There were no big surprises at the box office this weekend. To officially ring in the fall, it was the first weekend since April when no film debuted to more than $20 million. The best opener was the tolerably-reviewed Anna Faris vehicle The House Bunny, with $15.1 million. Interchangeable Jason Statham Movie, a.k.a. Death Race, followed with an estimated $12.3 million -- among Statham's weakest showings and the worst ever for director Paul W.S. Anderson (not counting the indie Shopping, which played on one screen).

Neither The House Bunny nor Death Race could dethrone Tropic Thunder, which held up fairly well to stay on top with a $16.1 million second weekend. It looks to have better legs than Pineapple Express, and should pass that film before all is said and done. In other holdover developments: The Dark Knight fell to fourth, but should reach $500 million by next weekend; Star Wars: The Clone Wars fell an unsurprising 60%+, and will top out around $35 million -- still not bad for a cartoon, I think.

Two more wide release debuts fared poorly. The Longshots -- the Ice Cube/Keke Palmer football drama directed by Fred Durst -- made a predictably tepid $4.3 million bow. But boy was I ever wrong about The Rocker, which was heavily advertised and promo-screened, but landed out of the top 10 with $2.8 million and an under-$1000 per-screen average. Color me surprised -- it's a decent flick, too. I guess Rainn Wilson not only can't open a movie, but affirmatively turns people off.

Hamlet 2 opened on 100 screens before going wide next weekend. Its $435,000 gross -- around $4,200 per screen -- isn't terrible, but doesn't inspire confidence for the expansion.

The full estimates after the jump.


1 - Tropic Thunder (Paramount) - $16.10 ($4,803) - $65.67
2 - The House Bunny (Columbia) - $15.10 ($5,563) - $15.10
3 - Death Race (Universal) - $12.29 ($4,855) - $12.29
4 - The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) - $10.31 ($3,257) - $489.18
5 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros.) - $5.66 ($1,639) - $25.00
6 - Pineapple Express (Columbia) - $5.60 ($2,137) - $73.93
7 - Mirrors (Fox) - $4.88 ($1,829) - $20.08
8 - The Longshots (MGM) - $4.30 ($2,060) - $4.30
9 - Mamma Mia! (Universal) - $4.30 ($1,849) - $124.46
10 - The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Universal) - $4.10 ($1,680) - $93.81

Numbers from Box Office Mojo.

Next weekend is busy, with Babylon A.D., Disaster Movie, College, and the basically unmarketed Don Cheadle movie Traitor all debuting in wide release, as well as Hamlet 2 expanding. I misread this weekend badly, but an unspectacular Babylon A.D. win seems like a smart bet for the next one. On the other hand, I don't want to underestimate the masses' willingness to be suckered into Disaster Movie.