Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance Reviews: 'The Bronze' Is "Potty-Mouthed," "Vinegar-Spirited," Racy Gymnast Comedy Sundance Reviews: 'The Bronze' Is "Potty-Mouthed," "Vinegar-Spirited," Racy Gymnast Comedy 'American Sniper' Writer Jason Hall Addresses Concerns About Clint Eastwood's Controversial War Pic 'American Sniper' Writer Jason Hall Addresses Concerns About Clint Eastwood's Controversial War Pic Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Why 'Grown Ups 2' Scoring Best Sony Opening Day Since 'Skyfall' Is No Surprise; 'Fruitvale Station' Opens Strong

Thompson on Hollywood By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 13, 2013 at 4:24PM

Dennis Dugan's name doesn't often come to mind when thinking of top American directors. But the one-time actor (whose lead role in ABC's short-lived 1970s "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye" was his acting high point) has over the last two decades made 17 films that in total have amassed a domestic gross higher than those of some of the most acclaimed filmmakers over a span of the last several decades.
4
Dennis Dugan
Dennis Dugan

Friday's surprise, as critically panned "Grown Ups 2," starring Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade ended up an easy number one for the day, with $16.3 million, isn't quite the shock you might think. 

Dennis Dugan's initial Sony film three years ago grossed $40 million its first weekend, propelled by good word of mouth to a $161 million total (with $100 million more worldwide). Dugan's name doesn't often come to mind when thinking of A-list commercial American directors. But the one-time actor (whose lead role in ABC's short-lived 1970s "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye" was his acting high point) has over the last two decades made 17 films that have amassed a domestic gross higher than those of some of the most acclaimed filmmakers over a span of the last several decades. 

Dugan's hits, which include six previous $100 million successes (led by "Big Daddy") have been closely associated with both Adam Sandler (though not exclusively) and with Sony Pictures. Even without any critical support, his films have grossed over $1 billion, is more than the totals for films from directors as acclaimed and popular as Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, David Fincher and Ang Lee.

Overall Friday box office skyrocketed from last year, marking one of the best week-to-week improvements of 2013. The top 10 took in $62 million, compared to $48 million in 2012, and overall year-to-date totals are now down only a bit more than 1% after lagging most of the year.

"Fruitvale Station"
The Weinstein Company "Fruitvale Station"

After opening two far more expensive films ("After Earth" and "White House Down") that fell short, this is a much needed turnaround for Sony. Costing a reasonable $80 million, they not only have a surefire hit but also have established a franchise likely to provide dividends in the future. The Friday gross was their best opening day since "Skyfall" last November.

The gross (which includes $2.3 million from Thursday night shows) positions the film to compete for #1 for the weekend against the next best grossers, both quite good themselves. For now, #2 is Warner Bros. "Pacific Rim" from Guillermo del Toro, which did $14.6 (including $3.6 million Thursday) for a better than expected initial gross for this very ($195 million) expensive coproduction with Legendary Pictures (who just announced a new deal with Universal this week). #3 was "Despicable Me 2" (Universal) at $13.4 fell a bit over 50% from its opening day, but with matinees ahead still could leap over "Pacific Rim" or possibly even "Grown Ups 2" to retain the #1 spot.

#4 "The Heat" from 20th Century-Fox ($4.2 million) bested "The Lone Ranger" (Buena Vista) (which fell to #5 with $3.4 million) and crossed the $100 million mark in only its 15th day, proving, like "Grown Ups 2," the hunger for comedy.  Disney's western flop fell more than two-thirds from its opening day, and could fall to #6 for the weekend, with their own "Monsters University" at $3.3 million likely to surge with matinees.

"World War Z," "White House Down," "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" and "Man of Steel" placed #7 - 10, all under $3 million.

The Weinstein Co. opened acclaimed Sundance prize-winner "Fruitvale Station" in seven theaters to a strong $127,000, with its per screen average of $18,143 the third best of any limited film (after "Spring Breakers" and "A Place Beyond the Pines") this year.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Adam Sandler, Sony, Fruitvale Station


E-Mail Updates