Weekend Wrap-Up

'Recall' and 'Dog Days' Make for 'Wimpy' Weekend

By Tim Briody

August 5, 2012

I hate when I get newsprint on my hands.

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After the beating the box office took last weekend, Hollywood looked to reverse its fortunes this weekend with a questionable remake and a somewhat reliable kid-lit franchise releasing out of its traditional time period. It was also hoping that The Dark Knight Rises would slow its decline that it saw after collapsing 60% from the third largest opening weekend of all time. What we got was one of the weaker summer frames we've seen in a good while.

The Dark Knight Rises is your top film for the third weekend, earning $36.4 million. That's a decline of 43.1% from last weekend, which is just fine after it dropped 60% from its opening weekend. After three weekends, it now stands at $354.6 million. While this is a fine performance and it's currently the third highest grosser of 2012, The Dark Knight had earned $393.7 million at the same point after a weekend of $42.6 million.

Is this performance bad? No, not at all. Unfortunately, it is forever linked to The Dark Knight's $533 million. While yes, there were other factors at work that The Dark Knight benefited from (mainly the franchise's most iconic villain and Heath Ledger's performance), for The Dark Knight Rises to be this far off its pace is still rather surprising.

The Dark Knight spent four weekends at the top. Next week, The Dark Knight Rises gets its most serious challenge with The Bourne Legacy, albeit how successful that will be now that it is Matt Damon-less is unknown. The Dark Knight Rises appears to have righted the ship after a disastrous second weekend, and $450 million seems like an attainable goal now.


In second goes the first of two new releases this weekend, a remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film Total Recall. Starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale (and directed by Mr. Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman), Total Recall earned $26 million. That doesn't sound too bad until you realize two things: it cost $120 million to make and back in June of 1990, Total Recall opened to $25.5 million. That's not a whole lot of inflation there. Remakes really need to give people a reason to show up, and there just isn't the star power or a good enough hook here. It was trying to position itself as a action alternative to The Dark Knight Rises, but audiences still went with Batman.

Sony is pretty much out of luck in hoping Total Recall will make its production budget back off of its domestic box office, and even $100 million is going to feel like a stretch without a fantastic hold next weekend.

Third goes to Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the third entry in the young adult book series, brought to the big screen by Fox. It earned $14.7 million, which is a significant hit from 2010's Diary of a Wimpy Kid $22.1 million and 2011's Rodrick Rules, which won its opening weekend with $23.7 million. Of course, the primary difference here is the previous two Wimpy Kid films opened in March as opposed to the summer, which hurts films that target younger audiences. When out of school, kids have more time to see movies than just the weekend. For instance, Dog Days had a 2.49 multiplier for the weekend, which is rather terrible considering Rodrick Rules had a 3.26 internal multiplier. While we'll have to watch the weekdays to see if it makes up any ground, it might have a hard time reaching the heights of the previous entries, $64 million for Diary of a Wimpy Kid and $52.6 million for Rodrick Rules.

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