It turns out America (and the world for that matter) really wanted some Nazi scalps.
Quentin Tarantino had the biggest opening of his career this weekend as “Inglourious Basterds” found $37.6 million at the box office. It also grossed an impressive $27.5 million in 22 territories in Europe bringing smiles to both The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures who have a 50/50 revenue split on the movie. Both companies have been looking for a light at the end of the tunnel after some rocky times. In even better news, “Basterds” fell only 10% from Friday to Saturday indicating the picture may have stronger word of mouth than was expected. It’s unclear if “Basterds” can hit $100 million domestically, but it’s almost a guaranteed to overseas. [Check out an interview with star Eli Roth in the embedded video on this page.]
Second place belonged to last week’s champ “District 9” which had an acceptable 50% drop to gross $18.9 million and a new cume of $73.4 million. Considering the competition for a male audience with “Basterds,” this is good news for the long term playability of the Neill Blomkamp’s critically acclaimed Sci-Fi thriller.
“GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra” came in third with $12.5 million and an overall take of $120 million. The much maligned action picture is looking to finish somewhere between $150-160 million when all is said and done. Does that mean sequel? Unclear.
Coming in fourth was “The Time Traveler’s Wife” which only fell 46% from its opening week and found another $10 million from moviegoers. The romance has $37 million so far and looks to finish with close to $60 million before it fades away.
Remarkably, “Julie & Julia” fell only 25% from last weekend to whip up $9 million and cook up a new total of $59 million. Even with that strong word of mouth, it’s hard to imagine the film continuing Meryl Streep’s run of $100 million summer hits.
In regards to other openers, “Shorts” came in sixth place with a disappointing $6.6 million from 3,100 theaters. Unlike some of his previous efforts, it seems this Robert Rodriguez family flick couldn’t get enough traction with the kiddies.
And lastly, the former Fox Atomic title “Post Grad” will soon disappear from the nightmares of Fox Searchlight (who were forced to release it after Atomic was dismantled) after making $2.8 million in only 1,900 plus theaters.
Here are the estimates for the top ten releases in theaters this weekend according to Box Office Mojo. Final numbers are released on Monday.
1. “Inglourious Basterds,” $37.6 million.
2. “District 9” $18.9 million, $73.4 million to date.
3. “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” $12.5 million, $120 million to date.
4. “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” $10 million, $37.4 million to date.
5. “Julie & Julia,” $9 million, $59.2 million to date.
6. “Shorts,” $6.6 million.
7. “G-Force,” $4.2 million, $107 million to date.
8. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” $3.5 million, $290 million to date.
9. “The Ugly Truth,” $2.85 million, $82 million to date.
10. “Post Grad,” $2.8 million.