Inside Pulse Box Office Report: A Remake and a Buddy Flick No Match for Scorsese

In a weekend that saw a George Romero remake without “Dead” in the title and an ’80s cliched-riddled buddy cop homage, it was Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island that maintained its number one spot. The psychological thriller pulled in another $22.2 million over the three-day span to put it at $75 million. It’s just $3 million shy of eclipsing the domestic total that Gangs of New York made in its total theatrical run. That film was the first pairing of Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Since then, each film they’ve done has gone on to eclipse previous box-office earnings. But Island still has a lot of ground to make up if it’s going to overtake The Departed which earned $132 million in the U.S. and Canada.

Just as last week saw Scorsese’s biggest opening of his career, Kevin Smith had his biggest opening this week with Cop Out. I didn’t really care for the flick (aside from the interrogation scene), but it did go on to finish the weekend in second place with $18.6 million, so what do I know? As a lover of those ’80s buddy cop films, even stuff like Turner & Hooch, I’d love to see the genre re-establish itself in the decade to come, but this wasn’t the best way to go about it.

Coming in third place was Breck Eisner’s The Crazies with an impressive $16.5 million. Impressive because of its 71% freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes and 56 score at Metacritic. Not bad for a remake of a 37-year-old film. And with its well-received reviews, expect this one to stay afloat and not drop like a stone in the next few weeks. Well, unless Alice and Wonderland obliterates the box office this upcoming weekend.

With The Crazies being successful, it just means another silver bullet to the heart for Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman. The director, who is currently busy with The First Avenger: Captain America, saw his $150 million film take in $4.1 million for the weekend, putting its total at $57 million. It’ll be lucky to break even with total grosses overseas.

Rounding out the top five were fantasy heavys Avatar and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. One’s a knock-off of Dances with Na’vi while the other is a knock-off of Harry Potter and the Clash of the Titans. As Valentine’s Day crossed the $100 million mark, James Cameron’s fantasy epic passed $700 million. Since it should do well at next Sunday’s Oscar telecast, expect this one to continue its money-making ways. Other Oscar hopefuls continuing to do well include The Blind Side, which is just shy of exceeding $250 million. Crazy Heart continues to stay in the top ten with another $2.5 million to bring its total to $25.1 million. The Last Station may not be getting a lot of pub, but the Sony Pictures Classics release has picked up 243 new screens, giving it a $1.1 million weekend.

Two other debuts in theaters this weekend were Un Prophete which opened on nine screens and took in $170,000. With it recently being awarded nine Cesar Awards (think of the Oscars only in French), it could pick up some more business if it wins the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars. The other debut was Formosa Betrayed a geo-political thriller with James Van Der Beek as an FBI agent involving the death of a professor that leads him to unravel from international secrets. The film opened at 15 locations and collected $69,000 over the weekend.

And one last note: Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer expanded over the weekend from 4 to 43 screens and earned another $870,000. That’s a +375.4% change from the previous week.

1. Shutter Island – $22.2 million ($75.1 mil.)
2. Cop Out – $18.6 million ($18.6 mil.)
3. The Crazies – $16.5 million ($16.5 mil.)
4. Avatar – $14 million ($707 mil.)
5. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – $9.8 million ($71.2 mil.)
6. Valentine’s Day – $9.5 million ($100 mil.)
7. Dear John – $5 million ($72 mil.)
8. The Wolfman – $4.1 million ($57.2 mil.)
9. Tooth Fairy – $3.5 million ($53.9 mil.)
10. Crazy Heart – $2.5 million ($25.1 mil.)

Credit: Box Office Mojo

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