Hey, remember the Titans? Somebody did, and they must have given them bad word-of-mouth, because Clash of the Titans has dropped off 56% in its second weekend, making only $26.7 million and almost allowing the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night to squeak into first place with $25.2 million. Granted, Titans has made a total of $230 million worldwide so far, and we doubt Date Night will ever make that much money, but it's hardly an even fight. While Titans has the Kraken, all Date Night could unleash was Mark Wahlberg's pecs. Magnificent, to be sure, but not really worth riding a pegasus around.
With four not particularly exciting movie releases this weekend, Alice in Wonderland was able to hold onto the number one spot and make an additional $62 million bucks at the box office. That gives it over $200 million in the U.S. and more than double that worldwide -- if Burton hadn't used both Alice books to make this movie, (and if he was at all prone to making sequels), we'd say a sequel was a no-brainer, but most likely he'll just get his pick of beloved childhood properties to re-imagine after he gets done with the full-length version of Frankenweenie, the short film about a reanimated dog that got him fired from Disney in 1984 for wasting company resources. So, of course, Disney is producing the remake. Apparently, money talks!
This past weekend, two big-budget action movies, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Inception, went head-to-head. And while Apprentice was heavily hyped, and obviously meant to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, the film tracked poorly, got middling reviews and ultimately made half as much as Inception, despite opening two days earlier. ($25 million vs. $60 million.) With profitability in question and hopes of a sequel evaporated, we took a look at the fun-for-the-whole-family action-adventure to see what went wrong.
Talk about your landslides. Moviegoers voted with their wallets this weekend, and they unanimously voted for Toy Story 3, which brought in $109 million. Not only is that the biggest opening for a Pixar film yet (money-wise, anyway; the 3-D prices help), it also had the biggest June weekend opening ever, beating Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And without even a single robot testicle! Unfortunately, it fell just short of having the biggest opening of any animated feature, since Shrek the Third made $122 million in its 2007 opening, but it can rest confident knowing that it's a much, much better movie.
Despite some middling reviews, Shrek Forever After managed to hold onto the number-one spot for the second week in a row, defeating new releases Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 by bringing in the kids and charging extra for 3-D. Don't expect it to hang out in the Top Ten for long, though -- sure, the previous kid-friendly spot-hog, How to Train Your Dragon, is only now preparing to exit the Top Ten after 10 weeks, but between Marmaduke, The Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, the next three weeks will likely eat into Shrek's young audience, as well as the souls of any accompanying adults. (Toy Story 3 being the sure-to-be-tear-inducing exception.)
In a testament to the power of superheroes (not to mention Robert Downey Jr.'s charm and Scarlett Johansson's bodysuits) Iron Man 2 came out on top for the second week in a row, preventing Robin Hood from rising to the number-one spot. Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott did all right, with $37 million, but IM2 made another $53 million, putting it over the $200 million mark and overtaking How to Train Your Dragon, which is still making money in its 8th week. Perhaps if Robin Hood had been riding a dragon, we might have had a different champion.
"Say hi to your money for me!" Mark Wahlberg became intimately familiar with the contents of America's wallets this weekend as one half of The Other Guys along with co-star Will Ferrell. The film is mostly marketed as a Will Ferrell picture, and is being compared to Anchorman and Talladega Nights in terms of box-office take and overall hilarity, but Wahlberg was equally key, and the pair had great chemistry together. Still, the movie's nearly $36 million take erased memories of Ferrell's last movie, the flop Land of the Lost (which was still reasonably funny) and doubled the amount of money made by Cop Out in its opening weekend. And rightly so!
This weekend's theatrical releases featured a true clash of the box-office titans. In one corner, you had the big-budget remake of the swords-and-scorpions epic; in the other corner, you had Tyler Perry; in the third corner, you had Miley Cyrus in a Nicholas Sparks movie. But did anyone doubt that Clash of the Titans, with the support of the entire Greek Pantheon (and a sizable ad budget), would win the day? It earned $64 million beginning on Thursday, and is already halfway to recouping its budget without even having opened overseas yet. While there may not be a Clash 2 in the making, we see a remake of the similarly gods-and-monsters-infused Jason and the Argonauts in the future. Release the army of skeletons!
Harry Potter is going to need another vault at Gringotts, because the opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One made more money than any HP installment so far, and landed the number-six spot on the list of biggest opening weekends of all time. It's almost as if a lot of people really want to see how the seven-part story is going to end, even though it won't actually be concluded until Part 2 comes out next summer! Who would have thought it?! In bigger news, the HP franchise is only $80 million behind Star Wars, which means it will be the highest-grossing franchise within the month. Somewhere, George Lucas is realizing that a successful cartoon series doesn't mean squat in the annals of motion-picture history.
Finally, the word "despicable" has come back into common parlance! Years of watered-down Daffy Duck cartoons had us worried, but the popularity of the new animated film Despicable Me should get kids calling each other by this polysyllable in no time. Because if the box office is any indication, a lot of kids saw it -- the Universal movie made $60 million over the weekend, which more or less ties it with Kung Fu Panda for the biggest opening for a non-Pixar, non-sequel animated film. By comparison, fellow new release Predators only made $25 million, taking the #3 spot, and repeat earners Eclipse and Toy Story 3 took the #2 and #4 spots, respectively -- all sequels, by the way. How did a movie without a built-in fan base dominate the charts? Here are a few theories.