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Wimpy Fights its Way to the Top

March 28th, 2011

Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules opened on the high end of expectations while Sucker Punch opened on the low end of expectations, which meant there wasn't a really tight race for top spot at the box office this weekend. The overall box office was healthy with a total haul of $121 million, which was close to 6% higher than last weekend, but it was also close to 6% lower than the same weekend last year. On the one hand, this is arguably the best performance 2011 has had so far, as the only time we've won on the year-over-year comparison was when 2011 has a holiday that didn't line up with 2010. On the other hand, 2011 is still half a billion dollars behind 2010's pace at $2.18 billion to $2.69 billion.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodick Rules was able to come out on top with an opening that was a little higher than the original managed last year and on the high end of Thursday's prediction. $23.75 million is a great opening for this type of film and is significantly more than it cost to make. Even with reviews that are only middling and direct competition next weekend and little hope at strong international numbers, the film should still make enough money to encourage the studio to make another film in the franchise. Since there are currently three more books, there's no shortage of source material for the next film.

On the other hand, Sucker Punch opened on the low end of Thursday's prediction with $19.06 million and had to settle for second spot, despite opening in first place on Friday. This is bad start for a film that cost $75 million to make, and with reviews that are just short of disastrous plus a heavy, heavy Fanboy Effect, there's little hope for the film's future. Maybe if they sell a lot of merchandise.

Limitless held up a lot better than expected. In fact, it was down barely more than 20%, which is nearly impossible to explain. Granted, its reviews were good, but not this good. Perhaps we've underestimated Bradley Cooper's drawing power? Regardless of the reason why, $75 million is now a lot more likely given this hold, and it should blow past original expectations.

The Lincoln Lawyer has already topped original expectations with $10.75 million over the past three days for a total of $28.71 million after two. At this pace it should get to $40 million by this time next week and over $50 million in total. Plus with its reviews, its word-of-mouth should help home market sales as well.

As expected, Rango became the first $100 million movie released in 2011, but it was close. With $9.77 million over the weekend, the film reached the century mark on Saturday, while Just Go With It got there the very next day. For Rango it is a bit of a Pyrrhic victory as it was costly to make and this is lower than expected. It should still show a profit sometime during the film's home market run, but that could take a while. As for Just Go With It, it became the 12th $100 million movie of Adam Sandler's career, and the 9th in the last 12 films he's released. The only time he doesn't hit $100 million is when he tries to be dramatic.

Looking in on the sophomore class we find Paul in sixth place with $7.86 million over the weekend for a total of $24.96 million after two. It was down just a hair less than 40%, which is amazing for this type of film. However, its per theater average is still low enough that it will likely see its theater count drop rather quickly.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Sucker Punch, Rango, Limitless, Paul, Just Go With It, The Lincoln Lawyer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Hop