Inside Pulse Box Office Report: Woody and Buzz Ride into the Sunset while Knight Falls on Tom Cruise


“Kevin, if you think I look good now, you should see me in my cheerleading outfit (A History of Violence) or completely disrobed (The Cooler). Yeah, mull that one over.”

The planets must be in perfect alignment or something, because no way Toy Story 3 should be repeating as number one. The movie is just too good. And yet here it is repeating as number one. Not a comedy with Adam Sandler or an action comedy headlined by the likes of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; but a great movie, and probably the best mainstream film to grace theaters so far this year. That must mean we’re on the precipice of world peace or the Mayans got their calendar wrong and this is clearly the last great movie we’ll ever see.

Toy Story 3, as expected, repeats as the number one movie in America, pulling in an estimated $59 million during its second weekend of release. That figure is good enough to make it the seventh-best all time behind the likes of Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, James Cameron’s one-two punch of Avatar and Titanic, and most recently Alice in Wonderland. Dropping only 46.5% from its monstrous $109 million gross last weekend, the movie is well on its way to becoming the second motion picture this year to cross the billion dollar mark. At $326.5 million worldwide already, it’s got quite a ways before it can surpass a billion, but if Alice in Wonderland can do it, why not a handful of toys?

With Toy Story‘s #1 position never in doubt, the battle was those movies gunning to come in second place. Normally, a Tom Cruise vehicle would be racing to the finish line to finish first opening weekend, or at the very least second. But after his couch-jumping spat on Oprah, he attracted the wrong kind of attention and became the gossip of entertainment rags. Knight and Day, an action comedy the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith with him and Cameron Diaz, looked like a win-win if judging by the ads. Then you see the movie and realize that not even Cruise’s screen presence and charisma can withstand a bunch of man-children yucking it up. Grown Ups cost several millions less than Knight and Day and grossed twice as much this weekend. Granted, Sandler’s comedy opened on 436 more screens, but the difference in screen averages was roughly five thousand dollars. That’s pathetic for a Tom Cruise summertime blockbuster. It just goes to show you that more people wanted to see Sandler and his friends goof off than see Tom Cruise in a spy flick. While I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about Grown Ups I did find it to be the best Happy Madison production from the last few years. Knight and Day was entertaining to an extent, but the plot was any combination of thin, shallow and boring. At least Grown Ups doesn’t disguise the fact that it doesn’t have a plot.

After these new arrivals, the box office top ten reflects the order they were in last week. The Karate Kid is the only holdover to gain screens this week, 77, on its way to adding $15.4 million to its total. With box office earnings creeping to $150 million, young Jaden Smith won’t have to pester dear old dad about an allowance. The A-Team brings in $6 million to bring its domestic total to $62 million, which is way off of its $110 million budget. Though, it has reached that mark if you account for overseas grosses – but just barely. The comedy Get Him to the Greek raises his total to $55 million, or about $15 million above its $40 million budget. After six weeks Shrek Forever After has made $229 million, which is only $3 million more than Toy Story 3‘s total after two weeks in theaters. The green ogre isn’t smelling like a rose any longer.

Still limping in theaters is Prince of Persia. At $86 million, the $200 million budget spectacle is a dud in America. But it has made $226 million overseas. If it can’t reach $400 million or more, Disney better hopes it cleans up on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. At the very least the marketing campaign can tout it as the “Highest Grossing Video Game Movie of All Time” (sorry Wizard fans). Killers leap frogs Jonah Hex to claim the ninth spot with a per screen average of $881. (Are you kidding me?!) And Jonah Hex nosedives faster than Scarface into a large bag of cocaine to have the second largest drop-off in attendance from opening weekend to the next this year. (The biggest drop off in attendance in 2010 has been A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it had a much stronger opening than Jonah).

Depending on how you read the top ten, it either begins with greatness and ends with scraping the bottom of the cinematic barrel, or it rises from the depths of comic-book hell to show that Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler cannot match wits or charisma with inanimate objects.

1. Toy Story 3 – $59m ($226.5m)
2. Grown Ups – $41m
3. Knight & Day -$20.5m
4. The Karate Kid – $15.4m ($135.6m)
5. The A-Team – $6m ($62.8m)
6. Get Him to the Greek – $3m ($54m)
7. Shrek Forever After – $2.8m ($229.3m)
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – $2.8m ($86.2)
9. Killers – $2m ($44m)
10. Jonah Hex – $1.6m ($9.1m)

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