Film Weekend Per Total
1 Gran Torino $29,025,000 (+888.4%) $10,337 $40,065,000
2 Bride Wars $21,500,000 $6,665 $21,500,000
3 The Unborn $21,095,000 $8,950 $21,095,000
4 Marley and Me $11,350,000 (-53.2%) $3,263 $123,710,000
5 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button $9,450,000 (-49.4%) $3,207 $94,330,000
6 Bedtime Stories $8,550,000 (-58.3%) $2,435 $97,180,000
7 Valkyrie $6,662,000 (-52.7%) $2,347 $71,509,000
8 Yes Man $6,155,000 (-55.8%) $2,083 $89,410,000
9 Not Easily Broken $5,600,000 $7,735 $5,600,000
10 Seven Pounds  $3,900,000 (-61.3%) $1,588 $66,830,000

This just in: 20th Century Fox was asked about its preponderance of bad movies. Its response: “Hey, we only make them, it’s not our fault people are stupid enough to see a film like Max Payne.”

There are movie stars, and there are movie stars, and Clint Eastwood is a man unlike most other living actors. He’s actually a legend. It’s easy to forget that because the man has spent the last couple years making Oscar bait, but he is and always will be one of the great icons of cinema. And when Clint makes his “This is my last film as an actor,” regardless of how silly many found the film, it’s going to do some business. In that way the limited release strategy may have made the core demo of that near-$30 Million dollar opening more likely to see it opening weekend, as they may have heard or read about it for weeks ahead of time. Though the only award nomination the pic might get at this point seems to be for actor (though it may have come on too late), the picture may be on its way to a nine digit payout. Never underestimate star wattage, and Gran Torino looks to be a very healthy performer.

The other big surprise of the weekend was how close The Unborn came to beating Bride Wars. When actuals come out the numbers may be less close, or possibly a position could switch because studios can get competitive and start lying. What Unborn did is make the Bride Wars opening look sadder. But this is good news for David Goyer, who will probably be seeing an Academy award nomination shortly and also has what looks to be his first home run as a director. Since mid-teens was the generous assumption for the title’s weekend prospects, this is good news, but with My Bloody Valentine opening next weekend anything less than a 60% drop next week would be miraculous, and anything over a $40 total is likely gravy for the title.

Bride Wars is a shitty fox rom-com following in 27 Dresses’ profitable footprints. Kate Hudson used to be able to get these things near or over $100, but that’s not going to happen here. There’s no real competition until New in Town on 1/30, but this will have a hard time getting much more than $70. Dresses opened to $23 Mil and got to $76. Does that mean Kathrine Heigl has more opening power than Hudson or Anne Hathaway? You know what? Probably.

Marley and Me is playing strong, though next week couldn’t offer more direct competition than Hotel for Dogs. Still, Marley could get close to scraping $150. That’s hot. And Friday-ish Benjamin Button should get to $100, which will make it David Fincher’s biggest hit ever. Even though it probably won’t be profitable until it hits home video. When the Oscars are announced there may also be something of an uptick, and the film should play into March because of that, so it could conceivably get close to $150 if it can start flatlining on the weekends. This does and has happened. Will it here? I don’t know, but considering I thought the film was not going to open or perform, I’m rather shocked that it’s doing as well as it is and has. The film must have connected with some people.

Bedtime Stories is looking to close out around $120, Valkyrie should get to somewhere near $90 (we could see that limp to $100 yet), while Yes Man has all but guaranteed a nine digit total, and Not Easily Broken played as well as it could have.

Should we start referring to Seven Pounds as Will Smith’s misfire? Something went wrong, or damage control set in early so the disappointment would be muted. Maybe they sold the film as well as they could, but internally the whole Jellyfish ending was a hurdle they couldn’t get over. But this is an off film, and though not disastrous, didn’t do what it was supposed to. Considering Hancock was shit, Will will likely be a little bit more careful with the next one.

We’re in the dog season, so it’s no surprise we’re going to get another animal picture next weekend, and a shitty comedy, and the Biggie Bio-pic. In another world, that would be a best picture contender, but I guess that’s not how they planned it to be because we’re in January. In another world Cuba Gooding Jr. would have gotten hella fat for the role, and there would be an emotional beat right before Biggie stepped to the mike to unleash Party and Bullshit.