Box office update: 'Unknown' on pace for $26 mil holiday weekend, but 'Gnomeo & Juliet' could challenge for first place

unknown-3Moviegoers are having no problem identifying Unknown, as the Liam Neeson thriller led Saturday’s box office with $8.9 million and is estimated to win at least the Friday-to-Sunday weekend with $21.8 million. The four-day holiday weekend is another matter, but we’ll get to that a bit later. First, Unknown has solidified Neeson’s status as an action star, and the 58-year-old Irish actor is drawing a unique crowd. According to Warner Bros., 89 percent of the film’s audience was at least 25 years old, and an astounding 54 percent were over 50. Throw in the fact that many older moviegoers wait a few weeks before heading to the theater, plus the PG-13 film’s “B+” rating from CinemaScore participants, and Unknown could display some impressive long-distance stamina.

However, despite its current No. 1 position, Unknown may wind up losing the four-day holiday weekend to Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet. The G-rated animated musical nearly doubled its Friday gross with $8.4 million on Saturday, and is estimated to finish the three-day weekend with $19.4 million — a scant 24-percent drop from last weekend. The family film is projected to lead today’s box office, and with kids out of school for Presidents’ Day, it should top Monday’s chart as well. Both Gnomeo and Unknown are on pace for a four-day tally of around $26 million — it could very well be a photo finish.

I Am Number Four, which many thought would be the four-day weekend’s winner, will probably have to settle for third place. The $50 million sci-fi adventure collected an estimated $19.5 million for the three-day weekend, and should finish the holiday frame with a little less than $23 million. The movie’s Friday-to-Saturday jump of 23 percent was the lowest among the top 10, and that’s never an encouraging sign. Unsurprisingly, the PG-13 film was mostly appealing to younger moviegoers, with 68 percent of the audience between the ages of 12 and 34. Its overall CinemaScore was a “B+,” but those under 25 handed Number Four an “A-” grade. Any hope for a sequel rests with those young fans spreading the word and returning to the theater — a lot.

The romantic comedy Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, slid only 40 percent (most Sandler movies fall around 50 percent) for a three-day estimate of $18.2 million. And Martin Lawrence’s third Big Momma movie, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, consumed $17 million during the three-day frame. Add in a Presidents’ Day dessert, and the PG-13 comedy should finish the long weekend with just less than $20 million. Check back here on Monday for the complete box office report.

The following are three-day studio estimates:

1. Unknown — $21.8 mil
2. I Am Number Four — $19.5 mil
3. Gnomeo & Juliet — $19.4 mil
4. Just Go With It — $18.2 mil
5. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son — $17.0 mil

Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • Sue Sylvester

    What’s got cheap written on it in sanskrit?

    • Fred

      First of all, you are NOT funny, person who is copying Sue. Sue is also NOT funny.
      Second, what a fail for ‘I Am Number 4′. I know a lot of people, including myself, thought it would do well with multiple sequels coming out. Now it seems like the franchise is dead. Critics panned it, and now fans don’t want to see it. Shame, could have had potential.
      Last, good for Liam Neeson. He’s proving to be a bankable star. I like when good actors end up on top.

      • ryan

        people always say movies are bombs, but a movie is based off what it makes overseas these days ..not here.

      • HATERS


        1. It’s not Twilight.
        2. Twilight’s audience is broader than a bunch of teenagers that’s why it only made what it did and it won’t make Twilight’s money.

        3. It’s not TWILIGHT!! So stop comparing it to it!! Twilight fans are not blogging, tweeting or talking about #4. We only care about Breaking Dawn which starts filming in Vancouver this week so…Get off our D!cks! (See Rob’s tee shirt)

    • Go se i am number 4

      I am number 4 was an amazing movie. Everyone should go see it. There needs to be a sequel. Alex pettyfer and dianna agron are amazing in it and i think i may be in love with teresa palmer her character #6 is a bamf.

