Weekend Wrap-Up for August 13-15, 2010

Not-So-Expendable Star-Driven Films Propel Box Office

By John Hamann

August 15, 2010

So much evil in one little place.

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Finishing third is The Other Guys, the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg winner that opened last weekend to $35.5 million. Some thought The Other Guys might be another leggy Will Ferrell picture (given its 75% fresh rating), but this weekend it played more like a buddy cop action film. The Other Guys earned $18 million in its second frame, and was off a hefty 49%. Despite the drop, Sony is going to have another winner joining The Karate Kid and Eat Pray Love, as this $85 million picture has now earned $70.5 million after only ten days of release. Will Ferrell will likely have his fifth $100 million domestic picture over the last seven years or so if The Other Guys can have a slightly better hold next weekend.

Dropping two spots from its second place finish last weekend is the now five-weekend-old – and hugely successful – Inception. The Chris Nolan flick continues to earn more than $10 million per weekend, as the latest haul for the Warner Bros. flick is $11.4 million, and the Leo DiCaprio flick falls 39%. Amazingly, Inception has now earned $248.6 million, and while its shot at $300 million appears to be going away, the thriller has currently earned more overseas than it has domestically. The $160 million original idea has now earned more than $500 million worldwide, and is really the best news we've had all summer. And like Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, just let me say, “This ridiculous - I'll go, I'll go, I'll go!."


Fifth goes to Scott Pilgrim vs The World – and if there is any disappointment in the top ten this is it, but not for the usual reasons. Scott Pilgrim had a weekend gross of $10.5 million – which is a little below where tracking had it – but it could have been bigger given that critically, it was the best choice of the weekend. While Eat Pray Love and The Expendables faltered in the critic's department, Scott Pilgrim thrived, to the point where I was thinking the buzz here was much louder for this one than either of the other openers. Pilgrim garnered 156 reviews prior to the weekend, and at RottenTomatoes, a sizzling 123 of those were fresh, giving the teen targeted flick an 80% fresh rating.

Why did this one not open higher? Good question – mainly aimed at the geek, there may have simply not have been enough of a target for this one to get above $15 million. For the king of the geeks Michael Cera, this opening is in line with Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, which opened to $11.3 million, and like Pilgrim, was very fresh at 73%. Scott Pilgrim desperately needs legs, as this Universal release cost the studio $60 million to make. This is the type of film that could find those legs, but word-of-mouth will need to spread before school is back in. Please go – the staff at BOP will whine forever if this isn't either a leggy hit, or a huge cult classic.

Landing in sixth is Despicable Me, the animated Universal film that's doing almost as well as Inception. It certainly had a better hold this weekend, as the animated Steve Carell movie dropped only 27%, earning $6.8 million. With all of the other kiddie fare washed away, the six weekend old Despicable Me pretty much has the audience to itself. The Nanny McPhee sequel opens next weekend, so it will at least face a challenge in the demographic. For now, Despicable has earned $222 million domestically, and is just getting started overseas.

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