New York Still Loves You, Ben

nielsen photo web 5 New York Still Loves You, BenThe Heartbreak Kid (#1), the reunion of Ben Stiller with his There’s Something About Mary cohorts, the Farelly brothers, managed to grab the top spot here in Manhattan, despite being outgrossed nationally by the Rock’s Game Plan (#7)—in its second week, no less—by a $2 millon margin. Kid averaged a respectable $26,000 on 9 theaters. The native son’s success in the city shouldn’t be too much of a surprise—we even lined up to see Duplex.

(And yet, have we been a bit too hard on Game Plan? While it has failed to equal its national success here in the city, it still had the same modest drop—28 percent—here in the city as it did nationally. So many movies this time of year start in limited release here in New York and expand slowly; therefore the Game Plan's success elsewhere may be due to the fact that so few of the Awards-season films have begun to compete nationally. But how much overlap is there really? Are people really choosing between Game Plan and Lust, Caution? I don't think so …)

While our love of Stiller may be unconditional, our love of ourselves knows no bounds—especially when it is reflected in the supreme hotness of George Clooney. Michael Clayton (#4), in which Clooney plays a Big Apple corporate attorney who specializes in “fixing” potentially litigious situations, had a monster debut drawing an $85,000 average on 2 screens.

While both Kingdom (#2) and Darjeeling Limited (#3) slipped a spot, it was Kingdom with the more drastic drop in earnings. Its 46 percent drop, although on par with most summer blockbusters, was the steepest drop in this week’s top 10.

In its fourth week, Eastern Promises (#5) drop 2 spots, while Lust, Caution (#6) rose 2. Focus Features, the Universal offshoot headed by New York City export James Schamus, is distributing both films carefully, slowly rolling them out to build that all important awards-season buzz. Both of these films should be around for a while.

The Jennifer Lopez produced Feel the Noise did just well enough to escape being crowned this week’s Straight-to-Netflix-Queue-Award winner. It’s $13,000 average on 6 theaters means there’s a good chance it’ll crack the top 10 next week as well.

The same cannot be said for The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising. The movie did dismally, failing to even register on Manhattan’s top 10 in its first week. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that Susan Cooper, the series’ author, had nothing to do with the film …

nielsen chart web 7 New York Still Loves You, Ben

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.