Weekend Box Office: ‘Town’ Towers

Ben Affleck’s Boston-set crime drama ‘The Town’ took the top spot at the weekend box office with a cool $23.6 million. For a movie about bank robbers (which, no, I still haven’t seen yet), it carried off a pretty solid haul. I don’t think that even Warner Bros, which marketed the film as a prestige piece of pulp along the lines of ‘The Departed,’ imagined that it would take the top spot. For full details on the rest of the Top 10, read on!

The studios unleashed a slew of new movies this weekend, most of them medium-budget commercial fare. The results, predictably, were mixed.

In second place was the teen sex comedy ‘Easy A,’ which pulled down $18.3 million. From what I understand, the movie isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it seems to be pretty smart. I wonder how much it’ll drop next week when ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,’ a sequel that everyone seems to be talking about, will open with a heartthrob like Shia LaBeouf as one of the leads. (Guesses: big.)

Speaking of things that will take a huge tumble next weekend, the M. Night Shyamalan-produced fright flick ‘Devil‘ – aided too by its welcoming PG-13 rating – came in at #3 with $12.7 million. I saw the movie over the weekend. While I liked it to a certain extent, there’s nothing about it that would grab anyone’s attention, save maybe Tak Fujimoto’s gorgeous photography. (Yes, I know how nerdy that sounds.) The movie lacks solid thrills, and its neutered rating means that even the more shocking elements are trimmed down to a level that barely registers.

Resident Evil: Afterlife,’ the 3-D zombie flick I walked out of, took a staggering 71% tumble from last weekend. It wound up at #4 with another $10 million. Please god, let this be the end of it.

The last new member to the weekend roller derby, ‘Alpha & Omega,’ a boring-looking and cheaply animated 3-D kids’ movie, arrived at #5 with $9 million. All across the country, parents were being tortured, and no one was doing a thing about it. That’s just sad.

Other than the new movies, and the notable tumble of ‘Resident Evil’ in week two, there’s not much to report about this weekend’s box office. However, I would once again like to goggle at how steadfastly ‘Inception‘ continues to kick ass. It came in at #9 in the weekend’s Top 10, besting much the much newer, seemingly broader ‘Eat Pray Love‘ (#10, $1.7 million). ‘Inception’ could pass the $300 million mark by the time it leaves theaters. That’s kind of staggering for an original, weird movie that everyone thought would be too cerebral for average audiences. Well, thank you for proving that wisdom wrong, Mr. Nolan! Now please get to work on ‘Batman 3.’

The Top 10:

01 ‘The Town’ (Warner Bros) – $23.6 million

02 ‘Easy A’ (Sony) – $18.3 million

03 ‘Devil’ (Universal) – $12.7 million

04 ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ (Sony) – $10 million

05 ‘Alpha & Omega’ (Lionsgate) – $9 million

06 ‘Takers’ (Sony) – $3 million

07 ‘The American’ (Focus) – $2.8 million

08 ‘The Other Guys’ (Sony) – $2 million

09 ‘Inception’ (Warner Bros) – $1.9 million

10 ‘Eat Pray Love’ (Sony) – $1.7 million

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