The Box Office Mojo website reports that David Bowers and IMAGI’s computer-animated film adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) manga earned an estimated US$7,017,000 to debut at #6 on the weekend box office chart in the United States. With 3,014 theaters, the US$65-million film had an estimated per-screen average of US$2,328.
By comparison on their first weekend of release, Ponyo (2009) earned US$3,585,852 in 927 theaters (US$3,868 average), Dragonball: Evolution (2009) earned US$4,756,488 in 2,181 theaters (US$2,181 average), Speed Racer (2008) earned US$18,561,337 in 3,606 theaters (US$5,147 average), and IMAGI’s TMNT film (2007) earned US$24,255,205 in 3,110 theaters (US$7,799 average).
Scriptwriter Timothy Harris (Trading Places, Kindergarten Cop) adapted Tezuka’s manga about a young robot hero who comes to grips with his identity and saves Earth. The cast includes Freddie Highmore in the title role, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Kristen Bell, Matt Lucas, and cameos by Charlize Theron and Samuel L. Jackson.
Kevin Greutert’s Saw VI (#2), Paul Weitz’s Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (#8), and Mira Nair’s Amelia (#11) also opened on Friday. Oren Peli’s US$15,000 Paranormal Activity film widened its release to 1,945 theaters and moved up from #3 to #1 with an estimated US$22,000,000 and a US$$11,311 per-screen average.