"Where the Wild Things Are" kicked off a wild rumpus at the North American box office by opening atop the chart over the weekend. Winning over adult audiences with 43% of the moviegoers being 18 and older, the Spike Jonze-directed fantasy drama scared up $32.7 million. The number beat analysts' expectations by about $2 million.
With the impressive bow, "Wild Things" became the second successful adaptation of a children's book in recent weeks following "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". It also marked the best debut for Jonze. The filmmaker's two previous movies, "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation", took in only as much as $22.9 million and $22.5 million respectively during their domestic runs.
"I can't imagine too many people who could do what Spike did," said Dan Fellman, the head of distribution for Warner Bros. said. "He had always felt deeply about the book, and he delivered a movie that evokes those same feelings." However, Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock raised up concerns for the movie, "It's definitely a big opening for what the film is. But there is concern for weekend No. 2 that it will drop off quite a bit."
Landing second at the chart was "Law Abiding Citizen". The vengeance thriller starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler garnered $21 million since its debut in theaters on Friday, October 16. Kyle Davies of Overture Films commented on the movie's performance, "This was the weekend that reinvigorated the box office. Especially in these times, a movie is about escape, and those stars delivered."
Box-office phenomenon "Paranormal Activity" trailed right behind "Citizen". The horror movie from first time director Oren Peli moved up one slot to the third place by raking in $19.6 million from 760 theaters. Paramount Pictures has planned to expand the movie to between 1,800 and 2,000 theaters next weekend, before widening its release even farther for Halloween.
Last week champion, "Couples Retreat", slipped to fourth. Dropping a respectable 49.8%, the comedy movie toplined by Vince Vaughn among others took in $17.2 million in its pocket. The last spot on the top five, in the meantime, went to newcomer "The Stepfather". A remake of the 1987 original, this movie had $11.6 million in its pocket after three-day screenings.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for October 16 - 18: