Image Credit: DreamWorks AnimationA trio of new releases propelled the box office to a record weekend, and DreamWorks Animation’s and Paramount Pictures’ Megamind led the way with $47.7 million, according to studio estimates. The $130 million CG-animated comedy starring Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and Tina Fey got off to a slightly underwhelming $12.5 million start on Friday. But the superhero flick skyrocketed 65 percent on Saturday as parents, starved for a family film to take their tots to, stormed the local multiplex. According to Paramount, 52 percent of Megamind‘s audience was less than 25 years old, and 66 percent of the movie’s earnings came from 3-D screens. For DreamWorks Animation, Megamind was their seventh best debut, topping this year’s How to Train Your Dragon, but falling short of summer blockbusters such as Kung Fu Panda and the three Shrek sequels. For Paramount, Megamind marks the studio’s third No. 1 opening in four weeks. The folks on Melrose Avenue will have plenty to be thankful for in a couple of weeks.
Second place went to the Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, and a horny French bulldog. The Warner Bros. film, which was co-produced by Legendary Pictures, grossed $33.5 million — a great tally for an R-rated comedy, but short of director Todd Phillips’ last project, The Hangover, which debuted to $45 million. Due Date scored a middling “B-” rating from CinemaScore audiences. However, the younger the moviegoer was, the more likely he or she gave the film a better grade. (Those under 18 rated it an “A-“). Since 59 percent of its audience was under the age of 35, Due Date may hold up better than its CinemaScore indicates.
Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, an adaptation of the acclaimed play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, premiered in third place with $20.1 million. That’s lower than usual for the director, but still a very respectable opening, especially when considering that the film is Perry’s first to be rated R. For Colored Girls played a bit older than normal for Perry’s movies, with 87 percent of the audience more than 25 years old. The serious drama, with its all-star female ensemble including Kimberly Elise, Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, and Janet Jackson, had no trouble attracting Perry’s most supportive fanbase — African-American women. According to Lionsgate, 81 percent of the audience was African American, and 82 percent was female. And with an “A” rating from CinemaScore audiences, Perry’s fanbase clearly loved what they saw.
Summit’s Red continued its slow-motion descent, slipping a minuscule 17 percent to secure fourth place with $8.9 million. The action comedy, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich, has pulled off the rare feat of dropping each week by a smaller percentage than the week before. Red fell 31 percent its second weekend, then 29 percent, and now 17 percent for a four-week tally of $71.9 million. In fifth place was Saw 3D, which collapsed 64 percent its second weekend for $8.2 million. In limited release, Danny Boyle’s Oscar hopeful, 127 Hours, grossed $266,000 from just four locations for a stupendous per-theater average of $66,500. And the action thriller Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, snared $700,000 from 46 sites — a solid, if not extraordinary, per-theater average of $15,217.
Overall, the box office earned an estimated $157 million this weekend, breaking the 2003 record of $153 million for the first frame of November. Check back next weekend as another trio of films invades theaters — the alien thriller Skyline, the comedy Morning Glory, and the runaway-train action film Unstoppable.
1. Megamind — $47.7 mil
2. Due Date — $33.5 mil
3. For Colored Girls — $20.1 mil
4. Red — $8.9 mil
5. Saw 3D — $8.2 mil