Just in time for his annual Oscar party, Elton John’s “Gnomeo and Juliet” hit no. 1 at the box office. A rare achievement in its third week of wide release, “Juliet” pulled in another $14.2 million for an estimated new cume of $75.1 million. The 3D animated tale will certainly pass the $100 million mark, but questions abound how much more the surprise hit could have made if the picture had been released under the Disney label instead of Touchstone Pictures. In any event, it’s a great achievement for John and his producing team who worked hard with former Disney studio head Dick Cook to get the film made.
The weekend’s expected top flick, “Hall Pass,” instead found itself in the second slot with a disappointing $13.2 million. The Farrelly Bros. comedy grossed just $13.2 million. Warner Bros. was hoping to hit the $18 million mark, but the combination of Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson just didn’t click with audiences.
The third slot went to the Liam Neeson thriller “Unknown” which grossed another $12.4 million for a 10 day take of $42 million. The Joel Silver produced thrill appears to be on its way to at least $70 million domestic.
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s “Just Go With It” continued to hold stready in fourth with another $11.1 million and $79.3 million so far. At this point, it would be surprising if the Sony Pictures release didn’t hit Sandler’s “expected” $100 million mark.
Dropping to number five was “I Am Number Four” which grossed $11 million to bring its cume to $37.7 million so far.
One notable release this weekend, “Drive Angry 3D,” had a stunningly low opening with just $5.1 million. It might be a sign that Nicolas Cage needs to take a break from the big screen after appearing in four major releases over the past 10 months. His next scheduled flick is “Ghost Rider 2” on Feb. 2, 2012.
Other notable box office marks include “Justin Bieber Never Say Never” hitting $62.7 million, “The King’s Speech” with $114 million, “The Fighter” finally knocking at $90 million, “Cedar Rapids” at $2.4 million in its third week of limited release, “Biutiful” at $3.8 million and “Blue Valentine” at $9.2 million.
Final box office results are released on Monday.