The budget for "Pain & Gain" reported at $26 million, though you wonder how much of the gross is going Paramount's way, considering Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg trimmed their fees heavily for the sake of back-end dollars. It's something of a surprise that the studio couldn't convince more audiences to sample the film, given that both Johnson and Wahlberg have collected four $100 million global grossers in the last three years each (Wahlberg leading "Ted" to half a billion last year). But this film was what it was: a two-hour-plus R-rated film about brutality and violence coming out a week before a planet-smashing blockbuster. All things considered, unless you're a wide-appeal blockbuster, a la "Fast Five," it's not the best weekend to hit theaters.
Moving down to second was "Oblivion," suggesting that audience word-of-mouth was reflected in last weekend's B- Cinemascore. Twisty sci-fi remains a crapshoot for studios, and this is a film that begins with a massive voiceover exposition dump and features several sequences driven by silence and minimal action. Tarkovsky it ain't, but when the young-male-demographic competition is a big, loud Michael Bay film, you're bound to lose a bit of that audience. Normally the hopes would be that a third weekend would steady the bleeding of a sharp second weekend drop, but, again, there's "Iron Man 3," so "Oblivion" might struggle to reach $100 million in America.
Debuting like the embarrassment it seems to be was "The Big Wedding," which couldn't draw any enthusiasm despite its star-studded cast ported over from 2004. Millennium Films threw down $35 million to load this film with a cast that included Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace and Robin Williams, ignoring the fact that they all tend to make this same movie on their own practically once every two years; when your ads look like a greatest hits collection of some of the worst romantic comedies of the last decade, there's really no added motivation to see it. Lionsgate slotted this for a winter release date originally, though they claim they acquired the picture for only $10 million, or, roughly, $10 million too much.
"Scary Movie 5" looks like it will tuck in its tail and scamper out of theaters quickly, though the $20 million-budgeted film is nearing $30 million in gross, and this sort of garbage tends to do well on DVD. You've been warned. "Olympus Has Fallen" continues to head towards $100 million, while "The Place Beyond the Pines" continues to show the heat for the film centered around the arthouse crowd for the most part. Which reminds us: even though it's the start of the summer movie season, please support your local arthouse theater.
1. Murder 4 Laffs (Paramount) - $20.5 million
2. Oblivion (Universal) - $17 million ($64 mil.)
3. 42 (Warner Bros.) - $10.2 million ($69 mil.)
4. The Big Wedding (Lionsgate) - $7.5 million
5. The Croods (Fox) - $6.4 million ($163 mil.)
6. G.I. Joe: Sure, We'll Do Another (Paramount) - $3.6 million ($116.3 mil.)
7. Scary Movie 5 (The Weinstein Company) - $3.4 million ($27.4 mil.)
8. Olympus Has Oopsied (FilmDistrict) - $2.7 million ($93 mil.)
9. The Place Beyond The Pines (Focus) - $2.6 million ($16.2 mil.)
10. Jurassic Park 3D (Universal) - $2.3 million ($42 mil.)