Original Inception Dreams Up Three-Peat
By John Hamann
August 1, 2010
For Steve Carell, the last few months have proven to be the turning point in his career. April brought Date Night, the 20th Century Fox comedy that co-starred Tina Fey. That $55 million film opened to $25.2 million and had great legs for an adult comedy, so far earning $98.5 million domestically, and another $53 million overseas. Carell is also having a great summer with Despicable Me, where he plays the evil (and quite funny) Gru. Despicable Me is a big hit for Universal, which doesn't make a lot of kids flicks. Recent news has Carell stepping down from his role on NBC's The Office to spend more time with his family, and make more studio fare. With these results, Carell is proving to be a good investment, as Schmucks, like Date Night, cost Paramount only $55 million to make, a number this one is likely to have within a couple of weeks.
Third spot goes to Angelina Jolie's Salt. After a strong $36 million debut last weekend, Salt did the expected this weekend, falling almost 50%. Salt earned $19.3 million in its second frame, which is a decent score, but the drop off comes in at 47%, a number I'm sure Sony wishes was better. There's not a lot to take away from the Jolie thriller, unlike Inception, and word-of-mouth is almost non-existent. Look for Salt to finish with just over $100 million. So far, the $110 million spy thriller has earned $70.8 million.
In a real surprise, Despicable Me takes down a 3D opener in the Cats & Dogs sequel, as the Steve Carell animated flick finishes fourth, down only one spot from the previous frame. While it managed to stay ahead of Cats & Dogs, the competition is evident, as Despicable earns $15.5 million and is off 34%, higher than last weekend's drop of only 28%. Universal's fairly cheap ($69 million) 3D entry has now earned a lovely $190.3 million, and is the second example in the top five of a good new idea dominating the box office. Despicable Me is a lock for $200 million, and could see $225 million, depending on how it performs in August.
Finishing a surprisingly low fifth this weekend is Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a truly unnecessary sequel looking to cash in on the 3D craze. Cats & Dogs 2 opened to an amount much smaller than that of the original, as it took in $12.5 million from a ridiculous 3,705 venues (Hollywood Reporter said 2,130 of those venues carried a least one 3D screen). It had a highly questionable venue average of $3,381. The original Cats and Dogs opened way back in July 2001, but I guess a sequel wasn't needed or wanted until nine years after the fact. The cast changed almost completely, with Tobey Maguire replaced by James Marsden (there's a step up), and the budget increased from $60 million for the original to $85 million for the sequel. Kitty Galore had an expected RottenTomatoes rating of only 14%, and obviously, audiences caught on – at least this time.