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January 12, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 12, 2009 |

5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ($9.4 million; $94 million): I’ve said enough.

4. Marley and Me ($11.3; $123 million million): In less than one month, Marley and Me has become the 3rd biggest dog movie of all time, trailing 101 Dalmations and Scooby Doo, which ranks number one with $153 million. You know what would’ve made Scooby Doo better? If Scooby had died in the end, if only to save us from Scooby Doo 2.

3. The Unborn ($21 million million): Hey! Many of you will be happy to know that Odette Yustman’s ass has been cast in four more movies this year — unfortunately, Yustman was not hired along with it. The good news is, her ass got its own trailer, so Yustman will have a place to hang out while her ass is shooting scenes.

… and Gary Oldman? Brother, please. There are worse things than welshing on a bet. Starring in The Unborn, for instance.

2. Bride Wars ($21.5 million): Ha! The Observer’s Mark Kermode wrote that, if Bride Wars were not on his ten worst films of 2009, he’d quit film criticism all together. Bride Wars was indeed horrendous, but clearly this man has higher expectations for 2009 than is merited. Here, let me help you out, Mark, in case your hoping to retire early: I expect all of these films will be even worse than Bride Wars: 1. Donkey Punch, 2. The Unborn, 3. Pink Panther 2, 4. Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, 5. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, 6. Fast and Furious, 7. The Ugly Truth, 8. G.I. Joe, 9. Dragonball Evolution, 10. Hannah Montana: The Movie.

And that just gets you until mid-April. I hope your 401(k) is in good shape.

1. Gran Torino ($29 million; $40 million): Where the hell did this come from? The platform release strategy that a lot of indie movies subscribe to rarely works anymore — they get huge per screen averages in the urban areas, and then once they’re unleashed nationwide, they tend to die quiet deaths (see Frost/Nixon, Doubt, The Reader). But every year, one of those platform releases breaks through — see Juno last year — but I just never expected that it’d be Gran Torino. Nor did I expect that Clint Eastwood, at the age of 78, would have his biggest weekend grosser of his career. It’s not that Gran Torino is bad — it’s not, it’s quite good, in fact — it’s just that wouldn’t seem to stack up against the movies in the rest of his oeuvre. But then again, it sure beat the hell out of Bridges of Madison County. Whatever. Chalk one up to loyalty and slightly more sophisticated movie-going audiences. Giddyup, 2009. Your first big weekend opener was better than last year’s opener, The Bucket List.

Headline compliments of Boo

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | January 12, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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