SUNDAY AM: The movie that George Clooney directed, starred in and overhauled the script for, Leatherheads, stumbled badly at the box office this weekend, making only $12.5 million from 1,769 theaters and finishing only No. 3. (Interestingly, the pic’s studio, Universal, claimed it was No. 2, but every other Hollywood major had it as No. 3 behind Sony’s 21 and Fox/Walden’s Nim’s Island.) The screwball comedy about the early days of football was seen in Hollywood as a referendum on Clooney’s popularity at the box office. Because right now he is a big movie star but not a big box office star, and his hefty paydays in big studio projects like this definitely depend on the latter. (To be fair, few movie stars nowadays are reliably performing at the box office…)
Instead, Sony’s 21 casino caper fended off tough competition from three newcomers in the marketplace to score its second straight win as the #1 movie in North America. It earned a $15.1 million weekend, down only 37% from its opening last weekend, for a new cume of $46.5 million.
Family fare Nim’s Island, starring Abigail Breslin and Jodie Foster for Fox/Walden, junped into 2nd place with $13.3 million thanks to strong Saturday kiddie matinees and a wide theater count of 3,513.
Another studio newcomer in release, horror pic The Ruins from DreamWorks /Paramount earned $7.8 million this weekend from 2,812 venues for 5th place behind #4 Horton Hears A Hoo!, the …