Welcome to the latest round of cinematic justice. We don’t mean the cops - corrupt or otherwise - in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, we mean the fact that Marty is now the king of the box office for a week, which hasn’t happened since 1991’s Cape Fear remake. And with a total of $27 million, DiCaprio, Damon and co will be laughing at Cape Fear as The Departed made more on Saturday alone than the De Niro movie’s entire opening weekend. Will that translate to a certain bushy-browed director taking the stage to accept a golden baldie? Given his luck, we seriously doubt it. But it’s a nice thought.
Slicing through the competition for second place was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which took advantage of the teen crowd who weren’t as likely to watch The Departed. $19 million is a pretty good start for a film arriving with such bad critical reviews as Beginning. Still, compared to the first remake’s 2003 opening of $28 million, it’s hardly a success. The week’s only other new arrival was Employee Of The Month, featuring the comic talents of Dane Cook and Dax Shepard alongside Jessica Simpson as the sex appeal. It made $11.8 million, which is decent if not stellar and put the movie into 4th place.
The rest of the week’s positions were filled by the returns, with Open Season slipping into third place and taking advantage of a dearth of family competition to score a decent second weekend. With just a 32% drop from its opening, it made $16 million. Not holding up as well was the other Ashton Kutcher film from last week, The Guardian. It could only manage $9.6 million this weekend.
Having exhausted its core audience (who, let’s face it are probably now in the hospital after ignoring the warning about not trying the stunts), Jackass Number Two was kicked in the earnings this weekend, making $6.4 million. But it’ll still make more than the first film at the box office and that result that was better than School For Scoundrels, which was hopefully wearing that protective paintballing gear from the trailer as it dropped to seventh place and saw a 60% drop in cash flow from last weekend’s opening.
Lurking in the shallow waters at the lower end of the charts we find Gridiron Gang at eighth with $2.3 million just about fighting off Jet Li’s Fearless with $2.2 million at ninth. And in the ten spot? The Illusionist, somehow conjuring its way to staying in the charts.