,401,000

 This just in: It’s “Murder-ar” not “word ‘em up.” It’s also “Control Yourself, take only what you need, boy” not “Enjoy yourself” or “Show yourself.”

For Halloween weekend I went high, thinking that the economy being in the shitter would send people to the latest Clint Eastwood and Kevin Smith movies, but instead they stayed home. This weekend, I thought that trend would continue. As Kevin pacey would say: “Wrong!” I should have realized what I wrote on Friday was true: in times of trouble, mother Mary comforts me, speaking words of wisdom “People want comfort food.” And so the latest CG-animated crap fest from Dreamworks makes a shitload of money. Granted I haven’t seen the film, or the original, but the only thing that I think could help it is if Patton Oswalt was working in his advisory position for the studio when the film came out, and so the story is borderline coherent, and the jokes funny. But you’d probably have to pay me to watch it (and who’s to say they won’t), so I guess I can’t rightly call it a CGI crap-fest. I guess I could call it a theoretical CGI crap fest, or TCGICF for short. For some reason that makes me want Pizza shooters. But with $63 for the weekend, Madagscar 2 has a very strong likelihood of getting all the way to $200. You have to be limber to stretch that much for that joke, just FYI.

Also doing better than expected was the Paul Rudd/Seann Williams Scott comedy Role Models. Good marketing, perhaps a hunger for Stifler, and the goodwill that Paul Rudd has generated with the Apatow films, and the film nearly gets to $20 Million. Considering the interesting production history, that the film works at all is a pleasant surprise, and this is a solid gross for a picture like this. It’s also got to be good for director David Wain to have a film that will likely make money. And to think there’s the Unrated DVD that has to be in the works.

But not all new releases did well this weekend, and the passing of Bernie Mac may have hurt Soul Men. Watching dead people actng creepy tends to mean a box office hit, but acting funny, not so much. And then also Isaac Hayes is in it, and he’s dead too. More bad news for the Weinstein’s. If there’s any good news, it’s that Zack and Miri - in the face of Role Models’s direct competition – only dropped 35%, and so it’s quite likely it will break that $30 Million ceiling of Kevin Smith’s by about five million. Hooray for Pyrrhic victories. (cue “We are the Champions” by Queen)

Disney seems to have abandoned Beverly Hills Chihuahua (which is going to finish out a little over $90) for High School Musical 3, which cost very little (you’d think Zac Effron could maybe get some more money, but I bet Disney signed them to some pretty tough contracts), but it might not be possible to limp HSM3 (as the cool kids call it, but we’re through being cool) to the nine-digit Valhalla. Both films were cheap, but bosses love round numbers.

Changeling is performing like a picture geared to adults (light drops, good WOM), and if it can keep playing slow and steady then maybe the film (which was well-ish received at Cannes) will generate some Oscar heat for Angelina Jolie, and if can keep performing and get to a $50-60 total… It won’t. $40 is probably likely, anything after that is good business, but Universal got stuck with a hardsell, while Warner Brothers has Gran Torino coming out 12/17. Which I can’t wait to see (if it’s closer to 90 minutes of movie).

Saw V shows the limitations of the franchise, and the series cycle has likely peaked, but the films are made for around ten, an so even with marketing costs, the films are still going to be profitable. Molly Hartley is what it is: Done. If it hangs around for another cycle it’ll only because there’s one new picture next week. Bees will clear $30, while Eagle Eye looks to be on the limp to $100. Since only one new film opens next weekend, Paramount can likely argue that the per screen is higher than the horror pictures Saw and Hartley, so they’ll probably be safe in the multiplexes, and get their film past $100. Suck on that, jerkfaces.

Bond opens next weekend with a very short running time, and no competition. The question should be: Can Quantum of Solace do $100 in three days? My guess is yes.