Romantic comedy The Proposalwooed plenty of North American moviegoers over the weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $34.1m to top the domestic box office chart.
Arriving after an early summer run of mostly male-skewed movies, the Buena Vista romcom, produced by Mandeville Films and Disney’s Touchstone, apparently satisfied pent up demand for female-skewing material. And it gave star Sandra Bullock, who hasn’t appeared in a comedy since 2005’s Miss Congeniality 2, her biggest opener ever, almost doubling the $17.6m taken by 2007’s Premonition.
With Bullock playing a demanding boss and Ryan Reynolds the assistant she forces to marry her so she can stay in the US, the film, directed by Anne Fletcher, got mixed reviews but may have been boosted by sneak previews held last weekend.
Playing in 3,056 theatres, it grossed an average per-theatre of $11,163.
Sony’s Year One, the weekend’s other new wide release, took an estimated $20.2m and landed in fourth place on the chart. With Jack Black and Michael Cera starring as two ancient tribesmen on a biblical-era adventure, the PG-13 comedy, produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Harold Ramis, was panned by critics but performed in line with expectations.
It played in 3,022 theatres, for a per-theatre average of $6,684.
Last weekend’s top film, male-skewing comedy The Hangover, held up extremely well and took second place with an estimated $26.9m - down only 18% - from 3,545 theatres (average - $7,577). The Warner Bros hit has taken $153m in just over two weeks.
Also holding up well were Buena Vista’s Up, down 31% to an estimated $21.3m (for a total to date of $224.1m), Fox’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, down 24% to $7.33m (total - $156m), and Paramount’s Star Trek, off 14% to $4.7m (total - $239.4m).
Less sturdy were Sony’s The Taking of Pelham 123, which fell 52% in its second weekend to $11.3m (total - $43.3m), Universal’s Land of the Lost, down 56% to $4m (total - $43.7m), and Paramount’s Imagine That, down 44% in its second weekend to $3.1m (total - $11.4m).
Among the weekend’s limited releases, Woody Allen comedy Whatever Works, with Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood starring, opened through Sony Pictures Classics with a reported estimated gross of $281,000 from nine screens.
And Here Media and Regent Releasing’s animated $9.99, from director Tatia Rosenthal, opened with an estimated $11,027 from two screens.
Next weekend’s wide releases are: Paramount/DreamWorks’ sci-fi action sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, on which director Michael Bay reunites with stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox; and Warner’s New Line family drama My Sister’s Keeper, with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin leading the cast and Nick Cassavetes directing.
Estimated Top 10 North America June 19-21, 2009 Film (Dist)/Int’l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) The Proposal (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $34.1m -
2 (1) The Hangover (Warner Bros) WBPI $26.9m $152.9m
3 (2) Up (Buena Vista/Pixar) WDSMPI $21.3m $224.1m
4 (-) Year One (Sony) SPRI $20.2m -
5 (3) The Taking Of Pelham 123 (Sony) SPRI $11.3m $43.3m
6 (4) Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian (Fox) Fox Int’l $7.3m $156m
7 (7) Star Trek (Paramount) PPI $4.7m $239.4m
8 (5) Land Of The Lost (Universal) UPI $4m $43.7m
9 (6) Imagine That (Paramount) PPI $3.1m $11.4m
10 (8) Terminator Salvation (Warner Bros) SPRI $3.07m $119.5m