Weekend Box Office: Sex Sells, Indy 4 Holds, Strangers Surprises

“Sex and the City” may have dominated the weekend entertainment news, and with good reason — the story of four women’s sexcapades in New York scored $55 in its opening weekend — but the real story should be that “The Strangers” landed at a solid #3 with $20 million, more than doubling its $10 million dollar budget in just its first week. No doubt the fact that all the women crammed into movie theaters for “Sex and the City” helped “The Strangers” to gobble up all the male audience that had already seen “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

A big-screen movie spin-off of a cultish HBO show, “Sex and the City” starred four women with sex on the brains. And shoes. And clothes. And other stuff girls really, really like, apparently. Who knew there would be such an audience for such a ridiculous movie?

Meanwhile, Harrison Ford’s fourth outing as Indiana Jones remained strong at the #2 spot in its second week of release, taking in another solid $46 million, for a 2-week total of $216. I think it’s safe to say that people missed Indiana Jones, and have been waiting for him to come back. Add the $146 million the film has already grossed in overseas markets, and Indy 4 has taken in a whopping $364 million in just two weeks of release.

But the weekend’s big surprise is Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman’s horror-thriller, “The Strangers”, about a couple who are terrorized at their isolated cabin by the three titular strangers. The film, the writing and directorial debut of Bryan Bertino, is supposedly based on a true story, but the filmmakers have never made clear which story they based their movie on. Made for just $10 million, “The Strangers” took in $20 million in its first weekend from just 2467 booked theaters, half as many theaters as those showing Indy 4, and about 800 less than those showing “Sex and the City”.

Here’s a quick look at the weekend’s U.S. Box Office (via):

1 —–Sex and the City —–$55,740,000 —–$55,740,000
2 —–Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull —–$46,000,000—– $216,881,000
3 —–The Strangers —–$20,707,000 —–$20,707,000
4 —–Iron Man —–$14,000,000 —–$276,625,000
5 —–The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian —–$13,016,000 —–$115,674,000
6 —–What Happens in Vegas —–$6,850,000 —–$66,074,000
7 —–Baby Mama —–$2,221,000 —–$56,145,000
8 —–Speed Racer —–$2,140,000 —–$40,558,000
9 —–Made of Honor —–$2,000,000 —–$42,965,000
10 —–Forgetting Sarah Marshall —–$1,044,000 —–$60,471,000

The Strangers