Title Weekend Per Screen Total
1 Race to Witch Mountain $25,000,000 $7,844 $25,000,000
2 Watchmen $18,070,000 (-67.3%) $5,004 $86,005,000
3 The Last House on the Left $14,658,000 $6,105 $14,658,000
4 Taken $6,650,000 (-9.3%) $2,327 $126,833,000
5 Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail $5,130,000 (-39.9%) $2,329 $83,209,000
6 Slumdog Millionaire $5,025,000 (-26.2%) $1,949 $132,625,000
7 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $3,100,000 (-25.2%) $1,359 $137,767,000
8 He’s Just Not That Into You $2,905,000 (-27.7%) $1,537 $89,004,000
9 Coraline $2,655,000 (-18.5%) $1,502 $69,144,000
10 Miss March $2,350,000 $1,349 $2,350,000

This just in: Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to Sam Cooke does not make one funkier. But it helps.

So, the main big box office deal is the 2/3rds tumble that Watchmen took. The story on Watchmen‘s success was written once people started to see it. Comparing it to The Dark Knight or 300 is unfair – even though it might do the business of a Fantastic Four film. It isn’t a film that leaves an audience on the up, it’s challenging, arguably incomplete, perhaps an incoherent text (as Robin Wood might call it), a film that does not give itself over to simple examination. Arguably Zack Snyder did not fail the material, but the film may have found the wrong champions. Then again, with the film that was made, perhaps time will cause it to be appreciated anew. It’s hard to know how home video will evolve over the next couple of years, but I don’t think this film’s cinematic well is going to run dry for a lot of people. And when you compare this to something like a Pearl Harbor, or something like Insomnia, I think Snyder comes out well. The film – domestically – will get over $100. That is a done deal. It should be there by the end of next weekend-ish, but after that it all depends on how quickly it leaves some theaters. Then again, the film might have a steady audience in some major markets, and things don’t leave theaters if they’re still playing in those theaters. Watchmen may be a bit of a misfire in terms of Box, but it’s not a failure, it’s no flop. I think the way in which this might hurt Snyder is if his next film doesn’t have a clean hook, marketing may blame him for having them do a lot of heavy lifting on the last one.

Okay, so a Rock/Disney film made money. If this plays to its audience, the drops shouldn’t be too bad, and the film could get to $100. This comes from Andy Fickman, who also directed The Game Plan. Hopefully the abject failure of Southland Tales didn’t scare The Rock off of making interesting movies. They’ve got until 3/27, when Monsters vs. Aliens comes to take their core audience. So, if it caps out around $80, don’t be surprised.

The way the horror cycle of the first quarter seems to work is that there’s huge opening weekends, and then things start tempering off. Where The Unborn opened to nearly twenty on the strength of Ordette Yustman’s ass (and hey…) Last House seems to be doing all right with its $14 million. Universal went only 2.000 screens, versus the standard 3,000 so they cherry picked this one, may have cost themselves six million, but then, how much does it cost to make 1,000 prints? The subject matter here makes this – as Devin said – something of a callback to the torture porn heyday (of, what, two films?) all those moons ago. I wonder if John Carpenter and Wes Craven have a bet going to see who can get more of their films remade. It’ll be In the Mouth of Madness vs. Deadly Friend (or Deadly Blessing) at some point. Next week offers Knowing, and the week after The Haunting in Connecticut, so there’s direct competition. How much do Monica Potter and Sara Paxton cost? Probably not much, the unrated DVD will get this into profit, surely.

Taken dropped 9%. This movie is speaking to people, and it’s something like a phenomenon. I don’t know how you pretend it isn’t. Tyler Perry‘s at $83 million.He’s Just Not That Into You is at $89 Million. In both cases it might take someone twisting some thumbs to get the picture to $100, but it’s not all that out of the question. At this point it just takes the hubris of wanting that nine-digit to wave around. Such may be more important to Lionsgate. 

Slumdog and Paul Blart are still running victory laps, but Blart should start bleeding screens next week and cash out a little over $140, while Slumdog might just stick around for $150. At this point for both it’s all gravy. Coraline has $75 in sight, which is rather impressive, though 3/27’s Monsters (vs. Aliens) should be the final fork. Miss March needed a push, but Fox had no interest in it. Whether it’s funny or not will be apparent when the DVD hits, and people start watching it. I guess it’s better than a Direct to DVD release.