Box Office: Unfunny Russell Brand Beats Unfunny Russell Brand

The Reject ReportIt was really the battle of the two evils this weekend. Unfunny CG Russell Brand vs. Unfunny Russell Brand in a suit. The kids won out, and Hop was able to pull into the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Its drop wasn’t all that insignificant, about what was to be expected with there being no counter-programming for family entertainment.

I guess kids just don’t have much interest in Helen Mirren these days. Hop was, however, able to pull ahead of its reported $63-million budget with its second weekend take and shed a glimmer of hope for those wanting more adventures starring the Easter Bunny. We can all pray for the best there.

Three of the four new releases came into the next three spots with okay openings. Two of those openings, those for Hanna and Soul Surfer, were bigger than expected. When the actual numbers are released on Monday, Hanna could very well end up in the #2 spot just ahead of Arthur, which proved to be anything but a star-launching move for Brand. On the other hand, Soul Surfer – see what I did there? – did very well for itself despite little publicity or awareness going into the weekend. I say it’s the Dennis Quaid factor hard at work, but I’ve been wrong about these things before.

Your Highness, the fourth film in wide release, didn’t do any favors to director David Gordon Green or stars Danny McBride and James Franco. You could blame the R rating. You could blame the lack of power McBride’s name has. That latter possibility is more likely of the two, as Green’s last R-rated comedy, Pineapple Express, was able to generate $23.2 million in opening weekend receipts with Seth Rogen’s name as the main draw. The 25% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes could also have been a factor in Your Highness‘ disappointing debut. Arthur stands with the same fresh rating, but the R vs. PG-13 debate could account for a $3-million box office difference.

What should be noted in the returning films is how well Insidious continues to perform. Despite it being a horror film, a fact that typically causes a notable drop after its opening weekend, it was able to hold on quite well almost pulling in an additional $10 million. With continued longevity, it could prove to be a Saw-like success for James Wan and Leigh Whannell. The first film of that franchise made $55.1 million in its domestic run off of a $1.2-million budget. Insidious cost around $1.5 million. Let’s just hope FilmDistrict doesn’t Saw the film out with a series of diminishing return sequels.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Hop – $21.6m (-42.2%) $68.1m total
  2. Arthur – $12.6m NEW
  3. Hanna – $12.3m NEW
  4. Soul Surfer – $11.1m NEW
  5. Insidious -$9.7m (-26.6%) $27m total
  6. Your Highness – $9.5m NEW
  7. Source Code – $9m (-38.9%) $28.6m total
  8. Limitless – $5.6m (-38.8%) $64.3m total
  9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – $4.8m (-51.3%) $45.4m total
  10. The Lincoln Lawyer – $4.6m (-32.6%) $46.4m total

The weekend top 10 were able to bring $100.8 million in receipts in. That’s not an astounding amount, but it’s also not abysmal given how weak to fair the new releases performed. It is down from the same weekend last year when Clash of the Titans was in its second weekend, Date Night debuted, and How to Train Your Dragon was in its third. All three of those films made well over $20 million that weekend.

Two new films looks to turn the box office back on the upswing next weekend, one a new animated kids movie, the other a new entry into a long stagnant horror franchise. Rio and Scream 4 will be duking it out for the #1 spot, and they’ll likely be topping out the charts for the weekend.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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