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Weekend Box Office: 'Nightmare' scenario

Posted by Ty Burr  May 3, 2010 08:53 AM

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nightmare-on-elm.jpgApparently the only thing anyone wanted to do on Friday night was see the new "A Nightmare on Elm Street": Just under half of the horror remake's weekend haul of $32.2 million came from Friday night showings. Which means A) this franchise has exactly the kind of brand clout for which a studio executive would happily sell his soul to Satan, and B) the Warner Bros. marketing department effectively got the word out to the core horror/jaded teen audience. As post-millennium slasher remakes go, "Nightmare" had a stronger opening weekend than Rob Zombie's 2007 "Halloween" ($26 million) but made less than last February's "Friday the 13th" relaunch ($40.5 million). Was the movie any good? A secondary consideration, although many reviewers accepted it/dismissed it as proficient chum for the masses. Points to Jackie Earle Haley, though, for consolidating his comeback as the creepiest character actor of his generation, even if he'll always be Kelly Leak and Moocher to me.

The rest of the box office wasn't so hot, with the only other major new entry, "Furry Vengeance," earning a pitiful $6.2 million thanks to a combination of withering reviews and audience indifference. JLo preggers comedy "The Back-Up Plan" is more or less toast its second week out with $7.2 million, but "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Date Night" are each holding nice and steady in their sixth and fourth weeks respectively. With its total grosses nearing the $200 million mark, "Dragon" has been a stealth smash, proving that craftsmanship still counts and that the words "3D family movie" don't automatically mean a crass, sold-out grab for your money. Yet.

Among limited releases, "Please Give" hit the NYC/LA art-houses with a bang -- a $25.6K per-theater-average at 5 theaters -- due to glowing reviews and upscale-audience goodwill left over from director Nicole Holofcener's earlier urban comedies "Walking and Talking" and "Lovely & Amazing". The movie comes to Boston this Friday.

Also arriving on Friday will be the opening gun of the summer season, "Iron Man 2," which opened on the rest of the planet this past weekend and which raked in over $100 million in 53 countries. Why do those folks get to see it and we don't? Because those folks care about the World Cup and we don't; Paramount wanted to give the movie a head start in foreign territories given the onset of the games on June 11.

More box office numbers and spin from Box Office Mojo and 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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