Pixar’s Toy Story 3 posted another big number this weekend, with an estimated $59 million earned from its 4,028 locations. As expected, Grown Ups placed second with $41 million – right in line with previous entries in the Adam Sandler oeuvre – while Knight & Day placed a distant third. Also, as expected.
|1||Toy Story 3||$59,000,000||$226.5|
|3||Knight & Day||$20,500,000||$27.7|
|4||The Karate Kid||$15,400,000||$135.6|
|8||Prince of Persia||$2,800,000||$86.1|
This summer’s box office had another much-welcomed success this weekend, thanks mainly to the continued strength of Pixar’s Toy Story 3. The 3D pic brought in another $59 million, representing a drop of roughly 54% over its giant debut one week ago. That percentage drop is larger than the 35.2% dip the studio’s last 3D pic, Up, experienced at the same point in its run; but, then again, TS3’s second weekend came in only 12% lower than Up’s first three days out so there’s really no bad news here.
Thanks to those higher 3D tickets and a great midweek run averaging $14 million Monday through Thursday, Toy Story 3 has already passed $225 million. So, after 10 days the toys are just shy of where Shrek Forever After stands after 38. Just sayin’.
Even with Toy Story so clearly dominant, there was room enough for Sony Picture’s Grown Ups to hold its head high this weekend. The ensemble comedy featuring Adam Sandler and Kevin James placed second, earning an estimated $41 million from its 3,534 runs for a per screen average of $11,600.
Considering the fact that Rotten Tomatoes has the film at just 10%, the fact that Grown Ups posted a higher opening (barely) than the last 4 summer comedies featuring Sandler has to be seen as a win. I’m sure that the addition of Paul Blart helped in that regard though I still say that those promos featuring the stars peeing in the pool were too powerful to resist.
Unfortunately for Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, no one at Fox thought to include a shot of the star’s relieving themselves in the run up to the release of Knight & Day. By now I’m sure you’ve heard that the action-comedy, which launched on Wednesday, has not exactly been setting the box office on fire. The film managed only a weak $20.5 million this weekend – actually a bit higher than expected after Friday’s poor showing – for a five day cume of $27.7 million. About the best that can be said here is that Knight opened higher than both Killers and The Bounty Hunter; 2010’s other entries in the romantic-action genre.
But that’s not good enough for a film which was years in development at a reported cost of $125 million. In fact, Knight & Day’s opening was more in line with Diaz’s What Happens in Vegas and Cruise’s Valkyrie than with the $50 million of the more analogous Mr. & Mrs. Smith. After all, Vegas was a romantic comedy with a $35 million price tag while Valkyrie was about Nazis… can you see why a romantic romp with guns and car chases should have scored higher?
Personally, I expected Knight & Day to get to $30 million this weekend alone. I based this projection mainly on the chemistry between Cameron and Cruise and the sheer crappiness of Grown Ups. In fact, even with the film’s slightly schizo marketing and its paper-thin premise I still believe that Knight & Day should have been a big hit… back in 2002. Though audiences lobbied to see Cruise do more comedy after his bravura turn in Tropic Thunder, it seems that this was not what they had in mind. Perhaps he should stick to character parts until he’s put enough distance between his day job and his batshit private life.
Overall the weekend box office was strong, although business was down slightly over this time last year when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opened (I’ll still take Buzz and Woody over Mudflap and Skids any day). The week ahead promises nothing too special… unless you happen to like moody teen vampires. Yes, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will be upon us as of Wednesday. New Moon earned a stunning $142 million in three days last year – while school was still in session – so Edward only knows how huge a Twilight summer movie could be.