      • John

        I am number four stinks and got crap reviews cause it’s Twilight with aliens
        I heard #2 took a dump on “I am #4″ and #3 was upset he was left out

      • m1

        Really? The film was horrible, boring, and ridiculous. Don’t see it.

      • DS

        I also thought ‘I Am Number Four’ was a good movie. I enjoyed the movie and thought it was entertaining, which last I checked movies were supposed to entertain. It had all kinds of aspects to it, including love story, sci-fi, action, stunts, special effects, and should appeal to a diverse crowd. The concept of aliens on earth has been around much longer than vampires that sparkle so I kind of resent the ‘Twilight’ comparison (if anything, it should be compared to the WB show, Roswell). And, I really don’t think that ‘Twilight’ created the first idea of a ‘different’ kid falling in love with a mere normal human. I find that irritating, in my opinion. I liked the cast and I think that Alex Pettyfer is one to watch out for — he is only 20 after all, I think the camera loves him, and I think he can actually act (RPattz who? and I am actually a fan of RP). Also, if you read the book I definitely think you would like this movie as well. Don’t listen to the critics … GO SEE THE MOVIE!

      • Charles

        I too enjoyed seeing the movie ‘I Am Number 4′. I like action movies, but I don’t know if I want to see ‘Unknown’.

      • Ramury

        This movie was really good. I thought the female lead could have been a little more interesting, but I blame that on the writing not the actress. I hope it gets a sequel.

      • S.

        I also really enjoyed this movie and I’m nearly 40. All around well crafted and good blend of all the different elements (action, comedy, romance, teen angst). The comedic bits were surprising, but then the credits had Marti Noxon as one of the screen writers, so that makes sense (Marti worked on the Buffy TV series).

      • Go see i am number 4

        It is good and it would appeal toa large crowd. Alex Pettyfer and Dianna agron have good chemistry. I want there to be a sequel but if nobody watches it then there wont be.

    • Tom

      Yes, this is definately.. eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww!

    • Cygnus

      I can’t believe Beiber Fever didnt keep his movie high on the tote board LOL. Media loves him, most others don’t. Overrated, overblown.

    • Trisha

      Fallin” should be Annistons Theme song for her movies………even with Adam in it her movies do not do that well

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • John

      You mean crap like “I am Number 3…at the box office”…lol

      • Jason

        Umm it’s number 2…

      • Kris

        But it’s projected to finish at Number 3.

    • pockets

      That’s why Bieber is such a hit, wait til his balls drop and he starts to sound like a man…LOL

    • ryan

      that goes for you lol

  • Tamar

    Number 4 lands in number 2!

  • jason

    People watch bad movies..

  • del taco

    Unknown is a solid twisty suspenser. Older folks went to this movie, while younger people stayed home to watch Blake Griffin jump over a car.

    • Ryan

      I am a younger person who saw Unknown at a screening and, I’m sorry, but it was AWFUL. The writing was painfully bad.

  • Liz Lemon

    I haven’t been to the movies since November…and now I know why. Seriously, where are all the good films? All of these films suck according to Rotten Tomatoes:
    1. Unknown — 56%
    2. I Am Number Four — 27%
    3. Gnomeo & Juliet — 53%
    4. Just Go With It — 18%
    5. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son — 8%

    • Jose

      You haven’t been to the movies since November?

      You missed out on Blue Valentine, Black Swan, Harry Potter, and True Grit. Their Rotten Tomatoes scores are excellent.

      • Liz Lemon

        Harry Potter is the movie I saw in November. I’ve seen Blue Valentine, Black Swan, True Grit, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, and all the award films…just not in the theater.

    • ryan

      I hate you lemon! You never have anything to say that a normal person would. You give no substance to this site!Oh and Im sure Weinstein is loving that you didnt see their movie that has not made 10 million yet~!

      • Liz Lemon

        Gee. Thanks. lol. I did see The King’s Speech just not in the theaters.

      • Jose

        Pretty sure Ryan was talking about Blue Valentine.

