Another addition to the list of big fat flops is Fox's City of Ember, which crashed and burned at number ten (10). I haven't seen it yet, but I'm a big, big fan of Gil Kenan's debut Monster House, and so was rooting for Ember. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone knew that it existed. The football drama The Express doesn't count as a flop, I don't think, since no one expected it to do much better than it did: $4.7 million in sixth place. People just couldn't bring themselves to care about this story again, though the movie isn't bad.
The weekend's hits were exercises in escapist frivolity, which might support one of my hypotheses regarding Body of Lies' failure. Beverly Hills Chihuahua held on to the top spot with $17.5 million, ensuring a sequel. And the low-budget Quarantine took second in a huge victory for Screen Gems -- a $14 million opening for a movie like this is gold.
The full list of estimates after the jump.
1 - Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Disney) - $17.51 ($5,442) - $52.54
2 - Quarantine (Screen Gems) - $14.20 ($5,770) - $14.20
3 - Body of Lies (Warner Bros.) - $13.12 ($4,841) - $13.12
4 - Eagle Eye (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $11.02 ($3,048) - $70.55
5 - Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Sony) - $6.50 ($2,685) - $20.81
6 - The Express (Universal) - $4.73 ($1,685) - $4.73
7 - Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Bros.) - $4.61 ($1,790) - $32.37
8 - Appaloosa (New Line) - $3.34 ($2,589) - $10.89
9 - The Duchess (Paramount Vantage) - $3.32 ($2,752) - $5.62
10 - City of Ember (Fox) - $3.20 ($1,583) - $3.20
Numbers from Box Office Mojo
Next week: Max Payne, The Secret Life of Bees, the teen comedy Sex Drive (which boasted an audience of, oh, 15 people at the public sneak preview I attended last Saturday night in San Francisco), and one of the fall's most intriguing question marks: W. I initially thought that Stone's Bush biopic would do poorly -- are people really in the mood for this during election season? -- but Lionsgate has done a decent job of selling it, and I no longer think its returns will be embarrassing. But we'll see.