We knew it couldn’t have lasted for long, and neither, surely, did the Coens. The brothers’ Burn After Reading fell to second place after just two weeks atop Manhattan’s box office charts. The responsible parties: D.J. Caruso’s thriller Eagle Eye—featuring Shia LeBeouf and Michelle Monaghan—which grabbed first place with a $364,098 draw. (The film also topped the nation-wide charts with $29.2 million in sales.) New Yorkers, it seems, prefer intrigue played with a straight face rather than a knowing smirk… this week, anyway.
We’re just glad the Coens didn’t fall to Nights in Rodanthe—certainly one of the most insipid romances in ages, at least since Mel Gibson’s Forever Young (Tagline: "Time waits for no man but true love waits forever"). We don’t know whether to pity Richard Gere and Diane Lane or berate them. Yet, New Yorkers still chucked out $140,303 for this sap, good enough for a third place finish. (Maybe this all has to do with some misplaced nostalgia for summer sun and sandy beaches.) Not surprisingly, the George C. Wolfe picture did slightly better nationally, duping Americans out of $13.5 million for the no. 2 spot. We can think of a thousand better uses for that money, and they all involve “credit” and “crisis.” Anywho…
The New York anomalies this week were Spike Lee’s WWII epic Miracle at St. Anna and, once again, Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Though Lee’s joint placed fourth locally with $103,447 in sales during its opening weekend, it only managed to squeeze into the ninth spot, nationally. And in its seventh week in theaters, Allen continues to dominate New York. Vicky’s sales slipped only 1.34% from last week to $94,226, ensuring the film actually jumped up two places to the fifth spot—its same position two weeks ago.
Yes, we’re tired of Woody, too, but there doesn’t seem much on offer next week to do the guy much damage. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist looks great, but we’re not sure about its bankability, Michael Cera or no. Blindness, an adaption of the José Saramago novel starring Julianne Moore, keeps stumbling over bad press. And while we’re sympathetic to Bill Maher’s taking the piss out of big dumb religion with Religulous, we think the film may be a little too controversial, a little too touchy, even for New Yorkers. As for Beverly Hills Chihuahua… well, we have our doubts.
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.