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Audiences Ride ZOMBIELAND

Sony's zom-com Zombieland debuts in first.

By Jarrod Sarafin     October 05, 2009

ZOMBIELAND debuts on top(2009).
© Sony Pictures


With early positive buzz building this last month before its release, audiences made clear their choice was to take a ride to Zombieland, Sony Pictures’ zombie infested action-comedy. The film debuted on 3,036 theaters this weekend and found itself eating up $25.0 million in cash, which is the 2nd best opening of all-time in the history of zombie releases behind Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead ($26.7 million). The weekend victory also scores another profitable venture for Sony executives due to the fact that the film has already surpassed its production budget of $23.6 million after just three days of release and has a good shot of winning next weekend’s report as well.
Dropping down to 2nd place after winning the previous two box office races is another Sony production, the animated adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The film racked up another $16.7 million over the weekend, increasing their domestic gross to $82.3 million. They’ve also grabbed another $5.4 million from international markets, which adds up to a worldwide cume of $87.8 million. With the film’s budget set at $100 mil, they should be in good shape to pass it by the middle of October.
Walt Disney and Pixar should also be pleasantly surprised with their 3-D re-releasing double feature, Toy Story and Toy Story 2. After all, these are films which have been on DVD shelves and appearing on television for some years, yet they still took down $12.5 million in the first weekend of its limited engagement. With the double feature appearing on just 1,745 theaters this comes up a very respectable average of $7,163 per showing for families donning the 3-D glasses.
Warner Bros. follows in 4th place with their fantasy-comedy, The Invention of Lying, debuting to the tune of $7.3 million. With the film’s budget being only $18 mil and it only showing on 1,707 theaters in its first three days of release, it can definitely be considered a moderate success for the studio.
It’s very hard to say the same for Buena Vista’s Surrogates. After debuting in 2nd place last weekend, the Bruce Willis vehicle dropped down to 5th place by finding only another $7.3 million. The issue with this film’s financial outlook is the $80 million budget and its lackluster first two reports. At the moment it has only a domestic gross of $26.3 million and it just doesn’t seem to have enough buzz for us to see it overcoming that budget. Where do you think the studio made the mistake with this release? Timing? Buzz? Bad marketing campaign? Sound off below.

$25.0 mil
$25.0 mil
$23.6 mil
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
$16.7 mil
$82.3 mil
Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-D
$12.5 mil
$12.5 mil
The Invention of Lying
$7.3 mil
$7.3 mil
$18.5 mil
$7.3 mil
$26.3 mil
Capitalism: A Love Story
$4.8 mil
$5.2 mil
Whip It
$4.8 mil
$4.8 mil
$4.7 mil
$16.6 mil
The Informant!
$3.8 mil
$26.5 mil
Love Happens
$2.7 mil
$18.9 mil

There’s really nothing going on next weekend beyond Universal Pictures’ comedic release of Couples Retreat. With a decent advertising campaign behind it and a 3,000+ theater count, it has a shot of taking a decent debut next weekend but it seems more likely that Zombieland will be the winner again.
Friday October 9, 2009 Releases
Couples Retreat (3,000+)
Good Hair
From Mexico with Love
The Damned United


Showing items 1 - 10 of 11
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HudsonTaco 10/5/2009 6:21:33 AM

Loved this movie one of the best all year can't decide if I liked Zombieland, Watchmen or Star Trek more, along with District 9 and then Avatar just down the road this turning into one of my favorite years for movies.

wessmith1966 10/5/2009 6:32:52 AM

 Zombieland was fun; not a great movie, just fun. The kids loved seeing the Toy Story movies in 3D. It had been a while since I saw Toy Story and seeing the movies again made me remember why Pixar makes the best movies.

I'm looking forward to Couples Retreat. The funniest parts are probably in the trailers, but the movies should still be good for a laugh or two.

Why is Surrogates floundering? I think it's because the trailers just didn't make the movie seem all that appealing. The movie was pretty good, but it's not a real exciting film. It reminds me a little of when Blade Runner first came out. No, I don't think Surrogates is as good as Blade Runner, but I remember when Blade Runner came out people didn't really know what to make of it. A sci fi noir film was an enigma for people. Maybe Surrogates is suffering from that. People aren't sure what to make of the film. Putting Bruce in the lead isn't a guaranteed draw anymore.

Hobbs 10/5/2009 6:33:52 AM

I know everyone is different but I was turned off by Surrogates because of the PG-13 rating.  An R with the subject matter it had would have sounded more interesting to me rather than trying to make it a kid flick.  Yeah, I know people will come on here and say ratings don't matter but then I'll answer each of those with could Terminator 2 have been a PG-13 rating?  Nuff said.

