Critically lauded Western 3:10 To Yuma proved quick on the draw last weekend, becoming the top-grossing movie in the U.S.
The Lionsgate remake of the 1957 Glenn Ford film took in $14.1 million on a traditionally slow weekend. "We ended the summer on a strong note and we're starting off the fall in typical fashion," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Media By Numbers. "It wasn't a huge weekend, but it was better than the same weekend in 2006."
The weekend's top 12 films took in 22.5 percent more than last year's post-Labor Day lineup, making the ninth straight weekend the box office has bested its 2006 results. 3:10 To Yuma, which stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, pleased Lionsgate executives, who chose this weekend to position the film for Oscar consideration. "We wanted to be the first Western into the marketplace this fall, we wanted to be the first prestige film this fall and we wanted to set ourselves up as the first award-caliber picture of the fall and I think we accomplished all of those goals," said Tom Ortenberg, president of Lionsgate Films.
Once a Hollywood staple, Westerns have diminished in the cinematic marketplace. Clint Eastwood's 1992 four-time Oscar winner Unforgiven was the last acclaimed film in that genre.
Western fans can now anticipate The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt, opening September 21.