Never doubt the power of the Pixar brand.
After falling out of the top spot on Friday behind the surprise debut of the Warner Bros. comedy “The Hangover,” Pixar’s “Up” staged a comeback on Saturday and Sunday to win the weekend box office for the second weekend in a row. The critically acclaimed animated adventure was down only 35% with $44.2 million and a total of $137.3 million to date. The Walt Disney picture should continue to perform well with no competition for families in sight until “Ice Age: Dawn of the DInosaurs” next month.
Missing the top spot by just a hare, but still the surprise of the summer was Warner Bros. The Hangover,” with an impressive $43.2 million. The movie is the biggest opener in director Todd Phillips career and may have helped make household names (or at least faces) out of stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. And yes, the studio is already developing a sequel.
The other big surprise of the weekend was the underwhelming opening of Will Ferrell’s $100 million budgeted “Land of the Lost.” The reboot of the 1970s TV series raked in only $19.5 million, far from the $30 million the studio and industry tracking services expected making it the first disappointment of the summer. The results suggest, however, that over the past few years, if a Will Ferrell movie is not sold as a buddy comedy like “Step Brothers,” “Talladega Nights” or “Blades of Glory” were, the same audience does not show. 2008’s bomb “Semi-Pro” being a perfect example of how a solo Will Ferrell movie fares these days. Luckily for Universal, they have Johnny Depp’s “Public Enemies,” “Bruno” and the Adam Sandler/Seth Rogen dramedy “Funny People” on the way.
Also debuting this weekend was Fox Searchlight’s “My Life in Ruins.” which made $3.2 million in 1,164 theaters and in limited release, Focus Features’ “Away we Go.” That Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski comedy pulled off a very strong $143,000 in only 4 theaters. The $35,750 per screen is the second highest of the year behind “Sunshine Cleaning.” Focus will expand “Away” throughout the month nationally.
Here are the top ten weekend estimates according to Box Office Mojo.
1. “Up,” $44.2 million, $137.3 million to date.
2. “The Hangover,” $43.2 million
3. “Land of the Lost,” $19.5 million
4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $14.6 million, $127 million to date.
5. “Star Trek,” $8.4 million, $222 million to date.
6. “Terminator: Salvation,”$8.1 million, $105 million to date.
7. “Drag Me to Hell,” $7.3 million, $28 million to date.
8. “Angels & Demons,” $6.5 million, $116 million to date.
9. “My Life in Ruins.” $3.2 million
10. “Dance Flick,” $2 million, $22.6 million to date.