Zombieland, good to see its success.  I don't plan on seeing it until rental but its always good to see the litle movie that could, do well.  Though I saw more advertising for this movie than I ever had before for a zombie movie.  That might have helped it too.  I look for it to drop big time next week but by time its all said and done it will make a good profit.

Toy storys in, the number those did for a movie everyone already has at home.  That part 3 is going to be a MONSTER hit.

dragon261 10/5/2009 7:00:08 AM

I saw Zombieland this weekend it was FUN, funny, and gross just what you'd expect from an action comedy about Zombies. When it hits DVD the director's cut will have more of the above. And of course since it's making bank there will be an envitable sequal.

Calibur454 10/5/2009 7:28:11 AM

Yea I agree with dragon261 this movie was pure fun and can't wait for the 2 disc (hope it is released this way) director's cut. It was a blast to watch. Unlike most slapstick movies this one had the right balance of everything. from action comedy and grossnes.

Persoanlly I'm looking forward to Youth in Revolt and The Blue Tooth Virgin. The trailers for these two were an absolute joy to see.

As far as horror is concerned I'm waiting for Fear Clinic to show up on Comcast on Demand.

Sherlock holmes, Iron man 2, and the Wolfman round out the rest of the movies I'd like to see this year. At least for now.

hanso 10/5/2009 7:48:16 AM

Correction.  Zombieland was not FUN, it was however fun.  FUN is for movies that cause viewer retardation like the crap directed by Stephen Sommers or Bret Ratner.

Zombieland was pretty good, only thing I didn't like were the rules popping up on screen. 

myklspader 10/5/2009 7:57:30 AM

 Took a chance on “Zombieland” and I thought it paid off (the price of the ticket was paid in my opinion when the surprise cameo star came along). If they do a sequel hope they get a little better with the comedy parts, at times it felt like they were trying to hard to find places to put jokes and such. I also felt when watching it if the producers and writers play this right they could have your not so average plots for these kind of zombie comedies. And a sequel has to have McConaughey in it… I just would like to see Woody and him together on screen, I think they would have a good comedic timing.  

Muenster 10/5/2009 9:22:58 AM

... Guess, I'm just not "hip" anymore. Zombies, vampires, and other undead types juts don't do it for me anymore.

Something that's been bugging me. Back in the 80's when CGI was just starting beginning to be used in movies, (Star Trek II, Tron, Last Starfighter, Great Mouse Detective...) I distinctly remember many a news story and professional speculation of how the use of computers would make animation and special effects cheaper. When I look at the budgets of many mainstream film and television productions utilizing such effects, I can not help but be dismayed. Sure there are cheap CG effects in many films and lower quality animated features and cartoons and it shows.

Well here we are, coming up on 30 years later and most of us carry a cellphone more powerful(in scale) than the most powerful CRAY system in 1984... And yet we see animation costing on par with and even surpassing that of massive live action motion pictures. Worse yet, even the somewhat "lower quality" animation from lesser know production houses can cost upwards of $40,000,000 to $50,000,000. Amazing no?

Computer systems these days do not cost anywhere near what they used to. In fact the very computer I am using right now is actually capable rendering massively intricate and realistic 3D set designs and was built for under $3500. $3500 in 1984 would not have even been enough to bribe the guards at Lawerence Livermore Laboritories to let you gaze upon the magnificence of the computers nuclear scientists and engineers used there. (Parts of TRON were rendered at LL).

If animation really costs as much as is appears to these day, then hand drawn and inked animation may in fact become fiscally feasible once again... But probably not well liked, as the audience demands greater detail, and precision than the humanhand can offer. 

The kids and I really liked the Meatball movie, but I really don't believe for a minute I saw $100,000,000.00 dollars on that screen.

agentkooper 10/5/2009 12:05:48 PM

 Muenster - What gets me isn't that they cost so much to have the effects, it's that some movies do so much with so little (comparatively).  Take District 9.  Not once did the effects pull me out of the movie and they did the whole thing for a small fraction of the cost of Wolverine where the effects sucked.  I'm amazed studios continue to put out $$ like that when the same or better can be done for so much less.

DarthDuck 10/5/2009 12:46:16 PM

I really, really enjoyed Zombieland.  A whole lot of fun and a whole lot of zombies.  I thouhgt at first they were going to be ripping off Mark Brook's Zombie Survival Guide at first, but the rules were all different enough from Brook's guide, so it didn't really matter.

However, Shaun of the Dead still reigns as champion of the Zombie comedy genre.

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