Cold reception at boxoffice for most weekend openers
'30 Days' takes No. 1 with $16 mil"30 Days of Night," the Josh Hartnett starrer adapted from the graphic novel about Alaskan vampires, bled $16 million to open atop the domestic rankings, but there were few signs of life elsewhere during the weekend at the boxoffice.
Fox Atomic's sports spoof "The Comebacks" rung up $5.6 million to debut in fifth place, while Miramax's "Gone Baby Gone," a thriller written and directed by Ben Affleck, bowed in sixth with $5.5 million.
Disney opened a 3-D version of "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" in 534 theaters to gross $5.3 million in eighth. New Line's "Rendition," a CIA thriller starring Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, grossed just $4.1 million in a ninth-place debut.
Three films opened outside the top 10: DreamWorks/Paramount's "Things We Lost in the Fire," with Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry, took in $1.6 million; Freestyle's supernatural yarn "Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour" unspooled with just $586,283 from 1,121 playdates; and Rocky Mountain's animated "The Ten Commandments" opened with $478,910 from 830 engagements.
Industrywide grosses totaled $97 million, or 8% less than during the same weekend last year. Yet there was some good news for a couple of the frame's holdovers.
Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" from Lionsgate finished at No. 2 during its second session, grossing $12.2 million, good for a $39 million cume. Disney's family comedy "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, grossed $8.2 million to finish third and move its four-week cume to $69.2 million.
The session seemed to suck the life even from the recently flush art film market.
"Reservation Road," the Mark Ruffalo-Joaquin Phoenix starrer from Focus, opened in 14 locations to gross an estimated $36,269, or a disappointing $2,591 per venue. The distributor's "Lust, Caution," an espionage thriller from director Ang Lee, played in 125 theaters to gross $579,908, or a just-acceptable $4,639 per playdate, with a $2.1 million cume.
Warner Independent's "In the Valley of Elah" grossed $79,310 in 125 theaters for a lamentable $634 per venue, with a cume of $2.1 million.
Paramount Vantage boosted its Sean Penn-directed drama "Into the Wild" from 153 locations to 658 to fetch $2.1 million, or $3,191 per venue, with a $6.5 million cume.
Sony Pictures Classics' Michael Caine-Jude Law starrer "Sleuth" added 12 playdates for a total 21 but saw just $36,657, or $1,746 per playdate, with a $101,839 cume.
Fox Searchlight saw firmer footing with its Wes Anderson comedy "The Darjeeling Limited," adding 107 theaters for a total of 202 to ring up $1.3 million, or a solid $6,436 per venue, with a $3.9 million cume.
MGM's Ryan Gosling starrer "Lars and the Real Girl" added 14 playdates for a total of 21 in grossing $188,603, or $8,981 per engagement, with a $316,218 cume a week before spreading to 1,200 locations.
The Weinstein Co.'s biopic "Control" grossed $38,242 from Los Angeles, New York and exclusives to bring its cume to $92,305, with plans for a top 10 expansion Friday.
Disney also offered 397 sneak previews of the Steve Carell-Juliette Binoche comedy "Dan in Real Life," which is set to unspool Friday. It drew 90% "very good" and "excellent" ratings, a spokeswoman said.
Also this weekend, Lionsgate unspools "Saw IV," with industryites hoping that the latest entry in the distributor's successful horror franchise can pump some blood into the recently lifeless marketplace.