The toys are back, and they’re ready for round two.  This weekend, it’s time to take your childish things back out of the closet.  Not even Adam Sandler and his Grown Ups are going to be able to make a dent in the juggernaut that Toy Story 3 is sure to be.  Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz probably won’t be doing much to hurt the Pixar monster, either.  When all is said and done, it will be second-tier scraps the weekend’s newcomers will be fighting for.

BIG HITTERS

Up first is the latest from Adam Sandler, Happy Madison, and the four sidekicks he’s decided to bring along for this ride.  Grown Ups boasts an all-star cast circa 1995, but David Spade and Rob Schneider aside, Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James are sure to bring some big numbers to the table.  Rock doesn’t elicit that much star power on his own.  You can’t really give him much credit for how well the Madagascar films or Bee Movie opened.  His singular vehicles haven’t done all that well with Down to Earth‘s $17.2-million opening being the biggest.  Pair him with someone of equal stature, though, and he can bring in the numbers.  See The Longest Yard from 2005 and the $47.6 million it raked in its opening weekend for a reference point.  James, on the other hand, seems to be a lucky charm with or without a partner.  The $43.1 million and the $34.2 million 2005’s Hitch and 2007’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry made respectively are sure signs he does well in a duo setting.  Paul Blart‘s $31.8-million opening weekend is also a nice sign he can open on his own.

But the biggest booster for Grown Ups is the Sandler factor. Love or hate the guy, he can still turn in decent, box office numbers.  Not since 2000’s Little Nicky has he had an out-and-out bomb on the comedy side of things.  You can’t fault him for Funny People.  That was Apatow’s fault.  Even that pulled in $22.6 million in its opening weekend.  Look for Grown Ups to do that by Saturday evening.  Mix in the fact there aren’t any PG-13 comedies out there like this right now, and you’ve got a recipe for a nice weekend take.

If you’re ready to meet the Grown Ups, check out the trailer for the film right here:

If you’re standing the entire cast of Grown Ups against Tom Cruise based on looks and appeal to the fairer sex, it probably won’t be much of a contest.  Box office is another matter, though.  Perceived star power or not, looking back over the opening numbers for past Tom Cruise films brings up some surprising results.  Take away any brand loyalty for one of his films and release it based on the Cruise name alone, and you’re not always guaranteed a huge winner.  His biggest opening to date has been War of the Worlds, but the $64.8 million it made in its opening weekend and the $234.2 million it made in the long haul can just as easily be attributed to Steven Spielberg and the idea of a big budget remake.  Standing Cruise up alone will probably guarantee you somewhere in the mid to high $20s on opening weekend.  The Firm and Interview With a Vampire might fall into this category, but the popularity of the books they were based on also helped get their opening weekends to $25.4 and $36.3 million, respectively.

When you look at a film like Knight and Day, sure it’s going to make money.  However, it isn’t guaranteed nor will it likely make gangbusters this opening weekend.  James Mangold isn’t a name to sell your movie on.  Like it or not, Cameron Diaz really isn’t any more either.  Take away Shrek and Charlie’s Angels, and the biggest opening she has is the $25 million Vanilla Sky made, the film she co-starred with guess who.  Cruise is selling Knight and Day all on his own.  Couple this with the fact that it is opening on Wednesday night and people aren’t likely to run out to check it out again over the weekend, and you have a film that won’t be breaking any records its opening weekend.  Don’t worry about Cruise, though.  I’m sure he’ll bounce back from any backlash this might have on him momentarily.

To get a little Knight with your Day (trust me, the title doesn’t make any more sense after you see it), check out the trailer for it right here:

FAMILIARITIES

But enough about those annoying newbies.  Let’s get back to the toys.  After its record-breaking opening weekend, it’s time to see how much longevity Buzz and Woody can sustain.  Pixar films generally have a decent second weekend drop-off.  There most recent films have had anywhere between 33-43% drops from week to week.  With the amazingly good word of mouth being thrown at Toy Story 3, its chances of having anything higher have completely faded out.  With the week it is currently having (it made another $15 million on Monday’s receipts alone) and the upcoming weekend it is sure to have, look for Toy Story 3 to trample past the $200-million mark early on.  This time next week, it could be very well on its way to topping $300 million, something only Finding Nemo has done for Pixar to date.

Also this time next week, Jonah Hex may have been able to limp its way past the $10-million mark, which is relatively 1/5 of its total budget.  Not that the film was a mega-budgeted blockbuster, but I believe it is safe to say it will go down as the biggest bomb of the Summer season if not all of 2010.

LITTLE OPENERS

There is little in the world of limited releases this week.  One film it does have to offer, though, is an incredibly eye-opening documentary about soldiers in Afghanistan.  Told from their perspective, Restrepo is one of those documentaries where you are put behind the lines, and what you see will shock you.  I was lucky enough to see this film at Sundance where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.  It opens this Friday in New York and L.A.

Get behind enemy lines for a little taste of Restrepo by checking out the trailer right here:

A film that’s been getting a little notice over the last, few weeks is Dogtooth.  The trailer for the film is both strange, surreal, and oddly disturbing and has brought on comparisons to films all over the spectrum from The Village to The Human Centipede.  It opens at Cinema Village in New York this weekend.

For a little taste of that weirdness, check out the trailer for Dogtooth right here:

Other films opening in limited release this weekend include Oliver Stone’s documentary South of the Border at the Angelika Film Center in New York and the French film Wild Grass also playing in New York.

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

  1. Toy Story 3 – $72.5m (-34.2%)
  2. Grown Ups – $34.5m NEW
  3. Knight & Day – $29.9m NEW
  4. The Karate Kid – $16.3m (-45%)
  5. The A-Team – $6.8m (-52.4%)
  6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $3.4m (-36.6%)
  7. Get Him to the Greek – $3.3m (-44.8%)
  8. Shrek Forever After – $2m (-62.9%)
  9. Killers – $1.6m (-66.2%)
  10. Jonah Hex – $1.4m (-72.2%)

This weekend has some strong competition in regards to last weekend and the same weekend last year.  The anticipated $171.7 million the top ten will make this coming weekend looks to be down 8.2% from last weekend’s $187.2 million.  That’s not that big of a drop considering neither of the new films this weekend are going to come out on top and neither are likely to have monster openings.  These numbers also reflect a 9.5% drop from the same weekend last year when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen pushed the top ten to $189.8 million.

Transformers 2 ended up being the highest grossing film last Summer, ultimately pulling in $402 million in domestic box office.  With the release and current success of Toy Story 3, we could very well have the biggest film of 2010 at hand.  It will surely pass up Shrek Forever After and more than likely will beat out Iron Man 2 when all the numbers come in.  Its biggest hurdle will be Alice in Wonderland, something I’m sure Disney isn’t concerning themselves all that much with.  Wherever these two films end up at the end of the year tally, it seems pretty evident 2010 is the Mouse House’s year.  They still have Sorcerer’s Apprentice and something called TRON: Legacy chambered up, as well.

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

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