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“The Other Guys” man up, “Step Up” falls back

In a predictable upset, Adam McKay unseated Christopher Nolan at the weekend box office. The Other Guys is the fourth strong opener pairing McKay and comedian Will Ferrell. Previously the two bagged $30 million with Step Brothers’ debut in 2008. Also-ran Step Up 3D had a groovy Friday but by the time the dance floor cleared Inception stole the disco ball. Critically acclaimed film The Kids Are All Right snuck into the top ten in an otherwise slow weekend.

The usual suspects round out the charts, though not in the expected order. The Other Guys easily outclassed Dinner for Schmucks, last week’s comedy, which tumbled steeply to fifth place. The Carrell starrer may savor an additional $10 million this weekend but that’s bittersweet in comparison to the $12 million difference between its debut and Ferrell’s entry. Salt also lost spice, dropping to fourth place with $10.9 million.

Despicable Me and Inception had the smallest drops. Per usual, the two original motion pictures shaved off around 30 percent of their audiences. In a horserace to the finish line, Inception left Step Up 3D in the dust. Inception took second place with $18.5 million and Step Up 3D popped, locked, and dropped $15.8 million. This is a series low for the franchise, with the second sequel earning an $18 million open and the original $20 million.

The Top Ten

  1. 1.  The Other Guys- $35.5M (weekend)… $35.5M (gross)
  2. 2. Inception – $18.5M…$227.6M
  3. 3.  Step Up 3-D – $15.8M…$15.8M
  4. 4. Salt – $10.9M…$91.7M
  5. 5. Dinner for Schmucks – $10.3M…$46.6M
  6. 6. Despicable Me – $9.2M… $209.2M
  7. 7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $6.9M… $26.4M
  8. 8. Charlie St. Cloud – $4.7M … $23.4M
  9. 9. Toy Story 3 – $3.1M … $396.3M
  10. 10. The Kids Are All Right – $2.5M… $14.0M

A modest little film called The Kids Are All Right did more than okay. The art-house flick has raised $14 million thus far and was the only silver lining in Hollywood; overall business was down compared to last year. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra took nearly $55 million the same weekend, a 10 percent increase over the current frame.

Next week’s pictures may give business a bump. Two buzz-worthy movies are opening. Visually dazzling comic book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World opens at 2,600 multiplexes this Friday. Despite the title, it must truly faceoff with The Other Guys which shares the action comedy genre and easily bested all competition this week. The offbeat film has a strong fanboy following but Michael Cera and the lesser known cast may have trouble pulling in the general audience.

This will be no trouble for The Expendables starring a host of well known action heroes. Sylvester Stallone headlines the picture with cameo appearances by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Interestingly, Arnold, who is likely the most crowd-pleasing celeb of the bunch, is featured in the trailer but has just a cameo in the film due to his status as California Governor. Still, nothing will stop this cheesy action throwback from wrestling its way to the top of the pack.

Never underestimate a chick flick however. Julie Roberts carries her own clout in Eat, Pray, Love a film based on an Oprah-endorsed book. It premiers in 200 more cinemas than “Scott Pilgrim” suggesting theaters have some faith in it. The Expendables will lay waste to approximately 3,000 locations.

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