'I Can Do Bad' tops boxoffice

Tyler Perry's latest brings in $24 mil opening weekend

Tyler Perry's latest urban dramedy did good business and almost by itself during what proved a sleepy weekend at the domestic boxoffice despite four wide openers.

The multihyphenate's "I Can Do Bad All by Myself" from Lionsgate debuted at No. 1 with an estimated $24 million. Focus Features' PG-13 animated feature "9" also bowed solidly, with $10.9 million from just 1,661 playdates, to grab second place on the frame and shape a five-day cume of $15.3 million.

Summit Entertainment's R-rated horror pic "Sorority Row" opened limply with $5.3 million in sixth place, and Warner Bros.' Kate Beckinsale starrer "Whiteout" debuted with just $5.1 million in seventh. The top second-week holdover -- Fox's Sandra Bullock-Bradley Cooper starrer "All About Steve" -- fell a modest 48% from its first Friday-Sunday frame to $5.8 million in fourth place, good for a $21.8 million cume.

Collectively, the fall boxoffice season's inaugural weekend produced $73 million from its top 10 finishers, or 11% less than during the same session last year, according to Nielsen EDI.

Among the weekend's limited bows, First Run's "Crude," a documentary about Ecuador's eco-lawsuit against Chevron, tapped into a single New York theater to strike it rich with $16,729. Its cume is $21,957 since a Wednesday opening.

Variance Films debuted the Asian-American comedy "White on Rice" in two West Coast locations and grossed $10,200, or a sturdy $5,100 per site.

Disney released its Disney-in-Latin America doc "Walt & El Grupo" with three playdates and grossed $6,260, or a wobbly $2,097 per engagement, with a five-day cume of $7,400.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, Freestyle Releasing's Renee Zellweger starrer "My One and Only" added 39 theaters for a total of 116 and grossed $406,348, or an acceptable $3,503 per venue. Its cume climbed to $1.2 million.

Roadside Attractions' Vogue doc "The September Issue" added 91 locations for a total of 111 and grossed $729,000, or a fashionable $6,568 per venue, with a $1.3 million cume.

And First Independent's dramedy "Big Fan" added three playdates for a total of 13 to fetch $39,000, or an acceptable $3,000 per engagement, with a cume of $108,400.

Directed, toplined and produced by Perry, "Bad" drew audiences that were 76% female, with 75% of patrons 25 or older and 80% of its support coming from black moviegoers. The film's debut fell roughly midpack among Perry's openings to date.

Perry marked a personal best in February, when "Madea Goes to Jail" bowed with $41 million en route to grossing $90.5 million domestically. Last September's "The Family That Preys" fell on the lower end of his openings with $17.4 million, part of a $37.1 million domestic run.

"Tyler really knows his audience, and we're delighted to have him as part of the Lionsgate family," executive vp distribution David Spitz said. "We're ecstatic with the opening as this was even above our estimates."

"9" was helmed by young newcomer Shane Aker and voiced by John C. Reilly and Elijah Wood. The post-apocalyptic fantasy attracted audiences skewing 56% male, with 89% of patrons 12-34.

The pic's midweek opening combined with positive reviews to create momentum as it hit the crowded weekend.

"It broke new ground for animated films by succeeding to play well to younger and older moviegoers," Focus distribution president Jack Foley said.

"Sorority" features a young ensemble cast including Rumer Willis ("The House Bunny") and Briana Evigan ("Step Up 2 the Streets"). Summit didn't survey audience demos but like most horror pics targeted younger moviegoers.

"We're disappointed with the opening," Summit distribution president Richie Fay said. "But our exposure on the picture is relatively limited due to the low cost of the film coupled with foreign presales. We're optimistic ancillary windows for the film will perform to the strong levels of other films in the genre."

The R-rated "Whiteout," a crime thriller based in Antarctica, attracted audiences evenly split between males and females, with 69% of its patrons 25 or older.

"Unfortunately, the project was rejected by mass audiences," Warners executive vp distribution Jeff Goldstein said.

Looking ahead, four pics open wide Friday: Sony's 3D animated feature "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," Fox's Megan Fox-toplined horror thriller "Jennifer's Body," Universal's romantic comedy "Love Happens" and Warner Bros.' Matt Damon starrer "The Informant!"