Film Weekend Per Total
1 Zombieland $25,000,000 $8,235 $25,000,000
2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $16,700,000 (-33.3%) $5,610 $82,392,000
3 Toy Story Double Feature $12,500,000 $7,163 $12,500,000
4 The Invention of Lying $7,350,000 $4,306 $7,350,000
5 Surrogates $7,344,000 (-50.7%) $2,489 $26,387,000
6 Capitalism: A Love Story $4,850,000 (+1,990.8%) $5,042 $5,252,000
7 Whip It $4,850,000 $2,820 $4,850,000
8 Fame $4,754,000 (-52.5%) $1,517 $16,634,000
9 The Informant! $3,800,000 (-42.6%) $1,567 $26,580,000
10 Love Happens $2,777,000 (-35.5%) $1,445 $18,910,000

This just in: Humiliation. It’s tastes kind of like urine. Wait, that is actually urine.

We’ve seen the early months of a year hit the big time, but September and October are still the dead zone (Double Jeopardy, etc. noted). And yet, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs should do a nine digit total, and here we have Zombieland making $25 Million for the weekend. This means that the film was well sold, and the WOM screenings and such helped. There’s also the cameo, which everyone who’s seen the film loves. This is a great opening weekend – nearly doubling Shaun of the Dead’s entire domestic take. The film was done on the cheap, the question is if it’ll play like a comedy or like a horror film. If it’s a horror film, then next week the film will take a 60% hit, though if it plays like a comedy it may yet triple the weekend. The film cost in the $20 million range says Box Office Mojo, and then there’s advertising. I was listening to Trey Parker and Matt Stone on the commentary for the new South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and they talked about how Paramount told them that the film was still in debt, even though it cost in the $20 range. That film came out right before the DVD revolution, but still. When I say this, let me suggest that this film is good for everyone involved. Everyone comes out looking great, and will lead to more work. And that’s important.

Just as Cloudy is one of those pictures where it’s a hit, but… but. You can say this is good business, but if the ancillary sales are down because of the recession, etc. doing a little more than production budget is not the same thing it was a couple years ago, and yet the film is a success. The measuring stick for Hollywood is bizarre. Still, Toy Story had to hurt a little. That did better than expected, and should also play strong next weekend, but it’s almost as if Disney was giving Sony a nut-check. A little boom-boom tap to the what-fors.

I want to be a cowboy, and you can be my cowgirl.

I thought The Invention of Lions would not do that well, considering that it was poorly sold, and sucks. Still, the film didn’t belly flop like Whip It did. Jeez, neither are going to inspire a lot of confidence (and frankly – if someone had directed The Invention of Lying – it would be the sort of thing that should be celebrated) and that’s unfortunate, but that’s also this season. Interesting films that don’t necessarily work. Whip It is doing worse than Jennifer’s Body. Think about that. Meditater-tot.

Speaking of eh’s, Surrogates. When you’re already in the seventh stage of grief – acceptance – doing thirty or forty doesn’t seem like the worst thing. The film probably cost twice that. As I’ve said, box office success is largely expectations. But no one’s using Surrogates to beat upon Disney. Not that I’ve heard anyway. It’s good to fail with no expectations.

Michael Moore’s film opened wider, and played. The question becomes if it catches on to a/the zeitgeist. That’s what a film like this needs, because the choir just came. Skeet skeet skeet.

There’s still some other films out. The Informant! should get over $30 Million. Eh. There’s only new film next weekend, and it stars a bunch of people on Twitter. Such is life.