'Shutter Island' wins weekend box office with $40.2 million

With no other wide releases to challenge it, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island dominated the box office this weekend with a $40.2 million take. That’s a career best for both the director and star Leonardo DiCaprio, neither of whom had scored a sizable hit since their last outing together on The Departed, which opened to $26.9 million in 2006. The victory is especially sweet for studio Paramount, which had to contend with suspicion about the movie’s quality and commercial potential after nixing a slated Oct. 2009 release date last year. (The studio officially blamed the move on marketing expenses.) But the switch also generated curiosity about the project among fans of DiCaprio, Scorsese, and horror pics — all of whom packed theaters this weekend.

Coming in a distant second, Valentine’s Day managed to woo another $17.2 million despite losing plenty of love from audiences, who let the movie drop a steep 69.5 percent from its holiday debut last week. Still, the star-packed rom-com’s lack of legs (figurative, not physical) likely won’t have any effect on Warner Bro’s plans to roll out more holiday-themed extravaganzas in the near future. The weekend’s two other sophomore pics also suffered substantial drops: Percy Jackson (number four, $15.3 million) dipped 51 percent, while Universal’s The Wolfman (number five, $9.8 million) lost 68.7 percent of its audience. Meanwhile, Avatar managed another record-breaking performance in its 10th weekend, dipping just 31.8 percent for a third-place finish with $16.1 million.

The weekend’s only other new release, Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, banked a decent $179k from four theaters thanks to media attention surrounding the director’s continuing legal troubles.

More box office news:
‘Shutter Island’ tops Friday box office with $14 million

Box office preview: Long-awaited ‘Shutter Island’ likely to win the weekend

Box office: ‘Valentine’s Day’ dominates record-breaking weekend

Image Credit: Andrew Cooper

Comments (72 total) Add your comment
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  • 4k4k

    Shutter Island was an awesome movie.

    • ko

      Was Blood Diamond not a hit for DiCaprio? Get your facts straight.

      • Q

        Blood Diamond was NOT a hit. It cost $100 million to produce and only made $57 million domestically.

      • Menchy

        Not really. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but it opened to only 8.6 million, and made only 50ish in its entire run. It wasn’t a flop, but I wouldn’t exactly call that a huge hit, especially because it opened in wide release

      • Lily

        Blood Diamond:
        Budget: $100 million.
        Domestic gross: $57,377,916
        Foreign gross: $114,029,179
        TOTAL: $171,407,179

        Revolutionary Road:
        Budget: $35 million
        Total Gross: $75,225,693

        The only movie Mr. Scorsese made after The Departed was “Shine a Light” a Rolling Stones documentary. I’d say both Leo and Scorsese are doing GREAT.

      • Grady

        Lily, you never sent me the video.

      • Grady

        I think Adam is completely right in saying that Blood Diamond wasn’t a “hit.” It was buzzed about in circles of film buffs during awards season, but Shutter Island is much more a true, mainstream hit. Unlike Blood Diamond, it will actually earn back its budget of $80 million.

      • Ambient Lite

        Grady, I would so blow you.

      • Lynn

        How can Grady say that Blood Diamond did not make its budget back when it grossed over $70 million more than what it cost?

      • @Lynn

        You have to factor in production costs and marketing and so on, too. Also, it’s not enough for a film to “break even” to be considered successful. Most studios aspire to make about twice off a film what they put into it, at all levels.

      • Jared

        the international market is frequently not a concern for some studios because all the profit is not theirs (see how inglourious basterds was broken down; the distributors received NONE of the international gross.
        in any case, blood diamond was a tedious, boring movie.

      • paige

        ambient life! control yourself!!! down girl.. down!

  • Anthony

    love leo… one of my favorite actors!

    nycole valentina – flatline

  • Shane

    I am looking forward to seeing this movie having thought the book was mindbending. If you read the book and have seen the movie, let me know how it lived up to it, esp since I already know the big secret.

    • Jose

      The twist is the same but the ending is different, although you’ll have to think about it to get it.

