Obviously good press makes all the difference, as last weekend’s top two films ( The Hangover and UP ) hung onto their top spots with little to no competition from newcomers The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and the dismally-performing Eddie Murphy kid’s flick Imagine That (why, Eddie?).
Despite some controversy over the treatment of the baby, the raunchy, Vegas-set comedy took in an estimated $33.4M in ticket sales, leaving it with a current gross of 105.4M over just 10 days (not bad for a no-name movie that cost just $30M to make). The bachelor party romp slid 26 percent in sales this week (which sounds worse than it is), putting it on-par with The Wedding Crashers — the highest grossing R-rated comedy ever. Some expect it to surpass the Vaughn/Wilson 2005 hit.
Disney/Pixar’s UP sunk 31 percent over the weekend, taking in $30.5M to a 17-day gross of $187.2M. As the only animated movie on the horizon until the July 1 debut of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs , UP looks poised to follow the #1 Pixar money-maker, Finding Nemo , over the $300M mark. Is it depressing? Yes. Is it good? Yes. We just hope it inspires someone to really invent those collars that make dogs talk.
Third place went to remake, The Taking of Pelham 123, which, with an estimated $25M was the only other film to take in over $10M this weekend. The opening was in the same range as many of Denzel Washington’s action films, though Travolta seems to have added little to the draw. We are still trying to forgive them for remaking it in the first place.
Rounding out the top 5 were Fox’s Night at the Museum sequel and the Will Ferrell flop, Land of the Lost , taking in $9.6M and $9.2M respectively. While the Ben Stiller kid’s flick has produced relatively similar numbers to the original, the Ferrell movie took a 51 percent tumble in only its second weekend. The film famously cost over $100M to make, and is expected to sputter in with a $60M final tally, leaving some undoubtedly unhappy execs over at Universal. Plus, Matt Lauer’s performance is the selling point.
That’s what you get for giving all that cash to Ricky Bobby, guys!