The Reject ReportIn the end, the Beliebers came out en masse, but the Valentine’s Day weekend was won by Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Well, maybe more Sandler than Aniston. It’s probably at about 65%/35% if you get right down to it. Regardless, the gap between Just Go With It and Never Say Never was less than $1 million, not much of a gap at all when considering opening box office numbers.

The $31 million brought in by Just Go With It is nothing groundbreaking for anyone involved. Sandler, Aniston, and director Dennis Dugan have all had their fair shares of $30+ million openings. If this does anything it proves all three are viable contenders despite their individual or collective critical reception. Just Go With It currently sits at 18% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, 33 at Metacritic.

Comparably, Never Say Never is doing a nice bit better with the critics, 64% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and 50 at Metacritic. It’s not exactly an Oscar candidate for 2012. There won’t be any amount of buzz surrounding Never Say Never like there was last year with This Is It. Nonetheless, vague title and all, Never Say Never brought in Hannah Montana-level numbers, great for Bieber and for director Jon Chu who could have Step Up 4Eva playing at local cinemaplexes very soon.

The large numbers brought in by #s 1 and 2 doesn’t mean everything else out this weekend was a collective slouch. Gnomeo and Juliet did bangup business for Disney and ended up being what could be seen as a #1 opener on any other weekend. Between Gnomeo and Juliet and Tangled, which is still in theaters, Disney is proving again why they are the top house when it comes to animated family entertainment. It doesn’t even matter that they have PIXAR in their corner. They can still churn out decent product and bring in loads of dollars for their efforts.

The Eagle opened to less than expected numbers but not by much. It’s not that surprising considering the Focus Feature film opened on nearly 700 screens less than Gnomeo and Juliet and either almost or more than 1000 screens less than Never Say Never and Just Go With It. Director Kevin MacDonald may want to go back to relatively indie work and documentaries after this big budget effort.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Just Go With It – $31m NEW
  2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $30.2m NEW
  3. Gnomeo and Juliet – $25.5m NEW
  4. The Eagle – $8.5m NEW
  5. The Roommate – $8.4m (-44%) $26m total
  6. The King’s Speech – $7.4m (-3.9%) $93.8m total
  7. No Strings Attached – $5.6m (-29.5%) $59.8m total
  8. Sanctum – $5.1m (-45.7%) $17.5m total
  9. True Grit – $3.7m (-18.8%) $160.3m total
  10. The Green Hornet – $3.6m (-39.7%) $92.3m total

We’re looking at $129 million for the top 10 this weekend, a vast improvement over recent weeks. We’re out of the January graveyard and the box office along with the weather is beginning to turn for the warmer. Just the top 3 films this weekend made more than all of the top 10 last week.

Next weekend could be another up week. Along with the three big movies this weekend in their 2nd weekends, three new films open in wide release. All of them have the potential for huge box office success. They are Unknown, I Am Number Four, and Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son. I haven’t checked, but I don’t think Kirk Cameron has anything to do with that last one.

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


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