    • Mike

      The very end–in fact, the movie’s last line–manages to be even more ambiguous than the book’s conclusion, but in a totally good and thought-provoking way.

      • Nick B

        I honestly didn’t think the final line of dialogue was ambiguous at all. I really liked that element. I haven’t read the book, but during the movie, I was pretty much able to see where it was headed. But that final line of dialogue really threw me. I didn’t see that coming, so that was a nice surprise. Did the book not end with that dialogue?

  • Alex

    I really liked this movie. I hope people keep going to see it.

    • ugh

      i really enjoyed it too

  • darclyte

    When I heard that Scorsese and Leonardo were teaming together again I was excited. Then I saw the trailers for this movie. The part where DiCaprio shakingly lifts a cigarette towards his mouth while saying, “…for the criminally insane” when talking about the asylum, it comes across like a skit from SNL. The rest of the trailer had absolutely no appeal. I’ll save my movie money for Alice in Wonderland in 2 weeks.

    • dawnselya

      you’re a fool!

    • thatguy

      it was an awesome movie. don’t judge movies by trailers. theyre made by ad guys

    • Korey

      Well then you are going to miss out on a fantastic film. Don’t judge a movie based on the trailer. I can’t believe I have to explain this to an adult.

    • Kevin

      You’re turned off by Shutter Island because of the trailer, but you’re willing to go see Alice in Wonderland? That might be the worst trailer I’ve ever seen!

    • J

      I was excited to see Shutter Island. Maybe I had seen too many Martin & Leo movies because I had it figured out before the end of the movie. Our group was really disappointed. Acutally most of the theater was shaking their heads. I think the acting, directing, etc was great but when u can figure out the movie before the ending, that is never good. I was even hesitated about going because I thought I would be the one jumping and screaming in the theatre, didn’t have to worry about that. Only one scene was worth jumping about. I’m glad I saw it but can honestly say not adding this one to the dvd collection.

  • Nathan

    A good movie won the box office, haven’t seen that in a couple of weeks.

  • doasis23

    Can’t wait to see this. I’m surprised EW didn’t mention Avatar pulled in another 16.1mil coming in 3rd with an only -31% drop.

    • Bruce

      They did mention it

      • Doasi23

        Probally why I failed reading comprehension in school.

  • jon

    OMG Hurray for Leo! Leon rule!

    And so does Justin Bieber with his new video!
    Justin Bieber ft Ludacris – Baby

  • Patrick

    Why is EW so utterly abysmal?

    Polanski’s film did INCREDIBLY well for only being in 4 theaters, not just “decently.” Look at the per theater average you idiot.

    And as if press over an old STATUTORY RAPE case would inspire people to go *pay money to see* his film? Right. Just how the child molestation charges and the surrounding press increased MJ’s album sales. Oh wait…

    It did well because it’s getting a lot of positive buzz.

    • Amy

      I agree, Patrick. Why would you (Markovitz) suggest the movie did well only because of the director’s scandals? It got a B+ grade from your own magazine’s reviewer, it has terrific actors…what a stupid thing to write.

    • Kelsey

      Thank you! That’s what I thought when I read that — that it was stupid and ignorant to assume that the film only made money because of Polanski’s scandal. The Ghost Writer is getting EXTREMELY good reviews (including from, oh right, EW!), and I’ve also read that it’s Ewan McGregor’s best work in a long time. I can’t wait until it opens wider so I can see it. I don’t really care who directed it, it looks great.

  • Matt

    When I heard there is a twist at the end of the film I made the obvious guess as to what it is. I learned now I don’t need to bother seeing the film.

    • Kevin

      If you only go to movies to find out then ending, then you might as well just read spoilers on the internet and save yourself money. The reason to watch a movie is for the FULL experience, not just to find out what happens. I guessed the ending too, but it doesn’t mean the film’s not worth watching.

    • MiMi

      Matt, I’m guessing 95% of the audience knows the “what” of the twist at the end of the film long before it occurs. The real fun is in the “how” and the “why” of the “what” – and that is NOT revealed in the trailer. Worth seeing. Silly to dismiss it because you think you are too brilliant for it.

