Unknown Takes Extended Holiday Box Office Weekend with $25.6 Million

The gnomes gave Liam Neeson a run for his money this President’s Day holiday weekend at the North American box office. When the dust settled and push came to shove, Unknown edged Gnomeo and Juliet to take the four-day box office crown.

Unknown entered Monday with a slim $2.3 million lead over a pair of Buena Vista-distributed films: I Am Number Four with Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron, and the CGI-animated tale Gnomeo and Juliet. It was assumed after yesterday’s three-day weekend results that Unknown would win the weekend while Gnomeo and Juliet would pass I Am Number Four and that is exactly what happened.

First estimates for the four-day Friday through Monday President’s Day frame put Unknown at $25.6 million behind a strong 54% of its audience skewing over the age of 50. Gnomeo and Juliet easily took second place with $24.8 million thanks to younger family crowds and I Am Number Four third with $22.6 million. Many (though not I) had predicted I Am Number Four would win the weekend with its mix of young adult high school romance, sci-fi action and a pair of high profile young stars. Clearly that wasn’t the case and the first big starring vehicle for Pettyfer will have to hope for a stronger showing overseas and on Blu-ray and DVD for the set-up sequel to materialize.

The other newcomer, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, failed to live up to the box office pace set by its two ‘Big Momma’ predecessors. It made $19 million through four days, good enough for fifth place on the box office leaderboard. Each of the two previous ‘Big Momma’ films enjoyed a three-day opening north of $25 million each.

Sneaking into fourth place was the Sony holdover Just Go With It which continues to ride Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston to riches. It has now laughed up $64.3 million in ticket sales after two weeks in theaters and continues to march toward what should be an inevitable date with the $100 million mark.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never continues its anticipated tumble after a big opening weekend to the tune of $16.5 million that earned it sixth place through the four-day weekend. A big gap between Bieber and The King’s Speech with $7.9 million ensures the teen pop sensation at least another week in the top ten.

Rounding out this President’s Day four-day top ten are The Roommate with $4.5 million, The Eagle (has bombed) with $4.3 million, and No Strings Attached with $3.7 million.

Next weekend Nicholas Cage will flex his emotional range in Drive Angry 3D while Hall Pass hopes to pick up luring comedy fans right off the hot streak of Just Go With It. Check back Wednesday for a chance to predict what these films will make in their box office debut next weekend for a chance at Blu-ray prizes in our Weekend Box Office Prophet Game.

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