Commercially, The Social Network seemed like a dicey prospect: Facebook may be deeply woven into fabric of our everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean a relentlessly talky account of its creation—centered on petty, contentious players and built around a series of conference-room depositions—was guaranteed to set the world on fire. But a brilliant ad campaign, followed by the strongest reviews of any movie this year, helped push The Social Network to #1 at the box office its opening weekend, with a relatively strong $22 million. With good word-of-mouth and certain awards-season prospects, the film should have plenty of staying power, too. The news wasn’t as good for Let Me In, the ill-fated American remake of the Swedish cult vampire movie Let The Right One In. Pitched as a darker, moodier alternative/supplement to Twilight mania, the film got some acclaim for preserving the look and tone of the Swedish version, but it only scared up $5.3 million, opening all the way back in 8th. Faring just $50,000 better was the long-delayed, not-screened-for-critics horror dud Code 39 at $5.35 million for 7th.
There were casualties galore in limited circles, too. The retro-slasher film Hatchet II brought in just $912 per screen on 68 screens, prompting director Adam Green to complain on Twitter: “What a weekend! Theaters threatened with fines, prints pulled, cops at doors, fans carded and hassled- all for a fun unrated slasher flick.” Given the film’s kinder-than-usual reception, a DVD following seems inevitable. Also performing poorly: Freakonomics, the mega-documentary adaptation of the bestselling book, featuring segments by such doc luminaries as Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room), and Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight). Made at considerable expense for a documentary ($2.9 million), the film took a mere $1,950 per screen on 17 screens for an anemic $33,000 total.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.
Submit your Newswire tips here.