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Moviegoers Just Go With It, Justin falls short

Despite outperforming the competition with critics, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never fell short of the number one position to Adam Sandler’s romantic comedy Just Go With It. Relatively unknown family picture Gnomeo and Juliet also did well with audiences. However, fourth entry The Eagle made fourth place with a paltry haul in comparison.

Adam Sandler continues his streak of number ones with this weekend’s Just Go With It costarring Jennifer Aniston. Over three days it brought in $31 million, a decent take for a Sandler picture. Concert documentaries are rare for the big screen. The most notable in the little genre is “Best of Both Worlds,” and IMAX boon featuring Miley Cyrus and her alter ego Hannah Montana. Beiber grabbed almost as much cash as the lady starlet- he pulled $30.2 million to her 31.3 million. The big difference is he had about a 2500 location advantage.

Moms and kids finally had a reason to venture to the cinema together after a long wait since Yogi Bear. Gnomeo and Juliet did a respectable $25.5 million. Teenage boys weren’t as enthusiastic to see Channing Tatum on a meaningless quest in the woods. The Eagle drew $8.5 million out of pockets, even less than Season of the Witch in January.

The Rite, The Mechanic, The Dilemma, and Black Swan dropped off the charts this week thanks to the new residents on the top ten list. Next to go is The Green Hornet, the mildly amusing action comedy from Seth Rogen. The movie rests in tenth position with $92.3 million in the vault. Given that next week’s three endeavors appear promising, more holdovers will bottom out by this time next Monday.

The Top Ten

1.  Just Go With It – $31.0M (weekend)…$31.0M (gross)
2.  Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $30.2M…$30.2M
3.  Gnomeo and Juliet – $25.5M…$25.5M
4.  The Eagle – $8.5M…$8.5M

5.  The Roommate – $8.4M…$26.0M
6.  The King’s Speech – $7.4M…$93.8M
7.  No Strings Attached – $5.6M …$59.8M
8.  Sanctum – $5.1M…$17.5M
9.  True Grit – $3.7M…$160.3M
10. The Green Hornet – $3.6M …$92.3M

Perhaps promising isn’t the right word to describe Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. Five years after the last sequel grossed $70 million domestic, Martin Lawrence is back again with his over-the-top character. Now joined by Brandon T. Jackson of Tropic Thunder, Lawrence is back in drag and deep undercover. The original Big Mamma’s House debuted in 2000 to the tune of $117 million total tally. So it made sense for a sequel, but six years later? And now audiences have had another delayed sequel sprung upon them for no apparent reason. Lawrence is hit and miss, but his films have a niche with African Americans. If his recent track record is any indication, this “threequel” will gross around $40 million by closing.

Next up is I Am Number Four, a movie dismissed earlier as Twilight with aliens. But the teen-appealing sci-fi action movie has been gaining clout steadily. It is the perfect pick for a President’s Day weekend with Jumper being a similar film to debut above expectations in the slot. It clocked $33 million over the holiday in 2008 and is a decent benchmark for Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay’s adventure.  

Last but not least is Liam Neeson’s Unknown. It marks the widest debut with more than 3000 locations showing the thriller. Neeson is doing what he does best- kicking some serious butt. With a PG-13 rating this is a universal attraction for those surprisingly satisfied by Taken. That action flick opened at $24 million and went on to sell $226.8 million worldwide in 2009. Between then and now Neeson’s only major starring role- the lead in A-Team- underperformed. If ever there was a comeback vehicle it is Unknown. I’ll be first in line this Friday.

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