Monkey Torture Weekend Per Screen Total
1 Where the Wild Things Are $32,470,000 $8,693 $32,470,000
2 Law Abiding Citizen $21,250,000 $7,353 $21,250,000
3 Paranormal Activity $20,163,000 (+155.2%) $26,530 $33,717,000
4 Couples Retreat $17,949,000 (-47.7%) $5,965 $63,339,000
5 The Stepfather $12,300,000  $4,499 $12,300,000
6 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $8,100,000 (-29.7%) $2,667 $108,284,000
7 Zombieland $7,800,000 (-47.3%) $2,460 $60,823,000
8 Toy Story Double Feature $3,011,000 (-61.2%) $2,022 $28,594,000
9 Surrogates $1,922,000 (-55.0%) $826 $36,332,000
10 The Invention of Lying $1,905,000 (-43.0%) $1,173 $15,495,000

This just in: A battle between Colonel Sanders and General Tso over their chicken.

Where the Wild Things Are was something of a troubled production. It took them a while to get the faces right, and the film Spike Jonze made is not really a kids film. Anecdotally, a lot of children seem to get a bit bored through the film. But this weekend is a big win for the film. with an $80 Million dollar production budget, the weekend may lead many commentators to suggest it’s a half and half. Which it kinda is in that the film may top out around $100 Million. But considering the history, and considering that the film will become a perennial, the film should eventually be successful. And though Spike Jonze may have had a difficult relationship with the studio, this is not a picture that gets him in trouble. Spike is an artist, and people want to work with him, so this doesn’t hurt. This isn’t a break out, and it’s also possible that the mixed word of mouth could leave the film with a big drop off next weekend. Worst case scenario is doing $80 Million. I don’t know how the film does internationally. It might play in non-English markets, again, there’s something of a bait-and-switch element for certain audiences.

Slightly more impressive is the opening of Law Abiding Citizen. Partly because Gerald Butler have proved to be a non-entity when it comes to audiences, though this may have more to do with Jamie Foxx, as I intimated Friday. The film cost around fifty, and will probably make around $60 Million. Overture films hasn’t launched anything this successfully in their short time in distribution,and I wonder if theaters are going to fuck them over. My guess: yes. Still, this could have sunk like a stone, and it’s going to look like a minor success.

Holy shit Paranormal Activity. Paramount might have been able to get it over $100 if they opened a little earlier, and Devin has some theories about how it could make more money. Does it goes superwide against Saw? It’s got two more weeks. After that, I don’t know if it will keep playing. Hard to say if will get much $60, but if it does hit 2000 screens next week, it will at best level. But this is such a little film, Paramount’s got to be doing nothing but laughing and rolling piles of money. “Ha ha ha, hee hee hee” they say. It weathered The Stepfather, which should get to $30 Million, even with such a weak weekend. It is PG-13, and it’s Halloween season.

We may yet get a second film from Peter Billingsley. Couples Retreat didn’t die, and is on the slow limp to $100 Million. I’m getting a vision of its future as a $4.99 DVD.

Cloudy is well over the nine digit mark, and should be wrapping up around $130 Million. And Zombieland is at $60, should maybe get a light bounce from the season, could get to $80 Million yet. I thought Toy Story was only playing for two weeks but that’s just not the case, also it’s still making money. Surrogates and The Invention of Lying are still in theaters.