It seems New Yorkers prefer bumbling stoners to crime-fighting superheroes. Pineapple Express opening weekend sales pulled past The Dark Knight for the city’s top spot this weekend — ending Batman’s three consecutive weeks at no. 1. Though with Pineapple‘s $437,719 gross only topping Christopher Nolan’s film by $28,622, the race was mighty close. Nationally, The Dark Knight continued its supremacy, pulling in $26 million for a fourth straight week at no. 1. This weekend’s sales pushed the film’s cumulative gross to $441.5 million. As the Times tells us, if the latest installment in the Batman franchise continues its already record-shattering pace, it could end up just behind Titanic as the second-highest grossing film of all time. The Joker buddying up to Celine Dion; how’s that for Heath Ledger’s posthumous legacy?
How can we account for Manhattan’s betrayal? How could we have shamelessly indulged in Apatowian man-boy escapism in the face of rampant urban crime? Probably nothing more complicated than the fact that Brideshead Revisted, Elegy, and Man on Wire (nos. 7, 8, and 10, respectively), were limited releases — available to New Yorkers, not Middle America. If those films had a wider release, some of those folks who went back to Dark Knight for a second or third helping might have checked out Penelope Cruz in Elegy instead. With less competition at the cineplex it’s simply easy for Batman to dominate nationally.
Outside the occasional attention-diverting limited release or art-house film, though, Manhattanites are happy to see the movies of their countrymen, particularly in the summer. The local and national top-ten lists were similar these past two weeks, and they were again this weekend. The big movies grabbing spots 2 through 5 locally landed in the same spots nationally. These included The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 at no. 4, which earned $111,653 here in the city and $10.7 nation-wide in its opening weekend.
List of theaters: Paris, Zeigfeld, Oprheum, East 85th St., 86th St. East, 84th St., Lincoln Plaza, 62nd and Broadway, Lincoln Square, Magic Johnson, 72nd St East, Cinemas 1, 2 &3rd Ave, 64th and 2nd , Imaginasian, Manhattan Twin, First and 62nd St., Angelika Film Center, Quad, IFC Center, Film Forum, Village East, Village Seven, Cinema Village, Union Square, Essex, Battery Park 11, Sunshine, 34th Street, Empire, E-Walk, Chelsea, 19th Street East, and Kips Bay.
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.