The Reject ReportMark Wahlberg and Will Farrell have guns. With bullets. Bullets that can kill. And their sights are set on Inception‘s top spot. Only two films open in wide release this weekend, and one of them is about dancing. The other film stars the two A-listers named above, so it seems fairly evident if any film is going to take over the #1 spot it’s going to be The Other Guys. Their time is now. Their guns are poised. Their aim is true.

BIG HITTERS

The Will Farrell/Adam McKay collaboration is a surefire equation for box office success. Farrell alone isn’t a golden ticket. The range on his opening weekend numbers, particularly in the Summer months, is wider than a double rainbow with everything from amazing ($47 million opening weekend for Talladega Nights) to lackluster ($18.8 million for Land of the Lost). He isn’t a sure bet unless, of course, he’s teaming with his Talladega Nights director. Every film the two have made together (and that includes all of McKay’s filmography) has made $28.4 million or better in its opening weekend. While it seems they probably peaked with Talladega Nights, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why The Other Guys won’t have he same type of success.

Wahlberg isn’t much of a factor. Though he is more or less considered an A-list star, he isn’t the type of actor who can bring out the big guns all on his own. His films, at least the more successful ones, are generally built up around some sort of brand or more stars above the film’s title than just him. His biggest opening weekend was in 2001 with Planet of the Apes when it made $68.5, but, again, that had a brand behind it much bigger than Wahlberg. His name clearly won’t hurt The Other Guys‘ opening weekend. He’ll probably have about the same effect on its numbers John C. Reilly had on Step Brothers, and the film will probably settle somewhere between $30-35 million.

It has to be mentioned that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson will also add a few dollars. Michael Keaton might not, but we like to think he will.

To see how someone would really react to a building exploding near them (hint: you can’t just walk away without flinching), check out this trailer for The Other Guys:

Step Up 3-D is coming out this weekend, too. It’s got dancing. It’s in 3-D. The second Step Up film did slightly worse than the first one. We can only assume this third film will have the same type of drop off. If you’re into this kind of thing, check out the trailer here:

Just in doing research did I learn Channing Tatum was in the first film, but I can only assume he won’t be returning for a cameo. 3-D Channing Tatum. That’s a scary thing.

FAMILIARITIES

Inception has been the dominating one for three weekends in a row. It doesn’t seem likely it will take the top spot again here, but Christopher Nolan’s film and the $201 million it has made are nothing to sneeze at. With an additional $171 million outside of the United States, you can rest assured Warner Brothers will be throwing all kinds of cash but, more importantly, leniency Nolan’s way as he directs his next film. That, of course, is Batman 3, and just by mentioning the film’s title, I’m guaranteed 32% more hits on this article than I would have gotten otherwise.

Other films approaching or likely to surpass milestones this weekend include Despicable Me, which will top $200 million this weekend, as well, and Toy Story 3, which may or may not break the $400-million mark. It has pulled and clawed its way up the all time domestic list, though, and currently rests at #11, $11 million behind Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen in the #10 spot. Let me repeat that. Transformers 2 is in the top 10 all time domestic list. Toy Story 3 is only $11 million away from knocking it off that list. Buy your tickets now.

LITTLE OPENERS

Once again, a number of films find their way into limited release this weekend, a few of them spilling out onto more than a couple of hundred screens.  The first of these is Joel Schumacher’s latest film, Twelve. A drama about teens falling under the pressures of drugs and the effects that come from it, it played at Sundance and was met with some scathing reviews. I personally felt it was a cool mess that tried too hard in certain areas but didn’t seem to care in others. It does have a rather smooth voiceover narration throughout from Kiefer Sutherland, and, if you’re still interested in seeing it, you’ll have your chance from the 212 screens it opens on.

Another film that isn’t being met with overly positive reviews is Middle Men, a Boogie Nights-style look at the birth of the online porn industry.  It also opens on 200+ screens this weekend, so chances are good it is somewhere close to you. Unlike Twelve, it isn’t getting hit with a barrage of critic shrapnel, but it is getting its licks here and there. Lisa Schwarzbaum calls it a “cranked-up drama” but Robert Wilonsky says it’s a better choice for Luke Wilson than his AT&T ads, whatever that says for it.

Either way you stand, you can check out Middle Men in theaters this weekend, but you can check out the trailer right here:

Other films coming out in limited release this weekend include The Disappearance of Alice Creed opening in 12 select markets; The Oxford Murders opening in Portland (you can check it out on VOD now); Cairo Time in select theaters; Rob Reiner’s Flipped opening in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Austin; The Sicilian Girl opening on Wednesday, August 4th at the Film Forum in New York City; and Lebanon opening in New York.

Here’s how the top 10 is shaping up this weekend:

  1. The Other Guys – $32.4m NEW
  2. Inception – $17.6m (-35.5%)
  3. Step Up 3-D – $17.2m NEW
  4. Dinner for Schmucks – $12.2m (-48%)
  5. Salt – $11.4m (-40.8%)
  6. Despicable Me – $9.5m (-38.2%)
  7. Charlie St. Cloud -$6.6m (-45.6%)
  8. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $7.4m (-39.3%)
  9. Toy Story 3 – $3m (-40.7%)
  10. Grown Ups – $2.6m (-42.2%)

$119.9 million. That’s how this weekend is looking, and, yes, we’re looking for our fourth weekend in a row where the top 10 has grossed less than in the previous weekend. This will be the first time this has happened in 2010, the first it has happened, in fact, since the steadily declining, five-week bridge between August and September in 2009. It’s not a big drop from last weekend. We’re looking at 6.6% drop, but it’s one more reminder of how close to the end of Summer we truly are.

The Other Guys could pull off better numbers than anticipated and get that overall total up to the mid to high $120-million range, but, either way, it’s not spelling the end of the film industry as we know it. Films are still pulling in decent numbers for what they are. Hollywood just didn’t back-end this Summer with as many tent poles as we’ve seen in previous years.

The first weekend of August in the last three years have all had films released with either franchises or franchise potential backing them, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and The Bourne Ultimatum. It isn’t until you hit 2006 that we see a #1 film that didn’t have this level of branding or tent pole awareness. The film that year? Talladega Nights. And it all comes full circle.

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

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