Weekend Box Office Dominated by The Other Guys with $35.6 Million

The Other Guys sent both The Dream Guys and The Dance Guys packing this weekend at the North American box office as the new Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy debuted at number one, ending the three-week domination of the Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster Inception. The 3D dance flick Step Up 3D grooved its way to a mediocre third place debut. Overall, weekend ticket sales closed roughly 9% below figures from the same weekend last year at this time.

Following an aggressive ad campaign that had its two leads promoting the film wherever they could, The Other Guys brought in a big $35.6 million in estimated ticket sales from 3,651 screens. Following the disaster that was Land of the Lost, Ferrell reteaming with director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talledega Nights and Step Brothers) proved to be just what the funnyman’s career needed. Guys had the added benefit of receiving a solid 79% approval rating from the nation’s critics on Rotten Tomatoes, a rare occurrence for modern-day comedies. The film also continued the summer winning streak for Sony Pictures who has struck gold with the likes of The Karate Kid, Salt and Grown Ups.

While it may no longer occupy the top spot at the box office, don’t feel too bad for Inception. The Christopher Nolan smash held strong in its fourth weekend in dropping a mere 32% from last weekend to gross an estimated $18.6 million 3,418 screens, bringing its domestic total to a huge $227.7 million. With no real direct competition to speak of, it should be smooth sailing for Leo and his dream team for the remainder of the summer en route to a possible $290-300 million final domestic haul.

Not even the added con – I mean, allure – of 3D could make Step Up 3-D a big hit this weekend as the movie pulled in an average $15.5 million from 2.435 screens in its debut. The third chapter in the profitable dance series had the weakest debut of the Step Up films so far, following the $20.7 million opening of the original and the $18.9 million from the sequel. Of the 2,435 screens, 1,851 of them were 3D. Friday opened to a decent $6.6 million in sales, but dropped off sharply after that, indicating that this may have been one too many trips to the Step Up universe.

Angelina Jolie’s spy thriller Salt had another solid hold this past weekend as the movie ebbed only 43% in its third weekend to gross an estimated $11.1 million 3,317 screens. With a new three week total near the $92 million mark, the Philip Noyce-directed film could see a final domestic gross between $115-120 million when all is said and done.

Falling a troubling 55% from its opening last weekend was Dreamworks/Paramount’s Dinner for Schmucks which consumed an estimated $10.5 million from 3,004 screens. After ten days, the Jay Roach-directed comedy has amassed a so-so $46.7 million. Not only did the film suffer from the debut of the Will Ferrell film, it also was hit with decidedly mixed word-of-mouth from ticket buyers. Watch for Dinner to finish its theatrical meal near the $75 million mark.

Carell’s other comedy in the top ten, the smash hit Despicable Me, held well once again as it eased a mere 39% to gross an estimated $9.5 million from 3,413 screens. The added dollars brings the film’s domestic total to a decidedly un-despicable $210 million. Seventh place went to Warner’s 3D sequel Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore which collected an estimated $7 million from 3,705 screens this weekend. Off 43% from its debut last weekend, the ten-day total for the 3D talking animal comedy stands at a weak $26.4 million.

Zac Efron’s critically-derided Charlie St. Cloud continued the freefall it began on its second day of release. Off a steep 62% from last weekend, the drama pulled in $4.7 million to bring its ten-day total to approximately $23.5 million. With a final domestic gross of $30 million (at best) on the horizon, is it too late for the teen heartthrob to star in another High School Musical?

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 added another $3 million from 1,714 screens to land in ninth place and bring its domestic total to $396.3 million. The film should hit $400 million domestic mark within the week and will be officially announced for Blu-ray Disc and DVD by week’s end. Tenth place went to Focus Features’ The Kids Are All Right, which grossed $2.6 million on 994 screens. The new total for the $4 million indie comedy now stands at $14 million.

Next weekend three new films arrive on the scene offering a little bit of everything: Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the Julia Roberts drama Eat, Pray, Love and Sly Stallone’s The Expendables. Predict what these films will make next weekend in our interactive Weekend Box Office Prophet Game for a chance at Blu-ray prizes.

– Shawn Fitzgerald

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