Eastern Promises and Across the Universe Threaten to End Damon Gravy Train

nielsen photo 2 Eastern Promises and Across the Universe Threaten to End Damon Gravy TrainThe Brave One may have made the most money in Manhattan over the quiet weekend, but Eastern Promises and the musical Across the Universe made the most noise.

David Cronenberg’s follow-up to last year’s critical darling A History of Violence (#5) made $81,000 dollars on one screen, and Julie Taymor’s (Frida) troubled production Across the Universe (#2) averaged over $50,000 on 3 screens. Neither film cracked the top-15 grossing movies in the country in their first week of limited release, but both Focus Features, which is releasing Promises, and Sony Pictures, which is releasing Universe, should be heartened by their movies’ early success.

The Jodie Foster vehicle The Brave One (#1) grossed $271,000 in Manhattan at 10 theaters during a cool September weekend both for movies and temperatures. It was a relatively low opening for the Academy-Award winner, but in line with other revenge flicks, like—gasp!Falling Down.

The Billy Bob Thornton comedy Mr. Woodcock (#8) and the Tranformers meets Jurassic Park actioner Dragon Wars (#10)—a sensation in South Korea!—grossed $9 million and $5 million respectively, but could fall off the New York City box office radar as early as next week. 3:10 to Yuma slipped to second in the national rankings and third here.

The Bourne Ultimatum, in its seventh week, found itself in the sixth spot in the city. With very little competition, the Matt Damon starrer has had a surprisingly stubborn hold on the box office, grossing over $215 million.

And while hindsight is 20/20, this raises the small question: Why didn’t Focus Features decide to go larger with the Eastern Promises opening? What was left to compete with the thriller? Stop giving Damon easy money! Luckily, it doesn’t look like Promises is going to fizzle out.

neilsen chartweb Eastern Promises and Across the Universe Threaten to End Damon Gravy Train

Manhattan Weekend Box Office: How moviegoers in the multiplexes of middle America choose to spend their ten-spot is probably a big deal in Hollywood. But here in Manhattan, the hottest movies aren't always the ones making the big bucks nationwide. Using Nielsen numbers for Manhattan theaters alone and comparing them to the performance of the national weekend box office can tell you a lot about our Blue State sensibilities. Or nothing at all! Each Monday afternoon, we will bring you the results.