01.4.2009 | By Mack Chico |
The box office this weekend brought more of the same, which for Hollywood was a good thing, as the comedy “Marley & Me” and other Christmas films continued strongly. The top five films — and some others down the ladder — kept their positions from last week.
“Marley & Me,” from 20th Century Fox, with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, was the weekend’s top film, with about $24 million in domestic ticket sales and $106.5 million since it opened on Christmas.
It was followed by another comedy, “Bedtime Stories,” from Walt Disney Company, with Adam Sandler. That film took in about $20.3 million over the weekend, for a total of $85 million since opening. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” from Paramount Pictures with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, was third, with about $18.5 million in weekend sales for a $79 million total.
In a similar display of staying power, “Valkyrie” from MGM, with Tom Cruise, remained the No. 4 film for a second weekend. The film took in $14 million, for a total of $60.7 million since opening on Christmas. Its success has laid to rest months of public speculation about whether the audience would accept Mr. Cruise in his role as a German officer who tried to kill Hitler.
Another holdover, the comedy “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey, from Warner Brothers, took in about $13.9 million, for a total of $79.4 million since opening.
A number of the season’s potential Oscar contenders continued to jockey for position in a field packed with movies that have been released to a relatively limited number of theaters.
“Doubt,” from Disney’s Miramax unit, among the more widely played of these, took in about $5 million for the weekend and $18.7 million since opening, to reach No. 8, up from 10th place.
“The Reader,” from the Weinstein Company, took in $1.6 million, as it moved into 398 theaters, and became the weekend’s 17th-ranked film, up from 22nd last week, when it played in a much smaller number of screens. It has total sales of $3.6 million.