  • Darrell

    Wow!!!…unbelievable that Valentines Day dropped nearly 70% from last week…the true meaning of a blockbuster is if the movie can sustain its audience for more than 1 week…and that POS movie can not…it will probably be out of the Top 10 in a couple weeks… and out of 1st run theaters in a month…

    • Patrick

      “the true meaning of a blockbuster is if the movie can sustain its audience for more than 1 week” — LOL. So then the Harry Potter and Transformers films aren’t blockbusters? Give me a break. The studios have knowingly and intentionally made films more and more front-loaded on their own volition. VD is a film that will top $100 million domestically with a total over TWICE it’s production cost. That’s a blockbuster.

  • Matt1

    Too bad for Wolfman. It was good campy, B-movie fun. I guess audiences just don’t appreciate the goal the filmmakers were going for, which is probably why Grindhouse bombed a few years ago (even though Death Proof did kinda suck).

    • Patrick

      Wolfman wasn’t supposed to be campy, B-movie fun. It was supposed to be a serious remake of a serious classic. Hence it being torn apart by critics and not well received by moviegoers. Grindhouse was intentionally a send up of past films and everyone who knew anything about the film knew it. It tanked because the Weinsteins didn’t explain the concept of the film in TV trailers, confusing clueless average moviegoers, and because they didn’t promote it enough to begin with. They thought the internet buzz among genre fans would spill over to the mainstream, thus they didn’t give it a huge marketing campaign. Problem is the genre internet buzz didn’t spill over. It never does. So basically many average film patrons didn’t even know about the film and the ones who did had no idea what it really was.

    • Kevin

      Death Proof was awesome… the last 45 minutes of that movie are the best of ANY Tarantino movie so far.

      • Mo

        Whatever, for those allegedly great 45 minutes you had to sit through one hour that felt like three of mind-numbingly boring story and dialogue. THat movie sucked.

  • Victor Eloy

    of course Darrell, I mean Velentine’s day is absolute garbage, it was such a bad film, of course when you see people like Taylor Swift is on it..what else can you expect? she is not even a singer and now she wants to be an actress? c’mon! she is so out of place, just a mediocre songwriter.
    Anyway it is so obvious this Adam doesnt appreciate Polanski work. aside from Mr Polanski issues with US authorities, no one can denies he is one of the best alive directors. He won the silver bear at the Berlin festival, that movie must be great, anyone remember the pianist?
    anyway good for di Caprio and Scorsese!

    • Phil

      Victor Elroy Please STFU! If you’re not spoiling the Wolfman flick you’re rambling about the greatness of a movie you never even saw in order to praise some director who diddles little girls! Get over yourself! Oh and Darrell, Newsflash… half of the movies released drop over 50% after their first week and are out of the 1st run theaters in under a month. So the Valentine’s Day drop off of 69% is not surprising. The fact that the movie made another 17 million is actually a pretty big deal considering the buzz for the film was not good! So you kinda missed the whole point there, you tard!

  • Victor Eloy

    anyway I do like Emily Blunt performance in the Werewolf, and I had fun watching the film too..but overall it was a bad film, there was something missing. though production was great! but It was so obvious Anthony Hopkins character was the original werewolf who killed his wife his son and then infected Del toro, and the fact Hugo Waeving would end infected too by the end of the film, and that Emily Blunt would killed Del Toro for love.

    • ….

      Wow….what a douche… thanks for the spoiler to that. I’m in line to see that right now…..f*ck you

      • Terri

        I figured it out from the trailer, and I haven’t seen the movie.

    • Korey

      and that Victor, being a total ***hole felt the need to ruin the movie for everyone who has not seen it yet.

    • Allie

      I am going to watch that movie tomorrow dumb***. Please be considerate to the other people who havent watch the film.

  • PhilJ

    I loved the movie. I thought that the dream sequences and flashbacks to the war were great/haunting. That may of been DiCaprio’s best performance to date.

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