Manhattan Weekend Box Office: Smart People? Demographic Doppelgangers Devour Holdovers

There was a clear division over the weekend between the haves and the have nots—as in those movies that had an audience and those that did not. Each of the top four movies in Manhattan averaged near or over $20,000, while every other movie in the top ten, except for The Visitor (no. 7)—which averaged $23,500 at two theaters—averaged below $6,000.

The dichotomy can be explained in part by the overlapping genre fare. Prom Night (no. 3), which grossed over $185,000 in the city, sucked the life out of the The Ruins (no. 5), which saw its fortunes take a precipitous 67.7 percent decline. Meanwhile, Street Kings (no. 1), starring Keanu Reeves as a detective who is implicated in the murder of a fellow police officer, appears to have delivered the death blow to the slick heist flick, The Bank Job (no. 8), with its $286,250 gross at 10 theaters; and Smart People (no. 2) with a bearded Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Ellen Page, took the air out of Leatherheads (no. 6), which had stumbled out of the gate. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! And with the way the box office is slumping versus the same period last year, everybody loses!

The one bright spot is the success of Street Kings, Smart People and The Visitor, in the city. The remake of the ‘80’s slasher movie, Prom Night, handily won the top prize at the national box office. Here in the city, the smaller—and dare I say smarter—movies shown brightest, accounting for horror film’s third place finish.

21 (no. 4) continued its remarkable run. Its 36 percent decline in its third week was second only to Nim’s Island (no. 9), which only declined 33 percent. Whoopty-do.

When is summer going to get here already?

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.

Manhattan Weekend Box Office: Smart People? Demographic Doppelgangers Devour Holdovers