After a weak six weeks of box office grosses, moviegoers returned for the President’s Day weekend as three different films all opened over $25 million.
Narrowly coming in at no. 1 was Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s “Just Go With It.” As usual, Sandler’s core audience ignored negative reviews and helped fuel a $31 million debut. The comedy could hit $37-39 million by the end of Monday’s holiday.
Still hoping to claim the top spot when the finally tallies are announced is “Justin Bieber Never Say Never.” Unlike “Just Go With It,” the music doc had a significant drop from Friday to Saturday and ended the weekend at $30.3 million. That’s almost identical to the debut of “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds” three years ago. Costing just $13 million to produce and relying mostly on an online campaign, Paramount Pictures will turn a profit on this release rather quickly.
Debuting with less fanfare, but still strongly in third was the Elton John produced 3D animated film “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Originally intended as a Miramax release, Disney kept the film inhouse when it sold the division and was rewarded with a $25.5 million opening even without the studio’s moniker on the picture (which probably cost them $5-10 million in box office).
Fourth place went to “The Eagle” which brought in $8.6 million and should pass $10 million for the four-day when all is said and done. That’s higher than pre-release polling and not bad considering it only debuted in 2,296 theaters.
Debuting in just 15 theaters, Fox Searchlight’s “Cedar Rapids” got off to a very good start of $20,719 per screen for $310,789 to date.
Look for complete holiday weekend box office estimates tomorrow on HitFix.