Box Office: The Other Guys Blast Their Way to the Top

The Reject ReportThe Sorcerer’s Apprentice didn’t have the magic to pull it off. Neither Salt, Ramona, nor Beezus had the strength for an upset. Not even schmucks, cats, dogs, or Zac Efron had what it takes to wake Christopher Nolan up from the #1 dream he has been living for the past four weeks. Bring in The Other Guys.

The combination of Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Adam McKay was not only able to unseat Inception at the top of the box office, it did so in grand fashion giving Ferrell his biggest opening since Talladega Nights and Wahlberg’s his biggest since Planet of the Apes. The Other Guys was able to pull in just under $10,000 per screen and is already well on its way to topping its reported $100-million budget.

Now comes the true test for The Other Guys, to see if it has what it takes to stick around for the long haul. Ferrell has never had a film gross higher than $173.3 million (Wedding Crashers made $209.2 million in domestic sales, but his role there was a glorified cameo.). Wahlberg certainly has, but that was nearly a decade ago. Wahlberg’s box office clout isn’t today what it once was. The broad, screwball comedy genre might be a little thin on releases throughout August and even September, so movie goers might be going back to The Other Guys more than once to get their comedy fix.

Even though it didn’t come out on top, Inception still continues its strong weekly take. It has topped the $200-million point since last weekend, and it well on its way further north. Without a re-release it probably won’t see much more than $250 million, but that’s not chump change in WB’s eyes.

Despicable Me also got past $200 million in domestic sales. Its foreign box office isn’t helping the cause all that much (only $43.5 million have been taken in from other countries). Regardless, Universal has a clear winner here and the sequel has already been set for 2013.

While 3-D helped get Despicable Me to where it’s at, it didn’t do much for the third installment in the Step Up saga. As predicted, Step Up 3-D did worse than Step Up 2 The Streets which, in turn, did worse than the first Step Up. Nonetheless, with a budget of only $30 million, Step Up 3-D may very well NOT be the final installment. Prepare yourselves for Step Up 4 the Win to hit some time in 2012.

In the battle of Grown Ups Vs. Kids, it seems the kids had the edge this weekend. While Adam Sandler’s latest, Grown Ups, was helping itself to millions upon millions of dollars, it still found itself knocked out of the top 10 this week thanks to The Kids Are All Right, which is continuing its dominance on the indie circuit. 147 screens were added to Kids‘ schedule this week and it seems clear cut that Focus Features has the indie darling of the Summer at its grasp.

Films that weren’t indie darlings this weekend: Middle Men and Twelve. Both opened on less than 300 screens, but neither could pull in enough per screen average to make any kind of notable waves. Middle Men made $305,000 on 252 screens. While Twelve, the latest film from Joel Schumacher, was only able to pull in $463 per screen on 231 screens. Not the type of openings that are going to garner wider releases any time soon.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. The Other Guys – $35.6m NEW
  2. Inception – $18.6m (-32.3%) $227.7m total
  3. Step Up 3-D – $15.5m NEW
  4. Salt – $11.1m (-43%) $91.9m total
  5. Dinner for Schmucks – $10.5m (-55.4%) $46.7m total
  6. Despicable Me – $9.4m (-39.4%) $209.4m total
  7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $6.9m (-43.7%) $26.3m total
  8. Charlie St. Cloud – $4.7m (-62%) $23.5m total
  9. Toy Story 3 – $3m (-40.5%) $396.3m total
  10. The Kids Are All Right – $2.6m (-26.1%) $14m total

As anticipated, this weekend marks the fourth weekend in a row the box office has dropped in sales. The top 10 this weekend earned $117.9 million, down 8.2% from last weekend’s $128.3-million take. This is the first time in 2010 we’ve had four drops in a row, but next weekend’s slate looks to turn that all around.

Expect The Other Guys to have only have one weekend at the top spot as three anticipated films find release. Whether the #1 spot will go to Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a tough prediction to make. What is likely, though, is how well all three are expected to do. Hitting against three different demographics doesn’t hurt matters, but all are highly anticipated films among their respective target audiences. We’ll be back on Thursday to run down how we see the weekend turning out.

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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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