Box Office Report: 'Wild Things' is king with $32.5 mil

where-wild-things_dlAfter a long and troubled production, Warner Bros.’ Where the Wild Things Are found its supper waiting, and it was hot to the tune of $32.5 million, according to early estimates by Hollywood.com Box Office. The movie was easily the best debut for acclaimed director Spike Jonze, whose two previous films, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, ended their domestic runs at $22.9 million and $22.5 million, respectively. All eyes will be watching to see how much Wild Things, with its reported $80 million budget, drops next weekend. The film earned a relatively solid “B+” grade from CinemaScore moviegoers, but some families may be staying away as the movie jumped only 2 percent from Friday to Saturday.

The violent thriller Law Abiding Citizen, starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, attracted an adult audience and captured second place with $21.3 million. Right behind it was the box-office phenomenon of the season, Paranormal Activity, which scared up $20.2 million from a mere 760 theaters. The cult horror film, which Paramount brilliantly marketed by asking internet users to “demand” the movie to come to their town, grossed a spooky $26,530 per screen. That’s all the more impressive considering Paranormal Activity was produced on a budget of $11,000. The movie is expected to reach 1,800 theaters next weekend.

Fourth place went to the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat, which dropped a respectable 48 percent for a $17.9 million weekend. The thriller The Stepfather, a remake of the 1987 original, debuted in fifth place with $12.3 million. In limited release, Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man expanded to 82 theaters and grossed $860,257 for a hearty $10,491 per-screen average. And New York, I Love You, a collection of short films dedicated to the city, debuted with a decent $372,000 from 119 theaters. One wonders how many Gotham-loving moviegoers skipped the film to watch the Yankees play postseason baseball instead.

Overall, the weekend was up 41 percent from the same frame last year, when Max Payne opened to $17.6 million.

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • beelkay

    “Where the Wild Things Are” was a very good film…I think you have to approach it from a thoughtful standpoint, though. It’s not a “kids’ movie”.

  • DW

    Great to see “Where the Wild Things Are” doing so well. It’s rare that audiences turn a quality film into a blockbuster, so this is a nice surprise.

  • Bob

    the wild things movie dosnt deserve just a b+ it deserves at leaast an a+. you should give more info about thing to and more detailed!!!!!!!!!!! thanks Bob

    • Jason C.

      Bob, what are you talking about? The b+, as stated in the article, comes from those who rated it in exit polls. and what does “you should give more info about thing to and more detailed”, you should give more info on what that statement means!

      Anyway, I wish I could have seen Wild Things, but I had the swine flu this weekend, so maybe next weekend. I’m also hoping Paranormal Activity will be playing here in Green Bay next weekend too.

  • KC

    Pretty decent movie! I’m glad it did great box office.

  • Chumley

    I didn’t see it, so I can’t comment. So why am I here then..??

    • haha

      The story centers on Max (Max Records), a little boy who imagines running away from his family to an island inhabited by giant animal-like creatures with childish personalities.

      Max’s adventure begins after a series of events make it clear that Max feels neglected by his older teenaged sister, Claire (Pepita Emmerichs), and his divorced mother, Connie (Catherine Keener).

      One night, just before dinner, Max throws a tantrum in front of his mother’s boyfriend. Max’s mother tries to restrain him, but Max bites her arm and runs out of the house to a nearby shore where he finds an abandoned sailboat.

      After several days of sailing he reaches an island which is home to large talking beasts (the wild things). Max sees they are in the middle of an argument and approaches them. They consider eating him but he convinces them he’s a great king with magical powers capable of bringing harmony to the group. Upon hearing this they crown Max their king.

      Max first declares a rumpus (a chaotic game of smashing trees and tackling each other). He then orders the construction of an enormous fort. However, another argument arises over the inclusion of two owls, Bob and Terry, in the group. Max’s solution is to organize a dirt fight to relieve tension but one of the wild things, Alexander(voiced by Paul Dano), is physically hurt during the fight, causing yet more arguments.

      Eventually, the truth of Max’s nature comes out: neither is he a king nor does he have magical powers. This upsets one of the wild things, Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini), to the point of violence. Carol even rips another wild thing’s, Douglas, arm off. Max, finally understanding his mother’s position, decides that it is time to leave the island. The group prepares Max’s boat for his return journey and they bid him farewell by howling. He then sails for home.

      Max arrives at his house to find his mother tremendously relieved at his return. The movie ends with Max hungrily devouring his dinner while his mother stares lovingly, and sleepily, at him

  • ET

    There was only one child with parents in our sold-out theater on Saturday night for “Where the Wild Things Are.” It was a fantastic, beautiful, touching movie and I’m glad that adults are discovering it!

  • Cheshire

    haha the stepfather bombed

    • Bobby

      Actually,that was a pretty nice opening for a movie with no real stars and very limited publicity,not to mention a somewhat busy weekend at the theaters.

      • js

        NO PUBLICITY??? Those ads have been running nonstop for weeks. It’s a bomb. A huge bomb. Chesire is right.

      • Bobby

        Well if you think 12.3 million is a bomb for a no name movie then I guess you don’t know that much about movies.

      • t3hdow

        Stepfather is more of a near-miss than an all out dud. At least it’ll make up its not-too-costly production in ticket sales, and it opened with a few hotly anticipated titles, so it’s not a complete failure.

      • Bobby

        That’s exactly what I’m trying to say.It did pretty good all things considered.

      • john

        it proably attratced the Nip/Tuck fans

  • Colin

    I haven’t seen “Where the Wild Things Are” yet, and the reviews I have heard seem to be mostly positive. However, just from seeing previews for it, I have to applaud the costume and art designers for this movie. It just looks fantastic.

  • christine

    me and about 50 other people from school went to see where the wild things are and we all agreed it was really good. I don’t think it was very much of a kids movie because of some parts. It had some funny and emotional parts in the end that I thought was good.

  • Harry Peters

    If I wanted to watch a movie with a bunch of hairy creatures in it, I’d watch 80s porn.

    • bo

      Ha, ha. . . oh, wait. That’s just stupid. And sorta creepy.

    • Ugh

      You posted the same thing on the review page last week, really, get a life.

    • Ugh

      It wasn’t funny then and it still isn’t funny now.

  • jen

    NYILY…shia, orlando bloom, hayden christensen?? 3 of the worst young actors of their generation, no thank you

  • Pslightly Psycho

    Yipee! Finally a movie that DOESN’T suck at #1. AND PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is doing good business too? Are the American people finally getting a clue?

    • t3hdow

      Nah. It’s more like people were waiting for both movies to be released, if anything (and in Paranormal’s case, availability beyond a limited number of theaters).

  • Spider

    Although I haven’t seen it yet, it’s good to see flicks like “Where the Wild Things Are” get the top spot! My hope in humanity is slowly being restored! :)

    • jamie

      i wouldn’t get too excited..for every wild things there is a couples retreat. unfortunatly.

      • Lili

        umm..more like for every “Wild things..” there’s 3 “Couples retreat”…

  • Jenny

    Great movie!

  • Emma

    With the success of this movie, I hope movie producers will making crappy kids movies about talking hamsters and what not. The audience likes good and challenging movies, even the little ones whom we underestimate too much sometimes.

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