Talk about best of both worlds, the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which was a huge hit on stage last year, is now a huge hit in theaters, and it led a weekend on which female-skewing movies dominated the box office.
The G-rated musical film grossed a tremendous $29 million in its debut, according to Sunday’s estimates. That total is even higher than some of the loftiest projections for this unusual one-week-only event film, which showed in just 683 digital 3-D theaters (because that’s all the digital 3-D-equipped theaters we’ve got in this great land of ours). Oh, but — surprise, surprise! — Disney has now tweaked its plans and is extending the movie’s limited run past next Friday in some locations. (Think everybody would have rushed out to see HM&MC:BOBWC in record numbers if they thought it would play longer than one week only? Well, probably. But I’m still just asking.)
It’s hard to put this flick in any sort of appropriate context because it is such an unusual beast. Among movies opening in fewer than 1,000 theaters, HM&MC:BOBWC, which averaged a mind-boggling $42,460 per theater, trumped Borat's record bow of $26.5 mil in 837 locations. Uh, verrrry nice! It also scored the best-ever premiere for a concert film (topping The Original Kings of Comedy’s $11.1 mil in 2000). And it certainly enjoyed the biggest opening for a digital 3-D release ever — although, I mean, how many other movies that were exclusively shown in digital 3-D can you name? On a more general level, the film boasted the top opening on a Super Bowl weekend, passing the mark set by When a Stranger Calls, which debuted in 2006 with $21.6 mil. And it also rang up the best Super Bowl-weekend gross period, beating Titanic’s $25.2 mil take a decade ago.
Most impressive of all, Miley Cyrus’ concert movie achieved these amazing feats on a traditionally slow weekend at the box office — and, not surprisingly, it far outpaced the competition. The Jessica Alba horror remake The Eye came in a distant No. 2 with an anticipated $13 mil take. While way better than the $5.9 mil premiere of the actress’ Awake last fall, it’s still less than the $13.7 mil bow of Alba’s Good Luck Chuck a few months earlier. The Eye garnered a poor B- CinemaScore review, so we’re not likely to be talking about it much after this article. (Ditto the week’s other major new releases, which tanked outside the top 10: Eva Longoria Parker’s Over Her Dead Body was, indeed, D.O.A., grossing just $4.6 mil, and the comedy Strange Wilderness fared even worse, banking a mere $3.1 mil.)
Other films for the ladies performed well. 27 Dresses (No. 3) continued to hold on nicely, bringing in $8.4 mil on a modest 37 percent decline (its three-week cumulative gross is $57.1 mil). And Juno (No. 4) added $7.5 mil to raise its blockbuster tally to $110.3 mil.
Meanwhile, male-oriented movies stumbled. Meet the Spartans (No. 5) rounded out the top five with a $7.1 mil haul; Rambo stumbled into sixth place with a $7 mil take on a steep 62 percent decline; and Cloverfield continued its slide down the box office rankings, dropping another 61 percent to earn $4.9 mil at No. 9 (still, the cheapie fright flick’s three-week sum is a hefty $72 mil). See: I wasn’t joking. Guys really do stay home on Super Bowl weekend.
Regardless, HM&MC:BOBWC’s huge haul boosted the overall box office more than 37 percent above the same frame a year ago, making this the seventh consecutive ”up” weekend in a row. What’s more, it was a big contributor to the best-ever cumulative take at the multiplex ($125 mil) on a Super Bowl weekend. And speaking of the big game, now that we’ve gotten all of this movie stuff out of the way… Go Pats!