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Weekend Box Office Report: Batman Crushes ‘Total Recall’

Box Office Report: The Dark Knight Dominates
Warner Bros.

Hey there, ‘Total Recall.’ You know how you were supposed to be pretty big movie? Well, hopefully you’re sitting down because, well…you’re not. You see, there’s this little thing called ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ that isn’t a remake of a much-beloved film and it doesn’t star Colin Farrell and people actually seem to generally kinda’ like it. Yeah, sorry buddy. You didn’t stand a chance.

Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 The Dark Knight Rises
$36,440,000 (-41.3%) $8,590 $354,638,000
2 Total Recall $26,000,000 $7,220 $26,000,000
3 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days $14,700,000 $4,335 $14,700,000
4 Ice Age: Continental Drift $8,400,000 (-37.1) $2,372 $131,863,000
5 The Watch $6,350,000 (-50.2%) $2,004 $25,363,000
6 Ted $5,479,000 (-25.5%) $1,980 $203,414,000
7 Step Up Revolution $5,300,000 (-54.8%) $2,034 $23,097,000
8 The Amazing Spider-Man $4,300,000 (-35.8%) $1,773 $250,640,000
9 Brave $2,890,000 (-32.9%) $1,370 $223,324,000
10 Magic Mike $1,380,000 (-47.3%) $1,148 $$110,894,000

 

Okay, let’s put cuteness aside and take a look at why ‘Total Recall’ opened below expectations. First, there’s the obvious one: it got stuck in the powerful wake of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ which has broader appeal and more expensive tickets thanks to its spectacular IMAX presentation. Moving ‘The Bourne Legacy‘ away from the weekend was the smartest thing Universal could have possibly done: they blinked and they’ll probably be rewarded when it takes the number one spot from Batman next week. ‘Total Recall’ found itself trapped, opening before ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ started to slow down.

But there’s another reason why ‘Total Recall’ opened far lower than expected: no one wanted to see this thing. Anyone who recognizes the title only recognizes it because they love the original and have no desire to see a remake. That’s the catch 22 of this remake business. Additionally, Colin Farrell (while a genuinely good actor when cast properly) has never been able to open a movie and the trailers made the film look like a hopelessly generic sci-fi action movie (that’s because it is, honestly). The studios were expecting a bigger opening just because it’s a big movie being released during the summer. That’s not going to fly. $26 million isn’t a horrible opening, but it’s not particularly good. At least it’ll be a quiet disappointment.

Moving on!

For the third week in a row, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ held onto the number one spot at the box office, breaking the $300 million mark and crushing its new competition. It may not be doing the same business as ‘The Dark Knight,’ but so what? This thing’ll have $400 million in the bank in about two weeks and everyone will be happy. Anyone who tells that this gross is a letdown doesn’t know what they’re talking about; anyone who expected this to repeat the business of the last film had their head in the clouds.

And then we have ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,’ the third film in a franchise that is surely at the end of its theatrical life but will surely live on in countless direct-to-DVD sequels. That $14 million opening is a good $10 million less than the openings of its predecessors, both of which went on to be sleeper hits. Both of those were Spring releases, which suggests that this one should have been, too. Movies this small only get crushed in the summer season.

The rest of the list falls as you’d expect. ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift‘ is on its way to make significantly less than the last few films but just enough to guarantee a sequel. ‘The Watch‘ dropped 50%, making this one of the biggest bombs in the careers of its ensemble cast. Likewise, ‘Step Up Revolution‘s paltry second week just stopped this previously lucrative franchise in its tracks.

But there were some good things, too! ‘Ted‘ finally crossed the $200 million mark, making it one of the select few R-rated movies to do so. ‘The Avengers‘ may have made the most money this Summer, but in terms of budgets and marketing costs, ‘Ted’ has quietly won the season. Right under it, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man‘ hit $250 million, a landmark that lets Sony label the film as a respectable success (even though they really wish it had the legs to get to $300 million). At the edge of the top ten, ‘Magic Mike‘ is just about to end its run with $110 million in the bank. Like ‘Ted,’ this one was a quiet blockbuster.

‘The Bourne Legacy’ and ‘The Campaign’ will duke it out for number one next weekend, with both of them forcing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ down to number three. Unless something goes horribly wrong.

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