Box office report: 'Unknown' tops holiday weekend with $25.6 mil

unknown-1Although some garden gnomes were nipping at its heels, the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown managed to maintain its lead and win the four-day holiday weekend with $25.6 million, according to studio estimates. The PG-13 movie, which was based on the 2003 French novel Out of My Head, confirmed Neeson’s newfound status as a 58-year-old action star. The film’s Friday-to-Sunday tally of $21.8 million fell a bit short of Neeson’s 2009 hit, Taken, which debuted to $24.7 million. But Unknown was produced for a very reasonable $31 million and should hold up well the next few weeks. The Warner Bros. release drew a particularly older crowd, with 89 percent of the audience at least 25 years old, and 54 percent over the age of 50.

Threatening to snatch away Unknown‘s surprise victory was Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet, which posted an opulent four-day result of $24.8 million. The animated musical’s Friday-to-Sunday total of $19.2 million represented a mere 24-percent drop from last weekend, and the film has already accumulated $55.8 million in just 11 days. The G-rated movie is projected to lead today’s box office with $5.6 million, and should it perform much better than that (or if Unknown severely misses its Monday target of $3.9 million), Gnomeo could still wind up winning the holiday weekend.

The film that was supposed to win this weekend, I Am Number Four, limped into third place with a four-day gross of $22.6 million. The $50 million DreamWorks production, which was released by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, fell far short of matching the Presidents’ Day weekend openings of such fantasy/sci-fi films as Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief ($38.7 million) and Jumper ($32.1 million). On the bright side, the PG-13 movie drew a decidedly young crowd (68 percent of the audience was between the ages of 12 and 34), and CinemaScore moviegoers under the age of 25 rated the film an “A-.” But Number Four, which many saw as an attempt to launch another Twilight-esque franchise, didn’t generate the same level of interest from women — only 43 percent of the audience was female.

In fourth was the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Just Go With It, which earned $21.7 million over the extended weekend. Its three-day total of $18.5 million marked a modest 39-percent drop from the prior weekend. That decline is particularly encouraging for Sandler, who usually sees his films plummet around 50 percent on their second weekends. And debuting in fifth place was Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, which collected $19 million in four days. The Martin Lawrence comedy’s three-day total of $16.3 million was easily the series’ worst opening; by comparison, Big Momma’s House started with $25.7 million, and Big Momma’s House 2 brought in $27.7 million. Farewell, Big Grandmomma’s House.

In Oscar news, the front-runner The King’s Speech crossed $100 million on Saturday, joining Toy Story 3, Inception, True Grit, and Black Swan to become the fifth Best Picture nominee to reach that milestone. The British historical drama, which finished in seventh place with $7.9 million, has remained in the top 10 for the past eight weeks. Check back next weekend as Nicolas Cage promises to Drive Angry (in 3-D!), and Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star in the Farrelly brothers’ 10th comedy, Hall Pass.

The following are four-day studio estimates:

1. Unknown — $25.6 mil
2. Gnomeo & Juliet — $24.8 mil
3. I Am Number Four — $22.6 mil
4. Just Go With It — $21.7 mil
5. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son — $19.0 mil

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • Elitism Fighter

      If you hate America so much, Communist, why don’t you get the hell out and go see your buddy Fidel in Havana?

      • wtf

        funny how you call yourself “elitism fighter” and then proceed to rag on this guy by calling him a communist. You need to pay more attention in your political science class.

      • Lee Harvey

        Elitism Fighter has a screw loose.

        Anyway, it’s astounding that over $100 million was spent on these movies. Maybe people do like crap after all.

      • philip freeman

        you sound like you might be about to start shooting people, get some help quick

      • Go see i am number 4

        I am number four was an amazing movie. Everyone should go see it.
        Alex Pettyfer and dianna agron are awesome together and teresa palmer is a bamf i wanna marry her.

      • Michelle

        I Am #4 was HORRIBLE.

        Alex Pettyfer was the worst part about the movie.

    • Tommy Marx

      And other countries don’t? From what I’ve seen, the US has a better percentage of quality entertainment than anywhere else. Judging it by the dregs of winter films is rather moronic.

    • Commie?

      He said America loves crap, that doesn’t make him a communist. America drinks corn syrup, eats hamburgers made out of cow rectum and watches moronic garbage on TV suck as 2 and 1/2 men. Saying america likes crap is simply a true observation, now go eat a sandwich with baconnaise and tell yourself it’s not true.

      • Elitism Fighter

        Must be nice to hate ordinary people who work for a living, Communist. If you don’t like America, why don’t YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF MY AMERICA NOW AND GO SEE YOUR BUDDY FIDEL IN HAVANA?

        Oh yes, Communist–HOW BIG WAS YOUR CELEBRATION ON SEPT. 11, 2001?

      • Michelle

        @Elitism Fighter,
        So now Communist celebrate and are to blame for Sept.11th?


      • HiKettleYou’reBlack

        So who is better than America? The middle east, where 70% have had sex with a family member and 60% have had sex with an animal (look it up)? China, where they eat dogs? Europe, where they spent $150 million on tickets to Jack Black’s latest piece of crap? In the future, maybe learn simple grammar and spelling before telling everyone how stupid and pathetic America is, there Einstein.

