Friday the 13th promised a high body count. It delivered.
The franchise reboot led a record-setting President's Day weekend box office, with a $45.2 million Friday-Monday take, according to updated studio estimates compiled today by Exhibitor Relations.
Elsewhere, Confessions of a Shopaholic ($17.3 million) settled for a less-fashionable fourth-place debut, while Joaquin Phoenix finished off his movie career on a high note, the David Letterman, gum-chewing thing notwithstanding.
Drilling down into the numbers:
• Friday the 13th is the 12th entry in the hockey-mask-sporting, psycho-killer franchise—and, just like that, the series' biggest-debuting movie. From Friday-Sunday, the movie grossed $40.7 million, besting the $36.4 million posted by the Nightmare on Elm Street-associated Freddy vs. Jason in 2003.
• Friday the 13th made so much money, so fast, it had its $16 million budget covered before the close of business on Friday, when it took in $19.3 million.
• After just four days in theaters, Friday the 13th is not far off from matching the five-weekend haul of My Bloody Valentine ($50.9 million)—and doing so without the gimmick or higher ticket prices of 3-D.
• If Friday the 13th had one weakness, it's that its Sunday business was about $2 million slower than expected.
• No, Confessions of a Shopaholic and The International ($11 million) weren't big shiny hits, but they weren't big deadly bombs, either. They were among eight movies that put up eight-figure grosses from Friday-Monday, and helped Hollywood collect $225 million, thereby blowing away the previous President's Day weekend record of $187 million in 2007, per Exhibitor Relations.
• As a romantic comedy based on a best-seller, Shopaholic ($15.1 million Friday-Sunday) shares a fancy lineage with The Devil Wears Prada ($27.5 million debut), but it most resembles a regular, old Made of Honor ($14.8 million debut).
• Movie attendance is no longer on the uptick. It's on the full-fledged upswing. Through the first seven weekends of this year, ticket sales are running 11.4 percent ahead of 2008, per Exhibitor Relations, while attendance is up nearly 10 percent.
• Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($13.2 million), Hollywood's leading economic stimulus package, hit $112 million overall, and became the first January release to ever cross the $100 million mark, its studio said.
• He's Just Not That Into You ($23.4 million) slipped to second, but saw ticket sales drop less than 30 percent from last weekend. Liam Neeson's Taken ($22.2 million) slipped to third, but saw business drop barely at all—just 8 percent.
• Coraline ($19.1 million) also held well, down just 12 percent from last weekend.
• If any movie that doesn't drop by 50 percent or more holds well, then, yes, The Pink Panther 2 ($10.5 million) held well. (It was down 27 percent.) And thus concludes the good news for the $23.8 million-grossing underperformer.
• The IMAX nature movie Under the Sea boasted the weekend's biggest per-screen avearge, grossing $650,000 at 49 theaters.
• Joaquin Phoenix's and Gwyneth Paltrow's Two Lovers was another star in limited release. The art-house drama made $95,000 overall at just seven theaters.
• Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino ($7.6 million) exited the Top 10 after a five-weekend run (it's been out 10 weekends altogether) and a whopping $128.7 million gross.
• Hotel for Dogs cost a reported $35 million. It made $61.7 million during a four-weekend run in the Top 10.
Here's an updated look at the President's Day weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Monday estimates from Exhibitor Relations: