Zombieland is doing great at the box office!
The film starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg goes to No. 1, breaking a recent trend of poor openings for horror movies.
The directorial debuts of two well-known stars didn’t combine to do half the business of a new horror comedy this weekend.
Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying” and Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It” both had weak openings, collecting a studio-estimated $7.4 million and $4.9 million, respectively. The films, which co-starred and were aggressively publicized by their directors, were easily beaten by the weekend’s other new wide release, “Zombieland,” which sold $25 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada.
The strong start for “Zombieland” ended a recent trend of poor openings for horror films including “Pandorum,” “Jennifer’s Body” and “Sorority Row.”
“The movie is more of an action comedy first and zombies are kind of like the icing on the cake,” Sony Pictures distribution President Rory Bruer said of its appeal.
“Zombieland,” which stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, cost Sony and co-financier Relativity Media only $23.6 million to produce, meaning it’s already well on its way to profitability. Studios keep approximately half of ticket sales and also have to pay for marketing, but opening with a gross bigger than production cost is usually a very good sign.
Ticket sales were virtually flat Friday and Saturday, and audiences gave the movie an average grade of A-minus, according to market research firm CinemaScore, meaning “Zombieland” will probably benefit from good buzz and play well for several weeks.