Audiences reunited with Madea's Family Reunion again.
Tyler Perry's homily about the pistol-packing granny topped the box-office charts for the second straight week, spoiling the debut of Bruce Willis' new crime thriller, 16 Blocks.
Despite dropping 57 percent from its opening, Madea's Family Reunion grossed $12.6 million Friday through Sunday, bringing its current haul to $47.7 million. Not bad for a movie that reportedly cost just $6 million.
The new Willis film, which costars Mos Def, stumbled out of the starting gate with $11.9 million in second place during a dismal weekend at the ticket counter.
While Madea's Family Reunion repeated on top, and Disney's sled dog adventure Eight Below held strong in third place with $10.1 million in its third week ($58.6 million total), there was little to get excited about.
Sony's estrogenized action flick Ultraviolet, in which Milla Jovovich slaughters her foes in a germphobic future, surfaced with just $9.1 million in fourth place, followed by the tween-targeting mermaid movie Aquamarine, which washed in at number five with $7.5 million. (Fox, which released the PG family film starring Sara Paxton as the fishy beauty and Emma Roberts and singer Jo-Jo as her human friends, tried to put a positive spin on the results, claiming Aquamarine measured up to expectations and that the film found its targeted audience: young females and families.)
The weekend's other major newcomer, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, opened in seventh place with $6.2 million, but at considerably fewer theaters than the films ranked about it. The R-rated let's-put-on-a-show film, headed up the no longer no-longer AWOL comedian and featuring performances by Mos Def, Kanye West and a reunited Fugees, averaged $5,179 per screen at just 1,200 sites, second only to Madea's Family Reunion among films in the top 10. The latter managed $5,765 per screen at 2,194 theaters.
"Definitely not a weekend we'd want to see repeated," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. He noted that overall business was down 17 percent from last weekend and off 24 percent from this time last year.
Dergarabedian wasn't ready to blame the Oscars for keeping movie fans away, since business had been pretty solid over the past two Academy Award weekends.
Among the movies competing for the Best Picture Oscar, Brokeback Mountain remained the most visible. The cowboy romance earned $2.5 million in 12th place, up 10 percent from last week, to bring its 12-week gross to $78.9 million. Close behind in 14th place was Capote with $1.6 million, a gain of 50 percent, to bring its 23-week gross to $25.5 million.
In limited release, the big attraction was the big-screen Imax documentary Deep Sea 3-D. The G-rated Warner Bros. release, a very up-close view of the wonders of the ocean depths, swam in with $16,113 per screen at 43 sites for $692,861. Also finding favor was the French foreign film Oscar contender Joyeux Noel, a telling of the brief Christmas night truce on the World War I battlefront. The R-rated Sony Pictures Classics release averaged $7,122 at just six locations for $42,732.
Finally, Fox Searchlight's Russian fantasy/sci-fi import Night Watch gained 76 percent in its third week as it expanded to 158 locations and averaged $2,310 per screen for $360,597, to bring its gross to $773,722.
Here is a rundown of the top 10 films based on final studio figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, $12.6 million
2. 16 Blocks, $11.9 million
3. Eight Below, $10.1 million
4. Ultraviolet, $9.1 million
5. Aquamarine, $7.5 million
6. The Pink Panther, $6.9 million
7. Dave Chappelle's Block Party, $6.2 million
8. Date Movie, $5.1 million
9. Curious George, $4.5 million
10. Firewall, $3.6 million