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Monday, March 2, 2009

'Madea' holds off 'Jonas Brothers' with $16.5m, Feb. 27-March 1, 2009

Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail held off a strong debut from Disney's Jonas Brothers as well as a huge bump in sales for Fox Searchlight's Oscar juggernaut Slumdog Millionaire, topping the box office for the second straight weekend. Meanwhile, the box office continued its torrid pace for the new year, as the country's economic woes seem to be boosting movie ticket sales (nytimes: "In Downturn, Americans Flock to the Movies"), up another 10% from last year's comparable frame.

With Disney's 3D concert Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience expected to crush the competition, it was Madea who got the last laugh, as Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail topped the box office for the second straight weekend with $16.5 million, or a 60% drop from last weekend. In ten days the Lionsgate hit has grossed an impressive $64.9 million, already becoming Perry's highest grossing movie ever. 2006's Madea's Family Reunion took in $63.3 million domestic. At its current pace, look for Madea to finish with $85 million by the end of its run.

Because of the record-breaking launch of Miley Cyrus' smash hit Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour last February ($31 million debut), Disney had hoped to get even better results from their Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Analysts projected an opening in the $30-40 million range. Instead, the poorly-reviewed 3D film opened well short of that mark with $12.7 million for second place. Regardless of expectations though, the film averaged a strong $9,992 in 1,271 3D theaters. The numbers are an even stronger testament to how incredible last year's Hannah Montana performed, as that G-rated concert opened in virtually half the theaters as Jonas Brothers, while averaging a jaw-dropping $45,561 per theater. Expect a quick exit from the top ten for the sibling trio.

As expected, the biggest beneficiary of last weekend's Oscars was Best Film winner Slumdog Millionaire, which enjoyed a 45% spike in sales thanks to the added buzz as well as an additional 699 theaters. The $15 million Fox Searchlight sensation took in $12.2 million in third, bringing its 16 week cume to an incredible $115.1 million.

Crossing the $100 million mark this weekend was Fox's sleeper hit Taken, which grossed $10 million bringing its five week cume to $107.9 million.

Razzie front-runner Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li debuted in eighth with $4.7 million, as the Fox videogame adaptation failed to shrug off a big fat donut on Rottentomatoes.com (no critic polled by the site gave the film a recommendation rating). The film still managed to eek out $4,093 from 1,136 theaters nationwide.

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