Raunch Wins At The Box Office
Success was an equal-opportunity employer over the weekend as the wholesome High School Musical 2 set cable records as it arrived on television (see separate item) and the raunchy comedy Superbad performed beyond analysts' expectations at the box office. Judd Apatow's Superbad, a high-school comedy that -- at least officially -- could not be seen by many high-schoolers because of its R-rating, took in an estimated $31.2 million. It had cost only $20 million to produce. Apatow's last movie, Knocked Up, opened with $30.6 million just two months ago -- and has now grossed $147 million domestically. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' The Invasion snatched few bodies into theaters, grossing just $6 million, according to estimates, to place fifth. Placing second was last week's winner, Rush Hour 3, which dropped to $21.8 million, down a steep 56 percent from its opening gross. The Bourne Ultimatum slipped to third place in its third weekend to $19 million, while The Simpsons Movie landed in fourth place with $6.7 million. After four weekends, the family family comedy has now earned $165.1 million. The only other new film, The Weinstein Co.'s The Last Legion, was still waiting for its first legion -- of moviegoers, that is. It opened out of the top ten with just $2.5 million. Although it featured an impressive cast, including Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth, it was not screened for critics, presumably because the studio feared negative reviews. They turned out to be right. Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe summed up the general critical reaction: "There's no fun to be had here," he wrote on Saturday. Also opening in four theaters was the Leonardo DiCaprio environmental documentary The 11th Hour, which earned a respectable $41,000 in just four theaters. The film received mostly favorable reviews. Kevin Crust in the Los Angeles Times called it "a harrowing account of the planet's current condition."
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Superbad, $31.2 million; 2. Rush Hour 3, $21.8 million; 3. The Bourne Ultimatum, $19 million; 4. The Simpsons Movie, $6.7 million; 5. The Invasion, $6 million; 6. Stardust, $5.2 million; 7. Hairspray, $4.3 million; 8. Underdog, $3.6 million; 9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, $3.54 million; 10. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, $3.5 million.