I'm also pretty impressed with the $23 million second-place start for the non-event that is The Haunting in Connecticut -- those who've seen it know that it's a low-key, mournful little horror film that barely even merits the "horror" badge. It's the year's second-best start for a horror offering, and it should hold up better than Friday the 13th, which holds the title. Everyone be impressed with Lionsgate's ability to launch a horror flick.
Also, everyone point and laugh at Fox, which vomited the John Cena/Renny Harlin collaboration 12 Rounds onto 2,300 screens and has $5.3 million to show for it. That's about $2 million below 2006's Cena vehicle, The Marine. WWE Films has yet to have even a moderate hit without The Rock in it, and The Rock -- excuse me, Dwayne Johnson -- has long gone his own way.
A bit more, and the full top 10, after the jump.
Glancing at the holdovers, I Love You, Man held up well, Knowing respectably, and Race to Witch Mountain got shellacked by Monster competition. And just below the top 10 we'll find a semi-wide release of one of those niche films that you've never heard of but that unexpectedly pops up near the top of the box office once in a while. It's called The Cross: The Arthur Blessit Story, and it appears to be a doc about an evangelist who carries an enormous cross with him as he travels the world preaching the gospel. It took in just over $300K on 221 screens.
Oh, by the way, apropos of nothing: anyone care to guess what the top two grossers of 2009 to date are? Would you believe Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Taken? And it's not even clear that Monsters vs. Aliens will break #3.
1 - Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks Animation) - $58.20 ($14,181) - $58.20
2 - The Haunting in Connecticut (Lionsgate) - $23.01 ($8,422) - $23.01
3 - Knowing (Summit) - $14.01 ($4,407) - $46.22
4 - I Love You, Man (Dreamworks) - $12.60 ($4,637) - $37.00
5 - Duplicity (Universal) - $7.56 ($2,930) - $25.64
6 - Race to Witch Mountain (Disney) - $5.64 ($1,725) - $53.30
7 - 12 Rounds (Fox) - $5.30 ($2,274) - $5.30
8 - Watchmen (Warner Bros.) - $2.76 ($1,371) - $103.30
9 - Taken (Fox) - $2.70 ($1,377) - $137.07
10 - The Last House on the Left (Universal) - $2.61 - ($1,160) - $28.46
Next week sees Adventureland and the eponymous reboot of the Fast & Furious franchise. The last entry sort of flopped three years ago, dropping 50% off its predecessor, so we'll see what happens.