      • Will


        I would love to know where you got those statistics from.

    • Woot

      Ugh don’t listen to this commenter. LOL posts “America loves crap” on every box office report.

    • Go see i am number 4

      I am number four was an amazing movie. Everyone should go see it.

      • Tom

        Shut up,stupid….no we wont go see I am number 44 as it is a stupid movie made for stupid idiots like yourself who keep spammin us all with this “go see Iam number 4 b.s.”

    • del taco

      America may love crap.
      But the rest of the world loves something even worse than crap

  • mary

    I wish I am #4 had done better. It has potential, but needs some improvements.

    • Sith Lord J

      The actor who played #4 Reportly Held up filming for more money and has demanded at least 10 Million for each Sequel. Well just like the owner of Sweatshop publishing company that created it those plans are breaking into a Million tiny pieces.

    • Michelle

      I Am #4 definitely needs some improvements.
      Dump Alex Pettyfer as the lead man and it will have improved ten fold.

  • matt

    The Social Network hasn’t grossed $100 million?

    • Dave

      No, not domestically. Worldwide, it has grossed $220 million, but in the U.S., it has made about $97 million.

    • Jose

      Weirdly enough, no.

      It’s sold a lot in DVD and Blu-Ray though.

  • Sue Sylvester

    I know when I travel abroad I always check to see what’s playing at the multi-hut.

  • m1

    I was really disappointed with I Am Number Four. It should’ve been so much better.

  • Chris20906

    Unknown will have you on the edge of your seat hoping for Matt Damon and Julia Stiles to show up.

    • Justin

      You wish. Neeson handled his role splendidly.

    • Tom

      Like Justin siad….wrong answer Chris…Matt Damon wishes he was Liam Neeson

      • Dave

        I’m sure Matt Damon is perfectly happy being Matt Damon.

      • Big Walt

        You mean the most bankable actor in Hollywood? Yeah, I agree with you.

  • Lisa

    People pay for rehashed Jennifer aniston is still amazing….just watch Frieends reruns for free for the same face, same humor, same expressions, same hair, same old same old….

    • Tamar

      I know. Her movies are getting progressively crappier!

  • Sonny

    Never heard of ‘em.

  • Le Japanese HIROSHI

    (Cont.) “However, dollar-to-dollar, it’s another story.”

    – –

    For instance, think one of the good — if not very good — yet slightly overrated film (in the West), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which reportedly has been made but for $M 13 or 14; moreover, while the relatively strong Taiwanese currency might not be as robust as Japanese yen or American dollar, the $M 14 cap – no matter how you look at it – is still impressive.

  • Mya

    Regardless of whether America Loves Crap, five films grossed at or above 20 million dollars this weekend and a sixth, Justin Beiber’s Never Say Never, did about 17 million in its 2nd weekend. But when I look at the box office performances of these same films overseas I realize the world finds these films entertaining, so singling out America is just moronic. The world loves crap would be a more appropriate saying if its something you just have to do everyday like a uncontrollable twitch. Frankly, I don’t know why the self appointed movie experts on these threads come on here everyday to rant about movies they haven’t seen or movies they claim they wouldn’t pay money to see. If it bothers you that much, no one is forcing you to care about the box office performance and making moronic statements isn’t going to make the films less successful, so we can avoid that fantasy world.

    • LOL

      Your post was crap.

      • AltDave

        Your brain is crap, as is every word you’ve posted, troll!

      • LOL

        Dave loves crap.

      • Tom

        LOL is a crap faced crapper. Crap crap crap.

  • larry k

    I liked I Am Number 4,and was hoping for a sequel.But,with these numbers it seems doubtful. Oh well at least No. 4 was no 3 at the boxoffice.

    • Michelle

      Being #3 is nothing to be happy about with its budget and big advertising push.

      It was simply a bad movie and doesn’t deserve a sequel.

    • S.

      I liked I Am Number Four also. I don’t get all the hate. I was entertained.

  • Jose

    Bring on The Adjustment Bureau and Rango!

    March looks SO much better than February.

  • Anonymous

    Not bad for a movie that cost $30 million to make! It’s too bad it’s a rip off of Harrison Ford’s “Frantic” and “The Bourne Identify ” starring Matt Damon!!

    • Big Walt

      It’s based on a book and if it’s faithful to the book I’m astounded any publisher agreed to back it. It is soo blatantly a Bourne Identity rip-off. The movie was entertaining and I would say I liked it but it wasn’t a “good” movie by any means. My willing suspension of disbelief got a good workout. For the greatest assassins in the world they were awfully sloppy.

  • Shh

    I hope the ‘Number 4′ movie doesn’t get a sequel, sucked so much.

  • Kim

    I had to use an expiring movie ticket I got off a groupon deal a few months back. Was going to use it to watch I am Number Four but saw horrible reviews. Didn’t see any other new releases that were worthwhile so I decided to watch The King’s Speech instead. Top notch film.

    • C Men

      Great story. Are you sure you don’t want to tell us what you had for dinner too?

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