Greetings from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where your Defamer team is currently piled into a Park City youth hostel, blissfully unaware that we'll soon be tortured by international-film-buyers for sport. Your box office numbers:
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop - $33.8 million
Besting everyone's wildest expectations—including our own—is Kevin James's first solo starring vehicle, playing an overweight New Jersey mall cop who must protect his galleria from a rogue gang of Santa's Little Terrorists. In these trying economic times, when Americans are harder up for laughs than ever, there's really no time to start experimenting with things that "might" look funny. Yes—a fat guy on a Segway is pretty much the closest thing any of us have right now to security. Invest.
2. Gran Torino - $22.235 million
Clint Eastwood's crabby-guy-on-the-porch crowd-pleaser dropped just 25% in its second week, besting two strong-tracking newcomers in the process. It seems audiences craving that vintage Eastwood vigilantism will take it any way they can—even if lines like, "Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya, punks?" lose some of their potency when spoken in reference to a bowl of homemade white bean dip brought by a hatchet-burying Clint to a neighborhood pot luck.
3. My Bloody Valentine 3-D - $21.9 million
Finally: a film in which 3-D is used in service of the material—and by that we mean you can practically reach out and grab the bouncing boobs of the clueless teen sluts who are about to get a power-saw plunged through their sternum. (And then you can reach out and grab that!) The movie cost under $15 million to make, meaning Bloody's already in the black—so expect sequels as bad and frequent as the Saw series.
4. Notorious - $21.5 million
Notorious had the best per-screen average—$13,126 —of any film this weekend, and gave Fox Searchlight its biggest opening ever. Said an elated Searchlight rep, "I don't brownnose out of town hoes/I'm up around fo' with the crowbar to the five point oh/I get bagged, I'm John Doe, suspect/You ass like prime roastin, Calvin Klein clothes."
5. Hotel for Dogs - $17.707 million
You know it's a particularly robust weekend at the B.O. when even your dogshit-strewn-Marriott movie wildly outperforms expectations. Congratulations guys: Order up some 4-bone Chihuahua whores to your room, an eight-ball of flea powder, and celebrate!
- January 16–18, 2009 [Box Office Mojo]