Thank god for 3D theaters, huh? Appearing a record 1,530 3D venues (which charge more than conventional theaters), Pixar's latest instant classic, "Up," blew up a monstrous $68.2 million for the weekend. In comparison, it took last weekend's winner, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," four days to gross $70.
Critically acclaimed and a lock for next March's best animated film Oscar, "Up" was the third biggest opening in Disney animated film history after "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo" which grossed around $70 million in their opening weekends. Factoring in ticket prices, "Up" also had fewer admissions than "Toy Story 2" or "Monster's, Inc," but considering one of the film's heroes is a senior citizen, Disney will take it.
Holding up rather well considering the competition, "Battle of the Smithsonian" fell only 52% for $25.5 million. Still, it's hard to imagine the sequel matching the massive $251 million take of the original a little over two years ago. However, with the $170 million from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" opening in July, 20th Century Fox is having a fine summer.
Opening somewhat disappointingly was another critically favored flick, "Drag Me to Hell." Sam Raimi's horror comedy found $16.6 million for the weekend, but was down almost 11% from Friday to Saturday. This means the movie played like a traditional horror picture and didn't buck the trend of increasing on it's second day due to word of mouth (such as every other film in the top ten). The studio will have to hope positive buzz spreads amongst adult audiences for the picture to reach it's true box office potential.
Other notables this weekend included "Star Trek" becoming the first movie of 2009 to pass the $200 million mark ($209 million and counting), "Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past" salvaging some dignity by hitting the $50 million and Summit Entertainment's "Brother's Bloom" cracking the top ten in only 148 theaters. The Rian Johnson film is shaping up as the first limited-release hit of the summer with $1.38 million to date.
Next weekend the box office will find Will Ferrell's action comedy "Land of the Lost" squaring off against potential summer sleeper "The Hangover."
Here are the top ten films for the weekend according to Box Office Mojo.
1. "Up," $68.2 million
2. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $25.5 million, $105.2 million to date.
3. "Drag Me to Hell," $16.6 million
4. "Terminator: Salvation,"$16.1 million, $90.6 million to date.
5. "Star Trek," $12.8 million, $209 million to date.
6. "Angels & Demons," $11.2 million, $104.7 million to date.
7. "Dance Flick," $4.9 million, $19.2 million to date.
8. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," $3.9 million, $170 million to date.
9. "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," $1.9 million, $50 million to date.
10. "Brothers Bloom," $652,000, $1.38 million to date.