Weekend Wrap-Up for July 23-25, 2010

Leo and Inception have more oomph than Angelina and Salt

By Kim Hollis

July 25, 2010

You're not really looking at the sandcastles, are you?

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Third place goes to a family film, but it's not Ramona and Beezus. Instead, it's Despicable Me, which had a wonderful hold in its third frame. The 3D animated story about a villain, his minions, and his adoptive family earned another $24.1 million, falling only 26% from its second weekend. Universal Pictures has to be very pleased about the way Despicable Me has performed, as it has now earned a terrific $161.7 million against a tight budget of $69 million. It's a testament to what good reviews and word-of-mouth will do for a film, not to mention the fact that it's an original idea for families, offering something new and unique in a world full of sequels and book-based films. It probably also doesn't hurt any that Steve Carell toplines the film, and we'll continue to see his drawing power next weekend in Dinner for Schmucks, a movie that looks great to some and horrific to others.

Two Disney properties are in fourth and fifth place, though they are at very, very opposite ends of the spectrum. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the fourth place finisher, though it doesn't beat out Toy Story 3 by very much at all. The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which had been positioned as a franchise starter for the Mouse House and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, tumbled 45% from its already slight debut to $9.7 million. Its total so far is $42.6 million, which means it's not even going to approach its hefty $150 million budget. The honest evaluation is that it was tough to buy Jay Baruchel as "the apprentice", and possibly even more difficult to accept Nicolas Cage as the mighty sorcerer. Also, with the similarly themed Percy Jackson having already recently been in theaters, audiences might be maxed out on magic when it's not coming from Harry Potter and friends.


Toy Story 3 is just behind The Sorcerer's Apprentice with a sixth weekend total of $9 million and a tiny drop of only 25%. The #1 movie of 2010 and the Pixar franchise has now earned $379.5 million, and Disney will certainly do whatever it can to ensure that it reaches that all-magical $400 million mark, even if it means re-releasing the film in theaters at a point later in the year.

Sixth place goes to Ramona and Beezus, the new family-friendly film from Fox and Walden Media, the production company that has been responsible for such hits as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Bridge to Terabithia, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, as well as disasters like City of Ember and The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising. Ramona and Beezus, based on a well-loved series of children's books by author Beverly Cleary, earned a middling $8 million on the weekend, but given its tiny budget of $15 million, it's not going to be tough for this movie to wind up in the black for the studio. Worst case scenario is that it becomes a mild family hit on DVD, and they can do some straight-to-video sequels, too, since the books are full of potential ideas.

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