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Limitless didn’t live up to the hype of its name, but it still took number one at the box office. Bradley Cooper’s starring effort as a bum writer who takes a wonder drug that allows him to access 100% of his brain was most acceptable to the masses grossing $19 million in its debut weekend. Other new releases plunked down at fourth and fifth including The Lincoln Lawyer, a courtroom thriller, and Paul a halfwit comedy. This weekend pales in comparison to 2010, when Alice in Wonderland still had its highly stylized claws sunk into domestic piggy banks.
The Lincoln Lawyer came in behind third week holdover Rango and second week entry Battle: Los Angeles with a mere $13.4 million. Book adaptations don’t exactly draw instant big crowds so this is no surprise. Studios made the additional mistake of placing a thriller head to head with another thriller. Bradley Cooper and Matthew Mc-taking-my-shirt-off-is-fun are hardly distinguishable. Paul had the least surprising premiere with a listless $13.1 million from mainly adult crowds.
The Top Ten
1. Limitless – $19.0M (weekend)…$19.0M (gross)
2. Rango – $15.3M…$692.5M
3. Battle: Los Angeles – $14.6M…$60.6M
4. The Lincoln Lawyer – $13.4M…$13.4M
5. Paul – $13.1M…$13.1M
6. Red Riding Hood – $7.2M…$25.9M
7. The Adjustment Bureau – $5.9M …$48.7M
8. Mars Needs Moms – $5.3M…$15.4M
9. Beastly – $3.2M…$22.2M
10. Hall Pass – $2.6M …$39.5M
Another big event movie is set to disappoint in the upcoming weekend. Sucker Punch directed by Zach Snyder makes its way onto more than 3,000 screens across the nation, many of those IMAX. The film focuses on a group of young women attempting to escape an asylum with the use of their girlish (and extremely violent) imaginations. The score is brilliant, the battles appear epic, and the girls are gorgeous. The one problem is Snyder’s recent track record of disappointing box office takes.
Warner Brothers apparently placed $70 million behind the two-hour-action feature. That is $10 million less than Snyder’s last flop, the animated kid’s film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. It closed with $140 million worldwide; not enough to warrant continuing a franchise. Watchmen received a $130 million production budget but disappointed with a steep second week drop off and $185 million close. Snyder simply has not been able to recapture the feverish success of 300 the epic that put him on the map with a $70 million opening weekend in 2007. Also out is the sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid at 3,100 locations.