While the studios stiff writers over a four-cent-per-DVD increase in residual payments, they are hauling it in with gangster flicks and star studded animation this weekend and will continue to do that for the foreseeable future. The studios currently have enough finished scripts now and enough films already in production that they won't start having shortfalls until well into next year, possibly as far away as 2009.
American Gangster easily took the top spot this weekend by cashing in $46.3 million in about 3,000 theaters on a budget of $100 million, easily beating out Bee Movie which opened in 1,000 more theaters than did Gangster, but did very well in its own right with $39 million on a budget of 150. Movies like that will probably do better in their second weekend and continue to move all throughout the week, and then again sell big numbers on DVD sometime down the road.
Those are the DVDs I mentioned a moment ago where the writer(s) of Gangster and Bee Movie will only be making about four cents per disc sold. Not that I'm arguing that Jerry Seinfeld needs even more money, but he wrote the script and it is going to make Paramount a pretty penny and he deserves a bigger share of it than four freaking pennies.
Martian Child with John Cusack did $3.6 million for New Line, good for 7th overall behind old-timer The Game Plan which is still hanging onto the top 10. Here is the top-5: