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Sunday, October 26, 2008

'High School Musical 3' undercuts 'Saw V' with huge $42m bow, Oct. 24-26, 2008

The box office posted its biggest October weekend in history with a pair of extremely divergent debuts, with Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year posting a monster $42 million, stealing the spotlight from Halloween staple Saw V with $30.4 million. Warner's police drama Pride and Glory finished a distant fifth with $6.3 million.

Families flocked to the theaters for the first ever theatrical release of a High School Musical film, as the Disney sequel debuted with a massive $42 million, averaging an incredibly strong $11,598 in 3,623 theaters. Budgeted at just $11 million, the Disney release posted the third biggest October opening ever, behind only 2003's Scary Movie 3 with $48.1m, and 2004's computer-animated Shark Tale with $47.6m. It was also the biggest bow ever for a musical, beating July's Mamma Mia! with $27.8 million. The third installment of the Disney Channel's imminently popular pre-teen TV movies (and subsequently record breaking album releases), Disney's decision to bring one its most lucrative television properties to the big screen once again paid off handsomely. In February its 3D concert spectacle Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour posted the biggest Superbowl weekend in history with its $31.1 million opening.

Putting up a remarkable $16.9 million in sales on Friday, the film fell an understandable 9% to $15.3 million on Saturday. Reviews from critics were mostly positive, with 66% of critics polled by Rottentomatoes.com giving the film a "fresh" recommendation. Internationally, High School Musical 3 did just as well, posting $40 million in 22 markets, giving the film an incredible global opening of $82 million.

For the first time since 2004, a Saw film didn't top the weekend before Halloween, as Lionsgate's Saw V debuted with $30.4 million for second place. Averaging a very strong $9,965 in 3,060 theaters, the R-rated gore-fest opened in the overall range of its last three predecessors. It also bowed much better than the original Saw, which debuted in October 2004 with $18.2 million.

Mark Wahlberg's actioner Max Payne fell a massive 57% to $7.6 million in its sophomore frame, bringing its ten day haul to $29.7 million. Budgeted at $35 million, the Fox release should finish its domestic run with $45 million.

Despite the record opening of the studio's newest big hit, Disney's comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua continued its strong run at the box office, falling just 40% to $6.9 million. In four weeks, the talking animal flick has grossed $78.1 million.

Debuting weakly in fifth was Ed Norton and Colin Farrell's cop drama Pride & Glory, which took in $6.3 million in 2,585 theaters. Averaging just $2,447 per theater, look for the poorly-reviewed $30 million budgeted Warner pic to make a quick exit from the top ten.

Led by High School Musical 3 and Saw V, which combined to gross $72 million alone, the top ten films earned a whopping $116.4 million, up 43% from last year's comparable frame when Saw IV topped with $31.8 million.

1 comment:

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