Moviegoers turned their backs on serious dramas -- particularly those based on current news -- and instead opted for vampires and comedies over the weekend. Although a record eight films opened over the weekend, only one earned more than $10 million -- Sony's vampire flick 30 Days of Night, which made it to the top with an estimated $16 million in ticket sales. In second place was last weekend's champ, Why Did I Get Married? with $12.1 million. In its third week, Disney's The Game Plan placed third with $8.1 million. Of the other new films, the Ben Affleck-directed Gone Baby Gone, which nabbed positive reviews for the actor-turned-director, fared best with $6 million. But Rendition, about a terrorist suspect arrested by the U.S. and sent to a foreign country to be tortured and questioned, grossed only $4.2 million. Commented today's (Monday) Wall Street Journal: "A glut of serious-minded Oscar contenders is crowding theaters with disastrous box-office results." And in an interview with the Associated Press, Paul Dergarabedian, head of Media By Numbers, added: ""Fall is the season of the serious movie, and it seems like audiences in a way are resisting the serious movie right now."
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. 30 Days of Night, $16 million; 2. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, $12.1 million; 3. The Game Plan, $8.1 million; 4. Michael Clayton, $7.1 million; 5. Gone Baby Gone, $6 million; 6. The Comebacks, $5.85 million; 7. We Own the Night, $5.5 million; 8. Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas, $5.1 million; 9. Rendition, $4.2 million; 10. The Heartbreak Kid, $3.9 million.