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Box Office Review: Cynical marketing reigns!

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To no one’s surprise, the awful Resident Evil: Extinction claimed the weekend box office crown, debuting with a surprisingly robust 24 million dollars and spanking the equally vapid Good Luck Chuck ($14M). While discerning patriots were sad to see Paul W.S. Anderson’s “vision” further validated, they were somewhat cheered by the continued deterioration of "comedian" Dane Cook’s film career. Also, failed starlet Jessica Alba is one flop closer to what now seems an inevitable, tasteful appearance in Playboy.

The Brave One showed decent staying power in its second week, taking in 7.4 million and raising its cume to 25.1M. Buoyed by strong word of mouth, 3:10 to Yuma actually increased its theater total substantially this weekend (rare) and added 6.3M to raise its tally to 37.9M. In its first weekend of wide release, David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises finished fifth with 5.7M and now stands at 6.5M. The weekend’s other wide debut, Sydney White was thankfully D.O.A. with a weak 5.3M.

Holdovers reigned after that: Mr. Woodcock (4.9M, 15.7M), Superbad (3.1M, 116.1M), The Bourne Ultimatum (2.7M, 220.1M) and Dragon Wars (2.5M, 8.4M). In limited release, the excellent Into the Wild was a certified smash with a $51,750 theater average (by contrast, Resident Evil was at $8486). The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford also did splendidly ($28,800 per) while The Jane Austen Book Club had a mediocre start ($6440) and will quickly begin to lose theaters.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment