Despite the arrival of rocking teens, Tyler Perry enjoyed a back-to-back stint at number one with the hit comedy Madea Goes to Jail which led a sluggish frame despite suffering a sizable sophomore drop. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience debuted in second place while many holdovers posted small declines remaining popular with moviegoers once again. Overall the North American box office once again beat year-ago levels by a comfortable margin keeping the momentum going for 2009.

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Last weekend’s top film Madea Goes to Jail tumbled 60% in its second weekend grossing an estimated $16.5M which was still good enough for the top spot. The drop was slightly more than the 58% fall that Madea’s Family Reunion (Tyler Perry’s previous best opener) suffered in its sophomore frame during the first weekend of March in 2006. After ten days of release, Jail has amassed a stellar $64.9M and has already become the popular filmmaker’s highest grossing movie ever edging out Reunion‘s $63.3M total gross. Lionsgate could see the final tally reach the neighborhood of $85-90M.

Disney opened its music pic Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience in second place with an estimated $12.7M. Playing in 1,271 3D theaters, the G-rated concert flick averaged a healthy $9,992 and was helped by higher $15 ticket prices that exhibitors were charging. The bow was not even close to the performance of last year’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus 3D concert film which opened with $31.1M from 683 locations for a scorching $45,561 average. Though launching in nearly half as many theaters, that film was helped by what was then scheduled as a one-week-only run which generated more excitement plus was based on a more popular brand from the Disney Channel arsenal.

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Following its sweep of the Academy Awards last Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire enjoyed a 45% surge in business thanks to a wave of press attention and an additional 699 playdates. The Fox Searchlight hit grossed an estimated $12.2M putting it into third place, the highest chart position yet across its 16 weekends in theaters. That translated to a $4,128 average from 2,943 locations. Slumdog boosted its cume to a sensational $115.1M from North America alone.

Fox’s sleeper action hit Taken joined the century club over the weekend. The Liam Neeson thriller eased only 12% to an estimated $10M lifting the cume to $107.9M. Date flick He’s Just Not That Into You took in an estimated $5.9M for Warner Bros., down just 31%, with the sum thus far reaching an impressive $78.5M.

Sony’s runaway hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop took in an estimated $5.6M in its seventh weekend slipping a mere 18% and raising the amazing total to $128.1M. The stop-motion animated hit Coraline followed in fourth with an estimated $5.3M, down 54%, for a $61.1M total to date for Focus.

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The videogame-inspired actioner Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li debuted in eighth place with an estimated $4.7M. Fox’s PG-13 release averaged a mild $4,093 from 1,136 locations and played to a young male audience.

Falling 33% was the chick flick Confessions of a Shopoholic with an estimated $4.5M giving Buena Vista $33.7M to date. Rounding out the top ten was the male cheerleader flick Fired Up! which collected an estimated $3.8M, down 31%, for a $10.1M total after ten days in multiplexes.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $81M over the weekend which was up 10% from last year when Semi-Pro opened in the top spot with $15.1M; but down 21% from 2007 when Wild Hogs debuted at number one with a stunning $39.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got teenybop pop (Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience) and a video game adaptation (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, starring Kristin Kreuk and Michael Clarke Duncan). What do the critics have to say?


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Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

It’s unlikely that Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience will make anyone forget such classic concert films as Woodstock or Gimme Shelter. Heck, critics say it’s not even in the same league as Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. In JBT3DE, the squeaky-clean siblings perform their sticky-sweet hits for a rapturous crowd of tweens, while occasionally paying homage to A Hard Day’s Night and offering some backstage banter. The pundits say the movie should please the brothers’ adoring followers, but non-acolytes will continue find the group’s appeal elusive, and the 3-D effects aren’t particularly innovative or exciting.



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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li delves into the backstory of the title character, who vows to avenge the death of her father — presumably by utilizing a lot of flying spin kicks. (Personally, I’d like to see a brooding, introspective drama about the life and times of Blanka, but that’s just me.) The film wasn’t screened for critics prior to its release, so it’s time to put down those controllers and guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Birdsong, an offbeat take on the tale of the Three Wise Men and their journey to visit the infant Jesus, is at 100 percent.
  • Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead, a documentary about a death penalty advocate who wrestles with his conscience, is at 100 percent.
  • The Examined Life, a documentary that follows noted philosophers like Cornel West and Slavoj Zizek as they expound on mankind’s place in the world, is at 92 percent.
  • The Trouble with Romance, an indie comedy about four couples in various stages of relationships, is at 40 percent.
  • An American Affair, starring Gretchen Mol in a coming-of-age tale set against backdrop of the JFK assassination, is at 33 percent.
  • Crossing Over, starring Harrison Ford and Ashley Judd in a drama that looks at immigration from a variety of viewpoints, is at 11 percent.

