Women help ‘The Brave One’ clock ‘3:10' on a slow weekend

Times Staff Writer

This time it was the woman with a gun who took control.

The revenge thriller “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster as a vigilante killer on the streets of New York, knocked the Russell Crowe western “3:10 to Yuma” out of first place at the box office over the weekend, grossing an estimated $14 million in the United States and Canada.

“Women are really responding to the movie even though it has its violent moments,” said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “That’s encouraging, and we positioned the movie at a time when we’ve got room to run.”

Indeed, it was a slow weekend at the box office, with total receipts of about $78 million. That tally was essentially even with the same period in 2006.


Next week’s major wide releases -- the comedy “Good Luck Chuck,” with Dane Cook and Jessica Alba, and the horror thriller “Resident Evil: Extinction” -- are aimed at younger crowds, Fellman said, so “The Brave One” probably would continue to attract adult audiences.

Its opening-weekend attendance was estimated at 55% female and 70% age 30 and up. Older females rated the film highest in exit polls, Fellman said.

Foster is being talked about as a possible awards contender for her role in the film, and a strong box-office run would benefit her chances. “The Brave One” has received generally positive reviews from critics.

Lionsgate Films’ critically acclaimed “3:10 to Yuma,” which dipped only 35% from its opening weekend, was No. 2, followed very closely by the New Line comedy “Mr. Woodcock,” starring Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon. The films grossed about $9 million each. “Mr. Woodcock” could be New Line’s latest box-office dud.


The big-budget South Korean creature feature “Dragon Wars” placed fourth, with an estimated $5.4 million, or a paltry $2,400 per theater, for Freestyle Releasing. The film is already a huge hit in South Korea, however, with about $55 million in ticket sales.

Three specialty releases got off to encouraging starts.

David Cronenberg’s thriller “Eastern Promises,” a top award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival, averaged $37,000 a theater at 15 locations for Universal’s Focus Features.

Despite mixed reviews, Julie Taymor’s musical romance “Across the Universe” averaged $30,000 at 23 locations for Sony Pictures.


And Paul Haggis’ “In the Valley of Elah” averaged about $16,000 at nine locations for Warner Independent Pictures.

The Iraq war-themed drama, starring Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, has earned generally strong reviews, but it will test audience appetites for movies about the Middle East this week, when it widens to 250 locations.

Warner Indie believes it will benefit from offering the first among a batch of films with Mideast themes this fall, including “The Kingdom,” “Rendition” and “Grace Is Gone.”





Plenty of grit


“The Brave One” met expectations and performed best among three major new releases.

The western “3:10 to Yuma” held up well in its second weekend, although its opening was only moderately strong.

Two of the summer’s leggiest films, the comedy “Superbad” and the thriller “The Bourne Ultimatum,” continue to hang tough.

Outside the top 10, David Cronenberg’s critically praised thriller “Eastern Promises” and Julie Taymor’s musical “Across the Universe” started well in limited release, averaging $37,000 and $30,000 per theater, respectively. Paul Haggis’ “In the Valley of Elah” opened respectably in the $16,000 neighborhood but will test appetites for Iraq war-themed films this week, when it expands.


Preliminary results (in millions) in the U.S. and Canada, based on studio projections:

*--* -- Movie 3-day gross Total Weeks -- (studio) (millions) (millions)

1 The Brave One $14.0 $14.0 1 (Warner Bros.)

2 3:10 to Yuma 9.2 28.6 2 (Lionsgate)


3 Mr. Woodcock 9.1 9.1 1 (New Line)

4 Dragon Wars 5.4 5.4 1 (Freestyle)

5 Superbad 5.2 111.3 5 (Sony)

6 Halloween 5.0 51.3 3 (Weinstein/MGM)


7 The Bourne Ultimatum 4.2 216.2 7 (Universal)

8 Balls of Fury 3.3 28.9 3 (Focus/Universal)

9 Rush Hour 3 3.3 133.2 6 (New Line)

10 Mr. Bean’s Holiday 2.7 28.5 4 (Universal) *--*


Industry totals

*--* 3-day gross Change Year-to-date gross Change (in millions) from 2006 (in billions) from 2006 $78.0 +1.2% $7.10 +7.3% *--*

Note: A movie may be shown on more than one screen at each venue.

Source: Media by Numbers


Los Angeles Times