Bee Movie and American Gangster flipped top spots at the box office in their sophomore weekly engagements, pulling in $25.5 and $24 million, respectively. Still, those returns were more than enough to hold off the week’s newcomers, which included Fred Claus — the biggest debut, at $18.5 million, on just over 3,600 screens — and fourth-place finisher Lions for Lambs, which grossed $6.7 million at 2,200 theaters. The other wide release, P2, saw Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols’ cleavage pull in just over $2 million, good for ninth place over the weekend.
Steve Carell’s Dan in Real Life added just over $6 million to its theatrical gate, good for fifth place. Saw IV tumbled 52 percent in its third week of release, pulling in $4.9 million to raise its total to $58 million and change. The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by The Rock’s family hit, The Game Plan ($2.5 million, $85.5 million total), the vampire horror flick 30 Days of Night ($2.1 million, $37.4 million total), the aforementioned P2, and John Cusack’s The Martian Child, which grossed $1.8 million in its second week of release.
In other studio releases of note, eschewing commas isn’t helping Gone Baby Gone at the box office; despite its literary pedigree, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, which I assay in talking head fashion here, has pulled in just over $17 million in over a month of release. George Clooney’s Michael Clayton is doing better; it added $1.7 million to its haul over the weekend, and now stands at $35.7 million domestically for its six-week duration. Sean Penn’s Into the Wild has grossed $12.5 million in eight weeks of somewhat limited release; writer-director James Gray’s We Own the Night, meanwhile, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, has grossed $28.5 million in five weeks of release.