''Prom Night'' is box office queen | EW.com

Movies

''Prom Night'' is box office queen

As the overall box office slid further into a slump, the horror remake scared up a decisive weekend win with $22.7 mil, beating Keanu Reeves' ''Street Kings'' and two-time champ ''21''

Brittany Snow, Prom Night

(Suzanne Tenner)

Prom Night was the belle of the ball at the box office this weekend, far outpacing all other new releases and holding off two-time winner 21 to go home with the crown.

The PG-13 rated fright flick grossed $22.7 million, according to Sunday’s estimates. That’s the top take for a straight scary movie (as opposed to the monster flick Cloverfield or the sci-fi action thriller I Am Legend) since Saw IV brought in $31.8 mil on its opening weekend way back in October. Among horror remakes Prom Night fared better than everything since Halloween scared up $26.4 mil in its debut last summer. And it did all of this while drawing a mere B- CinemaScore from an audience that was two-thirds under the age of 25 and a whopping 60 percent female. Which at once explains its great gross this weekend — and portends a steep drop next time around.

Premiering at No. 2 was Keanu ReevesStreet Kings. The gritty urban drama earned $12 mil, a sum that fails to match the $13.6 mil first-weekend take of the star’s last wide opener, 2006’s The Lake House. In fact, considering all of Reeves’ recent major releases, this had the weakest debut since Hardball bowed with a mere $9.4 mil seven years ago.

A handful of holdovers rounded out the top five. Reigning champ 21 fell to third place in its third weekend with $11 mil on a slight 28 percent decline. Also losing little business from a week ago was Nim’s Island (No. 4), which banked $9 mil on a minimal 32 percent falloff. But George Clooney’s Leatherheads (No. 5) got sacked again, dropping 51 percent to bring in just $6.2 mil. (All of these results, mind you, are pretty much in line with my predictions from Friday. Go me!) And the Dennis Quaid-Sarah Jessica Parker indie romance Smart People (No. 7) thought up a good-enough $4.2 mil in 1,106 locations. (Well, okay, that movie did a lot better than I thought it would. Go it!)

Two smaller releases, meanwhile, enjoyed nice premieres. The Visitor, writer/director Tom McCarthy’s well-reviewed followup to The Station Agent, earned a sweet average of $22,096 in four theaters. Also in four venues, the also well-reviewed old-people-singing-punk-songs documentary Young@Heart averaged $13,078.

Overall, however, the cumulative returns were once again off 20 percent from the comparable frame a year ago — the eighth ”down” weekend out of the last nine. What’s more, the year-to-date figure is now down 3 percent from the first 15 weeks of 2007. Now, Hollywood-studio execs may warn against claiming too soon that the sky is falling, but I look back on these figures and then look ahead to a summer relatively lacking in many sequels or major franchise fare…and I’m getting ready to scream ”Henny Penny!”