Big stars and popular genres brought U.S. audiences out in force to the theaters this week. Marley and Me set a record for U.S. movie ticket sales on a Christmas Day. The movie’s PG rating and two comedy stars—Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson attracted audiences in record numbers.
Also opening unexpectedly strongly in the past few days were the Adam Sandler comedy Bedtime Stories; The Strange Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Fincher; and Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Bryan Singer. The one film to underperform was Frank Miller’s The Spirit, as audiences gravitated toward ligther fare with big stars, including Yes Man (Jim Carrey, comedy), Seven Pounds (Will Smith, drama), and The Tale of Despereaux (animated comedy-adventure).
Here are the numbers for the past weekend (courtesy of the-numbers.com):
|1||(new)||Marley & Me||20th Century Fox||Comedy||$36,357,586|
|2||(new)||Bedtime Stories||Buena Vista||Comedy||$27,450,296|
|3||(new)||The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||Paramount Pictures||Drama||$26,853,816|
|5||(1)||Yes Man||Warner Bros.||Comedy||$16,657,046||-8.79%|
|7||(3)||The Tale of Despereaux||Universal||Adventure||$8,932,625||-11.59%|
|8||(4)||The Day the Earth Stood Still||20th Century Fox||Action||$7,697,799||-22.17%|
|12||(5)||Four Christmases||Warner Bros.||Comedy||$4,471,050||-41.94%|
|13||(8)||Slumdog Millionaire||Fox Searchlight||Romantic Comedy||$4,301,870||+40.87%|
|15||(18)||Gran Torino||Warner Bros.||Drama||$2,322,781||
—S. T. Karnick