        Which in my opinion deserved more attention than King’s Speech.

    • HATERS

      Liz if you live your life by watching movies according to Rotten Tomatoes, this is exactly why you haven’t been to the movies since November….idiots.

      Since you don’t know it by now, let me give you a hint…Rotten Tomatoes sucks!!! The majority of the movie critics on there are regular people who never went to film school or studied anything in film or journalism. They’re just bloggers or assigned the “entertainment” desk by their media entities. When you read their credentials, they know absolutely nothing about the movies or how films are made.

      It’s their personal opinions. So keep living by Rotten Tomatoes and stay home LOL!

  • Source

    I used to like Liam 10 years ago. Now he just looks so old to me. His wife’s death is taking a visible toll on him. I saw the Number Four movie. It was really good.

    • Clarke


    • pockets

      You missed an excellent movie then,his acting is as usual, terrific. Your loss.

    • Jose

      I think he still looks hot.

      • Kris

        He’s incredibly sexy. Unlike pretty boy teen heartthrobs who look like they’re 12, Liam actually looks like a MAN.

      • Flip

        Gross, Kris. Give me a sexy little teen heartthrob over a wrinkly old man any day!

    • Ian

      You don’t like him because he looks his age? Are you seriously this big of an idiot? No wonder there’s so much crap at the top of the box office lists so often. The studios cater to morons. I think you need to just stay indoors from now on.

      • Maria

        @Ian…I must say, you just made my day; haven’t a good laugh, like this in a very long time. Believe me, I needed it.

  • tomm

    You can’t expect acotrs to look the same foreer. And I’m sure you look older than you did 10 years ago.

  • fbdbpw

    Gotta say i came in with very, very low expectations for i am number 4 and was somewhat pleasantly surprised. Not a great film by any means, but not terrible either. Pettyfer and aggron were ok, nothing outstanding. I’d give it a two and a half out of four and say rent it on dvd instead of catching it in theaters right away. Would have been a whole lot better if the villain hadnt been so awful. Bad case of overacting, but then again i didnt read the book so maybe thats how it was supposed to be. just my opinion

  • Anna

    Well box office numbers for the weekend are not what they used to be. But, the numbers are okay for all the movies.

    I will like to see what happens next weekend for them.

  • frodo198912/2

    Neeson’s hit Taken stunned Hollywood which debuted the film in January since the decision makers in town were certain the film was barely worthy of release. Instead viewers recognized an instant classic action pic with a visceral story line. No surprise that Neeson delivers the goods again with Unknown.

    • sabrina W

      i know, i didnt think much of taken either, until i saw it and was raving at how good it was afterward, spend days recommending it to anyone who’d listen! ,so will def check out “unknown” this week!

  • Cathy

    Saw Unknown yesterday and it was a solid movie. Great twists and turns, not predictable. Feel it was well worth the $$ for the ticket. Highly recommend!

    • Ryan

      I was invited to a free screening of Unknown and we still almost walked out. It was laughably terrible… awful writing… I’m really shocked people enjoyed it, to be honest.

  • Mr.Davidson

    Had to walk out on 4,I would give it a Zero worse than the worst B film. Unknown is good until you realize he’s a suspect in several murders yet continues to traipse around the boulevardes like a movie star.

    • DS

      Had to walk out on 4?? I find it incredibly unbelievable that someone would think the movie was that bad to actually walk out. If this is a movie that you would dub worse than the worst B film then I am questioning how much you get out. I have seen OH SO MANY other movies that are far worse that ‘I Am Number Four’ could ever be. Wow.

      Please don’t listen to Mr. Davidson – that is just not accurate. If people can’t find something to enjoy about IANF then I am not sure they know how to enjoy anything in life. Go see the movie!

      • S.

        ha ha – great response DS.

  • I’m Confused

    Has Davidson just given away spoilers on Unknown? If yes, his comment should be deleted.

  • Bubba Hotep

    This is my boomstick!

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