'Game' film Rocks boxoffice

Rival dwells in 'Heartbreak' hotel

The past weekend's lesson: For every successful game plan, there's a boxoffice strategy that ends in tears.

Disney's family-oriented "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, took the domestic boxoffice flag for a second straight weekend with a four-day haul of $19.3 million that took its 11-day cume to $45.9 million. But DreamWorks/Paramount's "The Heartbreak Kid" bowed weakly with just $15.6 million in second place through the holiday-lengthened frame, and Fox's kids-book adaptation "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" opened softly with $4.3 million in fifth place.

Americans marked Columbus Day in the U.S. on Monday, and Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. But the weekend's new boxoffice entrants failed to capitalize on the prospect of stronger Sunday and Monday grosses, and as a result the collective boxoffice tallies told a disappointing tale.

On an industrywide basis, the weekend boxoffice totaled $96.4 million. That represents a 23% decline from the $125.2 million rung up during the Columbus Day frame last year.

Elsewhere among the frame's top rankers, Sony/Screen Gems' "Resident Evil: Extinction" finished fourth in its third outing with $5.2 million and a $44.3 million cume. Lionsgate's "Good Luck Chuck" found sixth place in its third frame with $4.2 million and a $29.8 million cume.

Sony's teen-targeted "Feel the Noise" rung up $3.5 million in eighth place. Its debut was dampened by the musical drama playing in just 1,015 theaters.

In another weekend of busy limited-release activity, Warner Bros.' George Clooney starrer "Michael Clayton" posted an auspicious inaugural outing with $855,340 from 15 theaters for a cool $57,023 per venue. Warners' rerelease of the remastered sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" rung up $103,304 from Los Angeles and New York exclusives for a strong $51,652 per-screen average.

Sony Pictures Classics expanded its female drama "The Jane Austen Book Club" to 1,232 locations to gross $1.5 million, a soft $1,217 per location, and move its cume to $2 million. SPC also bowed the documentary "My Kid Could Paint That" with seven playdates to gross an estimated $30,332, or an acceptable $4,333 per engagement.

Focus Features' recent platformer "Eastern Promises" continued in 1,212 locations and grossed another $2.4 million for a $14.8 million cume. But David Cronenberg's thriller about the Russian mob in London might be running out of bullets as its per-theater average hit a limp $1,980.

Focus saw more promising results in expanding Ang Lee's NC-17 "Lust, Caution" to 17 venues after the previous weekend's New York exclusive and grossed an estimated $424,977. That was good for a steamy $24,998 per location and a $533,327 cume.

"Into the Wild," Paramount Vantage's Sean Penn-helmed drama, added 102 theaters for a total of 135 and grossed $1.5 million. That represented a solid $11,111 per engagement as "Wild" extended its cume to $2.6 million.

Fox Searchlight's Wes Anderson comedy "The Darjeeling Limited" sought out another 17 locations for a total of 19 runs, ringing up an estimated $666,559 -- a rousing $35,082 per location -- with a cume of $895,176. "Darjeeling" seeps into 90-plus venues starting Friday and is set to expand wide Oct. 26.

Looking to the weekend, a busy session for wide openers will include Sony's cop thriller "We Own the Night," with Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg; Uni/Working Title's period sequel "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Yari Film Group's high school baseball film "The Final Season"; Freestyle's thriller "Postal"; and "Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" from Lionsgate. Also, Warners will expand "Clayton" into wide release.
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