Box Office

Are you Bradley Cooper?  If so, then congratulations, your first time out as a full-on leading man, you exceeded all expectations with an unqualified success.  Relativity Media's Limitless, starring Cooper and Robert DeNiro, surpassed projections, earning an estimated $19 million dollars over the weekend and claiming the number one spot.  Of the other new releases, The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughy, brought in $13.4 million for fourth place, while Paul, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and the voice of Seth Rogan, nipped at its heels with an estimated $13.2 million.  There's more to this weekend's story, however, and particularly where The Lincoln Lawyer is concerned.

The lesson of this weekend: don't bet against apocalyptic alien invasion movies where lots of recognizable landmarks are vaporized.  Battle: Los Angeles opened on par with expectations, earning an estimated $36 million for the number one spot.  The weekend's other alien-centric new release, the animated adventure Mars Needs Moms did not fare quite so well, with a feeble $6.8 million estimated debut in fifth place.  The only new release without any extraterrestrials, Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood, opened in third place, with an estimated $14.1 million. 

The most competitive weekend at the movies so far this year saw the release of four new movies, and predictably, the one with Johnny Depp's name on the poster was the biggest earner.  Rango, the first animated film from Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, opened in 3,917 theaters, from which it pulled $38 million over the weekend, largely based on the strength of a very busy Saturday.  The Adjustment Bureau, a Philip K. Dick adaptation starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, opened with $21.1 million, quite a bit more than it was expected to take in.  73% of the audience for that film was over 30 years old, while 46% of those who saw Rango were under 25.  Beastly, the youthful retelling of Beauty and the Beast, opened in third place, with just under $10 million.

The Oscars may not have been a bundle of surprises, but the weekend box office provided a few of its own.  Disney's Gnomeo & Juliet managed to make its way to the first place spot over the pretty-slow Oscar weekend, according to estimates.  After slowly moving into a striking position after debuting in third place, then jumping up to second place last weekend, the animated picture rose to first with $14.2 million over a weekend that apparently stands as the lowest attended late-February weekend in 16 years.  The new Farrelly Brothers comedy Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, underperformed in second place with an estimated $13.4 million, and last week's number one film Unknown dropped 43% to $12.4 million. 

Based on the nearly nonstop, visual effects and handsomeness-heavy advertising, you probably expected I Am Number Four to handily dominate the President's Day weekend, but today, I'm happy to surprise you.  With a well-below-expectations-haul of $22.6 million, Number Four actually ended up in the third place spot, making less money than Gnomeo and Juliet, which pulled in $24.8 million.  Surprisingly, both these films bowed to the weekend's biggest earner, Liam Neeson's Unknown, with $25.1 million.

The battle for box office supremacy in the year's first really competitive weekend came down to a photo finish, with the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Just Go With It beating out pocket-sized pop star Justin Bieber's 3D concert documentary Never Say Never by less than a million dollars, with an estimated $31 million and $30.3 million, respectively.  Though it was by a narrow margin, this marks the 11th consecutive number one opening from reigning comedy king Sandler.  Disney's animated Gnomeo and Juliet opened strong as well, with an estimated $25.5 million in third place.

Super Bowl weekend always seems to put a damper on the box-office, and this year was no exception making it the smallest box-office total gross in 15 years. Since this also happens to be the 13th straight weekend that ticket sales sank below last year's numbers, it is a little worrisome to say the least.

The King’s Speech had an impressive weekend. The highly praised film earned 41% more this weekend at the box office, likely due to the twelve Academy Award nominations that it received this past Tuesday. True Grit also managed to make 4% more over the weekend, which is especially impressive as it dropped out of 350 theatres since last week.

We certainly seem to love Natalie Portman. Her latest romcom entitled No Strings Attached opened at the #1 spot this weekend with $20 million in grosses. The romantic comedy also stars Ashton Kutcher and a handful of talented actors (including Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig and Lake Bell) exploring the notion of a “sex friend” relationship.

The Green Hornet easily flew into the top spot this weekend at the box office. The superhero action/comedy opened with a strong $34 million in its first three days, making it the 3rd highest January opening of all-time! While the film earned mixed reviews, it is clear that audiences were in the mood for this unique take on the genre.

Ron Howard’s latest, The Dilemma also opened to a pretty decent $17 million. The Vince Vaughn/Kevin James comedy didn’t excite critics, but it earned enough audience attention to open in 2nd place.

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