Box Office

November 06, 2009

Michael Jackson's This Is It

*** ( 3 STARS)

$23.2

million

$34.4 million

1 week

Rated : PG

Running time : 1:52

What it's about : Produced with the full, watchful approval of the Jackson estate, this flattering assemblage of concert rehearsal footage shows what the King of Pop was working on in the month preceding his death at age 50. .

Our take : It's worth seeing for the twisted pop king's riveting, idiosyncratic dance chops.

Paranormal Activity

** 1/2 ( 2 1/2 STARS)

$16.3

million

$84.6 million

6 weeks

Rated : R

Running time : 1:39

What it's about : The boyfriend of a haunted college student runs his camera at night to find out what's going bump in their house.

Our take : It's a good stunt movie: The audience stays quiet and watchful to catch every flick of an odd breeze or toss of a sheet.

Law Abiding Citizen

* ( 1 STAR)

$7.4

Million

$51 million

3 weeks

Rated : R

Running time : 1:59

What it's about : An innocent man (Gerard Butler, above) exacts a bloody revenge while confined behind the walls of his jail cell.

Our take : The cat-and-mouse game between Butler and his former prosecutor plays out like a poor man's "Silence of the Lambs."

Couples Retreat

* ( 1 STAR)

$6.4

Million

$87 million

4 weeks

Rated : PG-13

Running time : 1:07

What it's about : Four suburban couples travel to French Polynesia to refresh or restore their relationships.

Our take : Bora Bora proves as laugh-free as Tora Bora; Vince Vaughn (above), Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman go up in tropical-restaurant flames.

Where the Wild Things Are

** 1/2 (2 1/2 STARS)

$5.9

Million

$ 62.6 million

3 weeks

Rated : PG

Running time : 1:34

What it's about : An out-of-control boy runs away from home and into a world where monsters (including Carol, above) accept him as a king.

Our take : The movie single-mindedly attacks the woe-is-me part of the childhood psyche; even the wild things, wonderful to look at, are irritating to listen to -they're like Muppet versions of the characters on "In Treatment."

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