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Weekend box office: "Madea" goes gold

Posted by Ty Burr  February 23, 2009 11:36 AM

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While some of us were gearing up for and watching a little thing called the Oscars, the rest of the country was going to see Tyler Perry: "Madea Goes to Jail" raked in $41 million at 2,000+ theaters for a hefty-sized $20K per-theater-average. That's the biggest opening yet for a Perry movie, proof that audiences like him in general but love him in drag.

"Friday the 13th" quickly sunk beneath the waters of Crystal Lake, with an 81 percent drop in its second week. "Coraline," by contrast, is showing sturdy (if spindly) legs, with its $11 million weekend tally representing a mere 25% decline, even with a drop in its theater count. "Slumdog Millionaire" was added to 610 more venues and saw a 10 percent increase; that number will doubtless climb further thanks to its big win last night.

Overall, business is booming at the multiplexes, with the weekend's total movie grosses up 29% over this time last year, setting a new record for the post-President's Day weekend in the bargain. The conventional wisdom that audiences flock to films during times of economic distress holds steady.

More grosses at Box Office Mojo and from Movie City News' Leonard Klady.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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