The Princess And The Frogstruck a blow for the 2D animated musical as Buena Vista expanded it wide, stealing the number one spot from The Blind Side with an estimated $25m weekend haul.
Overall box office swept past the previous best of $9.68bn set in 2007 and currently stands at $9.79bn. It will cross $10bn before the end of the year thanks no doubt to Fox’s wide release next weekend of Avatar.
Returning to The Princess And The Frog, Buena Vista expanded the hand-drawn film from two theatres to 3,434, so while the 3,243.5% rise looks impressive it was a given that the film would register a massive climb. The running total after three weekends stands at $27.9m and Anika Noni Rose leads the voice cast.
In second place The Blind Side crossed $150m in its fourth weekend as $15.5m raised the tally to $150.2m, while there was a decent launch in third for Warner Bros’ Nelson Mandela story Invictus from Clint Eastwood on $9.1m. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star.
There were no other new entries in the top ten, although Paramount’s Up In The Airfrom Jason Reitman climbed two place to 11th and has grossed $4m from 72 theatres in two weekends. Lionsgate’s Precious in 15th stands at $38.3m after six.
The Weinstein Company scored a mighty limited launch for A Single Manstarring Venice Coppa Volpi winner Colin Firth. The film took $216,000 from nine for a $24,000 average. Paramount did even better with DreamWorks’ adaptation The Lovely Bones from Peter Jackson, grossing $116,000 from three for a $38,667 average. Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci star and wide expansion comes in January.
Next weekend all will make way for James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar, which Fox is unleashing day-and-date in what has become one of the most anticipated releases of the decade. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver star. Sony’s counter-programmer Did You Hear About The Morgans? also rolls out with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Estimated Top 10 North America December 11-13 2009 Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date
1 (16) The Princess And The Frog (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $25m $27.9m
2 (1) The Blind Side (Warner Bros) WBPI $15.5m $150.2m
3 (-) Invictus (Warner Bros) WBPI $9.1m –
4 (2) The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit Entertainment) Summit Int’l $8m $267.4m
5 (4) A Christmas Carol (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $6.9m $124.5m
6 (3) Brothers (Lionsgate) Mandate Int’l $5m $17.4m
7 (6) 2012 (Sony) SPRI $4.4m $155.3m
8 (5) Old Dogs (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $4.39m $39.9m
9 (7) Armored (Screen Gems) $3.5m $11.7m
10 (8) Ninja Assassin (Warner Bros) WBPI $2.7m $34.3m