  • Finally, we’d like to bestow props upon Kameron D. for correctly guessing that Madea Goes to Jail would notch a 29 percent Tomatometer.

Those $15 tickets that studio accountants love are back! This time they pair up with Disney’s Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience which will easily dominate the North American box office. The only question is how big is big? This G-rated extravaganza chronicling the group’s 2008 ‘Burning Up’ tour has been a major event film for teens and tweens for weeks now as hundreds of showtimes have already sold out thanks to aggressive online ticketing.

Of course, the film this can be compared to is last February’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus 3D concert film which bowed to $31.1M from only 683 locations for an astounding $45,561 average. With more 3D screens now installed into multiplexes nationwide, Jonas will benefit from a wider footprint which could deliver a larger gross but a smaller average. Ticket prices remain the same. And with a lean 76-minute running-time, exhibitors can easily offer up a show every two hours with many screens packing in eight showtimes per day. Disney’s grossing potential is massive this weekend.

With intense fan anticipation, a marketing push that has turned the volume up to 11, and high ticket prices, the Jonas Brothers pic is a major event film ready to rock the box office with one of the largest openings ever for the month of February. Crashing into 1,271 theaters, a weekend tally of around $40M could result.


Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert

The forces of good and evil collide in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li which brings audiences a new story inspired by the popular videogame. Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die, Doom), the PG-13 film will be aimed primarily at young males not interested in pretty boys rocking on stage. Smallville‘s Kristin Kreuk stars as the title character and is joined by Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Klein, and Neal McDonough. Fox is not giving Chun-Li a huge release opting instead for a more conservative opening in about 1,000 locations and a more modest marketing push. Direct competition is not too fierce, but the scaled back release will limit potential. A debut of about $5M could result.


Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Tyler Perry beat his old opening weekend record by 37% with Madea Goes to Jail but is set for a big fall in the second frame. With so much upfront demand being absorbed last weekend, the Lionsgate hit will play like a sequel and tumble. Madea’s Family Reunion dropped a sizable 58% in its second outing in 2006 while facing decent competition from new films. Jail should drop in a similar way and may decline by 55% to around $18.5M pushing the ten-day tally to a still-stunning $67M.

The Focus hit Coraline has been generating solid results for three weeks now dropping by small amounts each week. But young girls will be distracted by three allegedly attractive boys named Jonas so a larger drop may kick in this time. Look for it to forfeit some 3D screens too. A 35% dip would lead to a $7.5M weekend lifting the total to a stellar $63M. Fox’s Taken is ready to join the century club. A 40% drop could result putting the Liam Neeson actioner at $6.5M lifting the cume to $105M.

With eight big Oscar statues, the most for any film since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Slumdog Millionaire now enters yet another phase in its long and lucrative release. Fox Searchlight will increase the theater count once again and will jump from 2,244 to 2,942 runs. The added screens plus the wave of free publicity this week from its Academy Awards sweep will lead to the biggest weekend yet in the film’s nearly four-month run. Having smashed the $100M mark on Tuesday, Slumdog has been the number two movie in North America each weekday and the film will now reach a new audience of those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the Academy to tell them if it really is worth all the fuss. The Danny Boyle pic could climb to about $12M this weekend and raise its domestic cume to an amazing $115M with more upside still ahead.

LAST YEAR: Will Ferrell suffered one of his lowest openings for a broad comedy in years with the basketball pic Semi-Pro which bowed to just $15.1M which was still enough to top the charts over a sluggish frame. The New Line release finished its season with only $33.5M. Sony’s action hit Vantage Point dropped down a spot to number two with $12.8M in its second effort and was followed by The Spiderwick Chronicles which grabbed $8.7M in its third weekend. Sony didn’t go too wide with The Other Boleyn Girl but saw a solid $8.2M debut and $7,035 average. A $26.8M final resulted. The Fox actioner Jumper rounded out the top five with $7.6M. New distrib on the block Summit opened its drama Penelope to just $3.8M in ninth place on its way to a $10M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com