Immortals exceeded expectations this weekend to claim first place with $32.21 million. The Tarsem Singh directed 3D action film from Relativity Media gave the young distributor its largest opening weekend performance to date. The previous high-water mark for Relativity had been the $18.91 million start of this year's Limitless. Immortals was helped out in a big way this weekend from 66 percent of its total coming from 3D grosses. The film skewed heavily towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and moviegoers under 35 (75 percent).
One potentially troubling aspect of the film's performance this weekend was that it was extremely front-loaded towards Friday. After registering a $14.84 million start on Friday, Immortals was only able to generate an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.17 to 1. That is a very low number, even when taking into account inflation of Friday's grosses in general from Veterans Day. Using 11-11-11 in the film's marketing appears to have been another factor in the early front-loading. Going forward Immortals will hope to start holding up better by serving as a Thanksgiving alternative to Summit's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and the onslaught of family fare about to enter the marketplace.
Internationally, Immortals grossed $38.0 million from 35 foreign territories this weekend. The film's international rights have been pre-sold on a market by market basis, with Universal having rights in nine territories.
It was a close race for second place this weekend, with Sony's Jack and Jill ultimately outpacing Paramount's Puss in Boots by $277,382. The latest Adam Sandler Comedy opened with $25.00 million. On one hand that was a bit higher than the film's lowered expectations, but on the other hand the debut was soft by Sandler's lofty standards for traditional comedies. The opening weekend performance of Jack and Jill was in the same neighborhood as the $24.03 million start of Universal's Tower Heist last weekend, as potential audiences have clearly been split between the two high-profile comedies. Jack and Jill had four-quadrant appeal this weekend, with the film skewing towards female moviegoers (52 percent) and moviegoers 25 and older (57 percent). Sony is hoping that the film will hold up well throughout the holiday season.
While Puss in Boots had to settle for third place this weekend, the film continued to hold up extremely well nonetheless. The computer animated film from DreamWorks Animation grossed $24.73 million, which was down just 25 percent from last weekend. Puss in Boots surpassed the $100 million milestone this weekend and has now grossed $108.04 million in 17 days. That already gives the film a total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.17 to 1. However, Puss in Boots should lose major momentum this coming weekend with Warner's Happy Feet Two entering the marketplace on Friday.
Tower Heist claimed fourth place with $12.77 million. The comedy starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy fell 47 percent from last weekend, which actually represented a respectable hold when factoring in that the film faced competition from all three of this weekend's new releases. Tower Heist has grossed $43.47 million through ten days of release, placing it 26 percent behind the pace of last year's Due Date. Like Immortals, Tower Heist will hope to serve as an alternative to family fare over the Thanksgiving period.
Warner's J. Edgar rounded out the weekend's top five with $11.22 million. The Clint Eastwood directed biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio opened on the lower end of expectations and just below the $12.02 million start of last year's Hereafter. While it generated a solid per-location average of $5,873, J. Edgar clearly played more like an Eastwood directed film than a DiCaprio vehicle this weekend. Further evidence of that is the fact that the film skewed extremely heavily towards older moviegoers, with 60 percent of its audience being over the age of 50. Given mixed word of mouth and poor reviews, it is very possible that going forward J. Edgar will have trouble generating the typically strong holding power of an Eastwood directed film.
Fellow Warner Bros. release A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas placed in sixth with $5.92 million. The 3D comedy sequel fell 54 percent, as the film held up a bit better than the 59 percent second weekend decline of 2008's Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. While Harold & Kumar Christmas will still be very front-loaded in its own right, 3D grosses and the holiday season are helping the film's holding power a bit. The film has grossed $23.24 million in ten days, placing it 8 percent behind the pace of Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
In other box office news, Paramount's Paranormal Activity 3 surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone this weekend. The 24-day total for the film stands at $100.81 million.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.
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