Manhattan Box Office: Bruce, Not Rats, Rule the City

Look who’s grossing now! Live Free or Die Hard out-muscled Ratatouille for the top spot in Manhattan, despite playing at two fewer theaters.

How many career resurrections can one actor have? The slow beating heart of Bruce Willis’career received another defibrillating shock this weekend when Live Free or Die Hard grossed $48 million in 5 days. It’s common knowledge that New Yorkers love the bald star. (See Perfect Strangers.) The film averaged $49,000 on Manhattan screens over the weekend.

Hey, it’s a rat! And it can cook! Ratatouille will do little to stem the tide of negative press the rat population has gotten in the last couple of months—what with their love of fried chicken—but it will certainly add a couple of zeros to the end of Disney’s bottom line before the year’s out. Few New Yorkers, who pay a premium for novelty, would want a rat in the kitchen, even if it could cook a perfect soufflé. Perhaps that’s why we didn’t show up in the same droves that other Americans did, but they ate up plenty of the Pixar entry, which averaged $40,000 at 12 theaters. Remy—the rat from the cartoon—has joined Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Templeton from Charlotte’s Web as top three most favorite rats. C’est Magnifique!

Sicko jumped to the third spot in Manhattan. It expanded to over 500 theaters nation-wide and its take—it grossed $4.5 million overall and averaged over $20,000 in New York City—is looking more Bowling for Columbine than Fahrenheit 9/11. But that’s OK by Messrs. Weinstein.

The Straight to Netflix Queue Award sadly goes to Evening. It had everything—a great cast, a great director, a heart rending story—but an audience. Our lot did their best to keep this one afloat, averaging $14,000 at 6 theaters, but it looks like the rest of the country wouldn’t know it if this one slipped into the night.

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.

  Manhattan Box Office: Bruce, Not Rats, Rule the City