The Reject ReportAnd around and around it goes. Kind of like the box office. It comes and goes, and sometimes you look around and wonder what exactly is changing? Well, the movies are getting bigger. The animation is getting slicker. And the sequels are starting to take over. They’ve even got PIXAR in their grubby claws this weekend.

Cars 2 is the big Summer movie, the likeliest candidate to the the top spot, but where will it rank among the rest of Pixar’s slate? Does Bad Teacher have a shot at a big opening? Is Ryan Reynolds still flying around space or did he get eaten by the Super 8 monster? Okay, that last question probably won’t be broached, but we’ll hit on everything else in this week’s Reject Report.

BIG HITTERS

2011 hasn’t been a massive year for animated movies so far. Three films, Rango, Rio, and Kung Fu Panda 2, have all surpassed the $100m mark, and Gnomeo and Juliet ended right at that cusp. But now it’s Pixar’s turn. The animation behemoth releases their 12th film this weekend, Cars 2, and despite early word that it’s absolutely the worst thing they’ve put out, the first true cash grab the studio has concocted, it’ll likely make them another truck-load of coin.

The first Cars film brought in $60.1m in its opening weekend in 2006. It went on to make $244m domestic and $217.9m in foreign markets, not exactly a groundbreaking achievement for the studio that has made billions in worldwide box office. In fact, Cars is on the low end of the Pixar  box office chart. You would have almost expected to see sequels for The Incredibles ($631.4m worldwide) or Finding Nemo ($867.8m worldwide) before Cars. But here we have it, and like it or not, Cars 2 is going to have a huge opening weekend. It won’t be the biggest opening Pixar has seen. No one expects Cars 2 to match the $110.3m Toy Story 3 made this time last year. Below that chart-topper, the Pixar openings are kind of log-jammed between $65-70m, and that seems the most likely for Cars 2. Where the animated film goes from there, especially with the last Harry Potter film landing less than a month away, remains to be seen.

Oh, look, it’s the Cars 2 trailer. I wonder if Larry the Cable Guy makes a dumb redneck joke in there somewhere. Always bet on red:

Also hitting wide release this weekend is Bad Teacher, an R-rated comedy starring Cameron Diaz as a teacher who really doesn’t care about her students. Diaz isn’t exactly a main attraction when it comes to box office numbers. Many of her most successful films like Charlie’s Angels or the Shrek films have had their own branding built in. However, Bad Teacher could prove a decent enough counter-programming for audiences who haven’t had enough crude with their comedy. With Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II still raking in the cash, there’s sure to be some spill-over for Bad Teacher, possibly even enough to get it past $20m. Justin Timberlake is in there, too, and if Yogi Bear taught us anything, it’s that Timberlake puts asses in seats.

FAMILIARITIES

What to discuss on the familiarity side of things? We could discuss how The Hangover Part II continues its dominance for overall 2011. We could talk about how Green Lantern, with its reported $200m budget, has a long road to the black ahead of it. We could go over how Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris continues to surprise us all. What’s that? You’ve heard it all before? Fine.

Let’s talk about a little movie called The Arbor, which made $55 on 1 screen last week. That’s five, maybe six, people who went to see the movie all week long. So, if you’re looking for a nice quiet place to read a book and not be bothered by anyone. Seek out The Arbor. You may want to check your local listings for it, though.

LITTLE OPENERS

Conan O’Brien can’t stop. That’s interesting, because there’s a new documentary about that very thing called Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. It chronicles the late night host’s tour of America between losing his stint as host of The Tonight Show and beginning his new show on TBS. Our very own Lauren Flanagan reviewed the film back in May wherein she writes “he’s addicted to being Conan O’Brien.” That’s funny. Sometimes I’m addicted to being Conan O’Brien, but I don’t think that brings about the same level of intense laughter as when the real Conan O’Brien does it. Oh, well. A man can dream, can’t he? Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop opens in select cities.

And now, because I’m a complete juvenile, I present to you the masturbating bear winning Million Dollar Giveaway:

Also opening in limited release are A Better Life opening in select cities, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front opening in New York City, The Names of Love opening in New York City and L.A., Turtle: The Incredible Journey opening in select cities, Beginning of the Great Revival opening in select cities, Leap Year opening in New York City, and The Best and the Brightest opening in New York and L.A.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Cars 2 – $67.5m NEW
  2. Green Lantern – $28.5m (-46.3%)
  3. Bad Teacher – $21.4m NEW
  4. Super 8 – $12.7m (-40.2%)
  5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $7.1m (-61%)
  6. X-Men: First Class – $6.2m (-47.7%)
  7. The Hangover Part II – $5.7m (-42.5%)
  8. Bridesmaids – $5.2m (-25.5%)
  9. Kung Fu Panda 2 – $4.8m (-46%)
  10. Midnight in Paris – $4m (-14.3%)

And with all that, we have a $163.1m weekend. That’s up from the previous three weekends and likely to be the second biggest weekend of 2011 so far. Wow, what a qualifier. Nothing like being second best to the weekend when the Hangover rip-off came out. But I’m not bitter. Really, though, I don’t know why it matters at this point. I’m pretty sure I lost you back at the masturbating bear.

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.

Click here for more of The Reject Report


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