Follow us on

Weekend Wrap-Up: Cars 2 Leaves Critics in the Dust

June 27th, 2011

Despite what critics thought of the film, Cars 2 proved popular with moviegoers while Bad Teacher was also a hit in its counter-programing role. Their combined effort helped the overall box office grow 15% from last weekend to $176 million. That's 7% higher than the same weekend last year, which gives 2011 a much-needed win. The year is still $400 million behind last year's pace at $4.90 billion to $5.30 billion, but even little victories are important. Remember, 2010 was ahead of of 2009 by $300 million at the beginning of October, but just three months later, that lead had completely evaporated. Hopefully the reverse can happen this time around and 2011 can squeeze out a victory. However, for that to happen, it needs to slowly chip away and close the deficit.

Cars 2 matched Thursday's predictions nearly perfectly with an opening weekend result of $66.14 million. This is a faster opening than the original managed and it is better than average for Pixar. That said, there are some troubling signs, most significantly, its reviews. Also, the film missed Sunday's studio estimate, which means the film was more front-loaded than expected. On the other hand, the film's CinemaScore was A-, compared to A for the first film. This suggests while critics disapproved, families liked it. Perhaps they liked it enough to help the film reach $200 million domestically, which would be enough to be considered a box office success. (Although in this case, "box office success" is rather superfluous, as the film will sell enough merchandise to break even without selling a single movie ticket.)

Bad Teacher continued the strong push of R-rated comedies at the box office with a solid second place performance. It opened with $31.60 million over the weekend, which is substantially higher than most people predicted. Its reviews were not great, but acceptable for this type of film, while there's a chance it could become Cameron Diaz's first live action $100 million film since Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. It does have to deal with direct competition in a couple of weeks, but with the Independence Day long weekend this weekend, it might do well enough to reach $100 million regardless.

The Fanboy Effect was in full force against Green Lantern and the film had no defense. (Does this mean the Fanboy Effect is the color yellow?) It plummeted 66% to $18.03 million over the weekend for a total of $88.99 million after two. Transformers: Dark of the Moon could steal a significant number of theaters from this film on Wednesday, while the direct competition will likely kill it over the weekend. It will reach $100 million theatrically, but that's little comfort for a film that cost $200 million to make.

Super 8 matched Thursday's predictions nearly perfectly with $12.03 million over the weekend and $95.11 million after three. The film might cross $100 million before the weekend, but that depends on how many theaters it loses to Transformers: Dark of the Moon on Wednesday. Regardless, it has already made enough domestically to cover its production budget, while it will break even before it reaches the home market.

Mr. Popper's Penguins also matched expectations perfectly with $10.15 million over the weekend for a total of $39.29 million after two. It should end with enough to be considered a mid-level hit, and it will break even during its initial push on the home market.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Green Lantern, Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Super 8, Mr. Poppers's Penguins