Ben Affleck is this weekend’s big winner. Not only did his new film The Town win big with critics, but it was a smash hit at the box office as well. It took in $23.8 million, which is above and beyond the opening weekend earnings of Affleck’s last directorial effort, Gone Baby Gone, which only accumulated $5.5 million. Of course The Town hit far more theaters than Gone Baby Gone, but comparing Gone Baby Gone’s $3,211 per theater haul to The Town’s $8,319, it’s quite clear that this is a hugely successful production for Affleck. It will earn back its $37 million production budget with ease.

Easy A may not have achieved the top spot, but Screen Gems is likely very pleases with its $18.2 million opening, especially considering the film cost just $8 million to make. On the other hand, M. Night Shyamalan might not be doing so well after his movie, Devil, earned just $12.6 million. Shyamalan may not have written the script or directed the film, but his name is still attached and that makes Devil Shyamalan’s worst opening ever.

Coming in at #4 is last weekend’s top earner, Resident Evil: Afterlife. It fell 62.1%, and took in $10.1 million. Taking the fifth position is this weekend’s poorest performing newcomer, Alpha and Omega. Not only did critics trounce the Lionsgate production, but most moviegoers opted out of seeing the animated wolf adventure. It made $9.2 million this weekend with a weak $3,505 average per location.

The sixth position went to Takers, which is still holding on in week four. It took in another $3 million, which brings its domestic total to an impressive $52.3 million. Following closely behind is The American with a $2.8 million intake for its third week in theaters. The #8 spot went to The Other Guys, which added another $2 million to its pot as did the ninth place film, Inception. Rounding out the top ten is Machete, which managed to earn another $1.8 million in week three even after losing nearly 1,000 screens.

Next weekend should be another interesting battle. We’ve got Zack Snyder’s 3D animated film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, the highly anticipated sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the comedy You Again as well as The Virginity Hit, which is scheduled to expand and enter another 650 theaters. I highly doubt The Virginity Hit will manage to get anywhere near the top five, but would like to bet our other three wide releases do. I’m going with Legend of the Guardians for the win. After Alpha and Omega’s dismal performance, the kids will be craving an animated film and their parents will be desperate for something they can enjoy, too. The second spot will likely go to Wall Street, but I wouldn’t be surprised if both The Town and Easy A held on strong enough to knock You Again down to #5.

As for limited releases, Buried is the one to keep an eye one. It’s only playing in ten theaters, but should it be a hit in those few locations, it’ll likely pull in a nice chunk of cash when it opens wide on October 8th. In addition to Buried we’ve got Enter the Void, Howl, Like Dandelion Dust, Waiting for “Superman,” as well as Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, which is set to make an early entrance on Wednesday.

By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)

The Town Poster

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By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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