Tonawanda News

Movies

December 7, 2009

'The Blind Side' tops box office in third weekend

Sandra Bullock’s latest movie has taken the industry by surprise.

She stars in the football-inspired drama “The Blind Side” that has become the underdog hit of the season with a $20.4 million weekend and a box-office victory over “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

The Warner Bros. sports tale had been runner-up for the previous two weekends to Summit Entertainment’s vampire romance “New Moon,” which fell to second place with $15.7 million.

Great word-of-mouth from fans has sustained “The Blind Side,” in which Bullock plays a woman whose family adopts homeless teen Michael Oher, now a rookie tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.

“How outstanding is it to have a movie at No. 1 in its third weekend?” said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president for distribution at Warner, who added that the movie so far has done more than double the business he expected. “I don’t know of anybody who ever saw anything this big.”

“New Moon” still is far ahead in total gross with $255.6 million domestically, compared to $129.3 million for “The Blind Side.” Overseas, “New Moon” added $40.7 million to raise its international total to $314.5 million and its worldwide gross to $570.1 million.

“The Blind Side” and “New Moon” fended off a rush of new wide releases that had so-so to abysmal openings.

The nationwide debuts were overshadowed by a huge premiere in limited release for George Clooney’s comedy “Up in the Air,” which took in nearly $1.2 million at just 15 theaters for a whopping average of $79,000 a cinema.

Directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno”), Paramount’s “Up in the Air” has earned great reviews and buzz as a potential Academy Awards front-runner, positioning it for a long run in theaters as it expands nationwide over the next few weeks. Clooney plays a corporate hit man addicted to the frequent-flyer life as he travels the country firing people for downsizing companies.

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