Leonardo DiCaprio? Russell Crowe? Nope.
If you wanted a movie star that turned on—and turned out—the young audience this weekend, then your best option wasn't DiCaprio or Crowe, or their A-list-credentialed Body of Lies.
"I think they went for Quarantine, obviously," Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock said today.
The $12 million horror movie "starring" a team of TV actors, led by Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, trumped the $100 million, Ridley Scott-directed political thriller, $14.2 million to $13.1 million, per studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations.
And that wasn't the worst of it for Body of Lies.
The DiCaprio-Crowe movie didn't finish second at the box office. It finished third, lorded over by both Quarantine and, um, Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($17.5 million; $52.5 million overall), which scored its second straight No. 1 weekend finish.
"Talk about a paradigm shift," Bock said.
For DiCaprio, Body of Lies was his latest underperforming thriller, after 2006's Blood Diamond.
"Look for Leo to jump into tights pretty soon," Bock said. "I think he's next in line to jump into a superhero costume."
Other box office highlights:
- After two weekends, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist ($6.5 million; $20.8 million overall) doesn't look like it'll make Juno money. But the Michael Cera comedy only cost $12 million to produce, and as a result, Bock joked, distributor Sony has "emo money coming out of its ears."
- The disastrous debut of the fantasy film City of Ember ($3.2 million) could be likened to that of The Golden Compass, except The Golden Compass opened with way more money ($25.8 million).
- Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla rocked in limited release, grossing $141,000 at seven theaters for the highest per-theater average of any weekend movie.
- Grubby Anne Hathaway continued to do the trick for Rachel Getting Married, which stayed hot, grossing $464,336 from 27 theaters.
- The new football movie The Express ($4.7 million) got clotheslined. Even George Clooney's own non-hit gridiron movie, Leatherheads, opened with $12.7 million last spring.
- The Billy Graham biopic, Billy: The Early Years, which managed less than $200,000 at 282 theaters, made the remarkable run of fellow Christian-courting movie Fireproof ($3.2 million; $16.9 million overall) look all the more remarkable.
- Flash of Genius, Blindness and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People died last weekend, but, sadly, lingered, each grossing less than $800 per theater in inexplicable wide release. Take Flash of Genius out of that sentence, and the two remaining films made less than $300 per theater.
- Wall Street was down; Hollywood was up, with the top movies selling about $3.7 million more tickets compared to the same weekend last year.
Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
- Beverly Hills Chihuahua, $17.5 million
- Quarantine, $14.2 million
- Body of Lies, $13.1 million
- Eagle Eye, $11.1 million
- Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, $6.5 million
- The Express, $4.7 million
- Nights in Rodanthe, $4.6 million
- Appaloosa, $3.34 million
- The Duchess, $3.32 million
- City of Ember, $3.2 million