DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg did the right thing, but paid for it at the box office. Now, he has to hope his stockholders and Wall St. don’t fault him for it. The company’s latest release, “How To Train Your Dragon” is a critical and audience crowd pleaser, but opened less to the less loved “Monsters vs. Aliens” of just one year ago. “Dragon” found $43.3 million while “Monster” made $59 million. That was still enough to win the weekend, but it’s going to take a lot of good word of mouth to match “Monsters'” $198 million gross domestically. Considering how good the movie is though, it’s not out of the question.
Falling to second place in its fourth week was Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” with a $17.3 million weekend. With an overall cume of $293 million, the Walt Disney flick will soon gross the $300 million mark sometime this week. That’s a feat neither Burton’s “Batman” nor his “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” accomplished and its the first non-“Pirates of the Caribbean” movie of Johnny Depp’s to hit that mark.
Third place belongs to the debut of MGM’s “Hot Tub Time Machine” which grossed $13.5 million. The financially troubled studio didn’t have the large advertising budget many of its competitors have access to for similar films, but many will question why “Machine” didn’t make more. Was it the title? A bad date? it’s unclear. However, the Lion will hope for good word of mouth to keep the hot tub bubbling for a bit longer.
Coming in fourth was Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler’s critically lambasted “The Bounty Hunter” with just $12.4 million. With only $39 million to date, it’s hard to see this romantic comedy equaling Butler’s box office success with Katherine Heigl (who turned down “Hunter”) in the just as bad “Ugly Truth.”
Fifth place went to Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” which had a 54% drop with the similarly skewing “Dragon” coming into the marketplace. With another $10 million in the sandbox, “Wimpy” now has a total gross of $35.7 million.
With school breaks in effect around the country, Disney will launch the Miley Cyrus romance “The Last Song” on Wednesday. Friday finds Warner Bros. debuting “Clash of the Titans” and Lionsgate countering with Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?”.
Final box office results are released on Monday.