Sony’s buddy cop comedy The Other Guys collared an estimated $35.6 million giving funnymen combo Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay their second highest opening of all-time behind 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ($47 million).
Sony hasn’t dropped the ball so far this summer. Each title has posted a solid opening in relation to its cost and their entire summer slate has shown excellent staying power on the charts. The studio also pulled back a tad on its tentpole spending: Sony’s highest-priced indulgence this summer was the Angelina Jolie actioner Salt at $110 million. Holding well, the spy thriller has already racked up $92 million stateside. Sony spent $85 million on The Other Guys, $5 million more than Adam Sandler’sGrown Ups (b.o. cume $155.7 million).
The Other Guys, which also starred Mark Wahlberg, should sail past the $100-million mark, largely due to its PG-13 rating. The MPAA label helped The Other Guys, which drew a predominantly male crowd, 56%, to pull 55% under the age of 25 and 18% under the age of 17. Ferrell and McKay’s last film, 2008’s Step Brothers, took its time propelling itself past the century mark (eight frames) due its R rating. Critics, who tend to be harsh on comedies, embraced The Other Guys with an 80% fresh Tomatometer rating, the best rating ever for a Ferrell-McKay vehicle on the site. Audiences, however, took a jaded attitude toward The Other Guys, which earned a B- Cinemascore.
In the number three slot was Walt Disney-Summit Entertainment’s street dance threequel Step Up 3D, which tapped away with $15.5 million, coming in at the higher end of studio expectations. Step Up 3D charted the third best opening of the series, behind Step Up($20.7 million) and 2008’s Step Up 2 the Streets ($18.9 million). In this case, clearly the visual format worked in favor of this film’s receipts, yielding higher ticket prices. A whopping 81% ($12.6 million) of Step Up 3D's grosses came from 3-D. Overall, those 3-D locales playing Step Up 3D pulled in 2.5 times more dough than 2-D hubs.
“People are consciously making the 3-D choice,” asserts Disney domestic distribution chief Chuck Viane. Exhibitors added 150 3-D screens in the last week, a tell-tale sign that audiences prefer the format over 2-D.
While the opening share for 3-D films has plummeted from 61% with Shrek Forever After to 45% with Despicable Me through the summer, keep in mind that animated, sci-fi and action titles tend to post the biggest B.O. numbers for 3-D fare. The question for studios remains whether converting a film --which may or not be suitable for 3-D--is worth the cost in relation to the few extra bucks it makes on opening weekend.
The Step Up films have built a huge following among young women: the recent installment captivated 60% females overall and 70% under 25; 31% of attendees were between the ages of 12 and 17 and 8% were under the age of 11. Those watching the film in 3-D awarded it an A- Cinemascore. Critics were split on Step Up 3D, assessing it at 51% rotten on the Tomatometer.
Do you know what the numbers 32-36-32 mean? They’re the excellent weekend drops for Warner Bros.’ Inception which took second with $18.6 million. With August largely lacking four-quadrant titles, it wouldn’t come as surprise to see Inception pop back up to No. 1 later this month. Inception is currently counting a domestic take of $227.7 million.
Rounding out the top 10 was Focus Features’ indie aud pleaser The Kids Are All Right, which outpegged such summer holdovers as The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Grown Ups.
1. The Other Guys (Sony): $35.6 million in its first weekend at 3,651 theaters. $9,751 theater average. Domestic total: $35.6 million
2. Inception (Warner Bros.): $18.6 million down 32% in its fourth weekend at 3,418 theaters. $5,442 theater average. Domestic total: $227.7 million
3. Step Up 3D (Disney): $15.5 million in its first weekend at 2,435 theaters. $6,379 theater average. Domestic total: $15.5 million.
4. Salt (Sony): $11.1 million down 43% in its third weekend at 3,317 theaters. $3,346 theater average. Domestic total: $92.0 million.
5. Dinner for Schmucks (Paramount): $10.5 million down 55% in its second weekend at 3,004. $3,495 theater average. Domestic total: $46.7 million.
6. Despicable Me (Universal): $9.4 million down 39% in its fifth weekend at 3,413 theaters. $2,765 theater average. Domestic total: $209.4 million
7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (Warner Bros.): $6.9 million down 44% in its second weekend at 3,705. $1,865 theater average. Domestic total: $26.4 million.
8. Charlie St. Cloud: $4.7 million down 62% in its second weekend at 2,725 theaters. $1,725 theater average. Domestic total: $23.5 million.
9. Toy Story 3 (Disney/Pixar): $3.05 million down 41% in its eighth weekend at 1,714 theaters. $1,778 theater average. Domestic total: $396.3 million.
10. The Kids Are All Rights (Focus): $2.6 million down 26% in its fifth weekend at 994 theaters. $2,622 theater average. Domestic total: $14 million.