Box Office Report

Touchdown!

Joshua Rich's weekend wrap-up: Marky Mark is back in play with ''Invincible,'' ''Little Miss Sunshine'' holds on tight, and frat boys come in small numbers to cheer on ''Beerfest''

Mark Wahlberg, Invincible (Movie - 2006) | SCORE Mark Wahlberg scores at the box office
SCORE Mark Wahlberg scores at the box office

The fact-based football flick Invincible, starring Marky Mark Wahlberg, opened to $17 million and won the weekend box office by a touchdown and a field goal, beating its next closest challenger (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) by $9 million, according to Sunday's estimates.

That's a solid showing for Marky Mark's latest summer vehicle, an ode to Dick Vermeil's storied Philadelphia Eagles of old — it trails Remember the Titans' $20.9 mil bow and Friday Night Lights' $20.3 mil premiere, but passes Varsity Blues' $15.3 mil opening and Any Given Sunday's $13.6 mil debut. I'll leave the perspective-putting at that, because I've run out of words to describe a film's bow/premiere/opening/debut. In sum, let me just say that, as a Redskins fan, I expect this to be the last time we hear about the Eagles winning something this year. Seems a safe bet considering that nutty T.O. is gone and the team doesn’t even have someone like Andre ''Dirty'' Waters to blindside unwitting kickers anymore.

Big ups to Marky Mark's Invincible costar Greg Kinnear, by the way, for his McKellen-ish feat of appearing in two of the weekend's top three movies. Yes, Kinnear's Little Miss Sunshine (No. 3) continued its mighty indie run, adding 739 venues and $7.5 mil to its bank.

As expected during this traditionally slow weekend, the other new movies failed to make much of an impact. Beerfest (No. 4) grossed $6.5 mil, which isn’t particularly good, even when you figure that the movie was cheap to make and market. Then again, I mean, it wasn’t as inexpensive as, say, the six-pack of pale ale that my ''pal'' Josh got on sale at Whole Foods, which we drank last night (pretty good stuff, gotta say), so Warner Bros. can’t be too pleased. The movie did garner a decent B CinemaScore review from viewers, nearly two thirds of whom were men under 25. Then again, again, interestingly, the 5 percent of Beerfest's ticket buyers who were over the age of 50 gave it an F — now, what these AARP-eligible folks were doing at a movie called Beerfest is anyone's guess, though it's pretty clear that they weren't enjoying themselves. Anyway, so continues this year's sorry streak of R-rated comedies at the box office. Meanwhile, despite B+ CinemaScores, Idlewild (No. 9) and How to Eat Fried Worms (No. 11) were virtually ignored, earning $5.9 mil and $4.1 mil, respectively.

Among other notable holdovers, Accepted (No. 5) declined a mere 35 percent with $6.5 mil, while I think we can kissssssss Snakes on a Plane (No. 6) goodbye, as it slithered away in its second weekend, grossing just $6.4 mil, a drop of 58 percent. Overall, reports the King of Ventura Blvd., Paul at Exhibitor Relations, the box office was up more than 5 percent over the same period a year ago. And speaking of Beerfest, I'm off to enjoy my weekly post-Sunday-morning-column brewski. It's afternoon somewhere in the world now.

Originally posted Aug 27, 2006