'Unstoppable'? Not quite.
For the second straight week, 'Megamind' dominated the box office, earning another estimated $30.1 million this weekend and stopping 'Unstoppable' in its tracks. Still, the Denzel Washington runaway-train thriller debuted in second place with a respectable $23.5 million, according to studio estimates. Fellow newcomers 'Skyline' and 'Morning Glory' underperformed expectations and debuted in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Not that anyone expected 'Unstoppable' to outrace 'Megamind.' After last week's mega-opening of $46.0 million, it could have lost nearly half its business and still have been this weekend's No. 1 movie. But the 3-D toon dropped only 35 percent, thanks in part to strong reviews and word-of-mouth, and in part to its dominating theater count (3,949 screens), not to mention the absence of new competition from other kids' movies. Its two-week total is just shy of $90 million.
If not for 'Megamind,' 'Unstoppable' could have seen an opening like that of Washington's last action movie, 'The Book of Eli,' which booked a $33.3 million debut in January. 'Unstoppable' was playing on 742 fewer screens than 'Megamind,' yet it still nearly tied the toon for per-screen average ($7,328 for 'Unstoppable,' $7,611 for 'Megamind'). That level of support suggests that 'Unstoppable' won't slow down at the box office anytime soon.
'Due Date,' which earned mixed response from audiences, lost more than half its business this weekend, dropping 52 percent to an estimated $15.5 million, good for third place. Still, after last week's $32.7 debut (a mighty figure for an R-rated comedy), it can boast a 10-day total of $59.0 million.
Opening in fourth place was the alien-invasion thriller 'Skyline,' with an estimated $11.7 million. Predictions for this one had run as high as $20 million. but the film's lack of stars, modest production values and poor word-of-mouth apparently alienated potential moviegoers. Nonetheless, it's already grossed more than it cost to make (a reported $10 million), so Universal, which has released a lot of underperforming movies this year (from 'The Wolfman' to 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'), shouldn't feel too disappointed.
Besides, 'Sklyine' did better than 'Morning Glory,' which opened at No. 5 with an estimated $9.6 million weekend. (Add two extra days of earnings from the film's Wednesday opening, and its total is still just $12.2 million.) Despite decent reviews, a dearth of female-targeted competition and the presence of marquee names Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton, 'Morning Glory' was outmuscled by the more macho newcomers. Still, the comedy has positive word-of-mouth and a 10-day window before the similarly female-oriented 'Burlesque' and 'Love and Other Drugs' open, so it could still find an audience.
The full top 10:
1. 'Megamind,' $30.1 million (3,949 screens), $89.8 million total
2. 'Unstoppable,' $23.5 million (3,207), new release
3. 'Due Date,' $15.5 million (3,365), $59.0 million
4. 'Skyline,' $11.7 million (2,880), new release
5. 'Morning Glory,' $9.6 million (2,518), $12.2 million
6. 'For Colored Girls,' $6.8 million (2,127), $30.9 million
7. 'Red,' $5.1 million (2,878), $79.8 million
8. 'Paranormal Activity 2,' $3.1 million (2,403), $82.0 million
9. 'Saw 3D,' $2.8 million (1,976), $43.5 million
10. 'Jackass 3D,' $2.3 million (1,607), $114.7 million
•Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.