The Top Five
#1 “Blades of Glory” ($33 million)
#2 “Meet the Robinsons” ($25 million)
#3 “300” ($11.1 million)
#4 “TMNT” ($9.1 million)
#5 “Wild Hogs” ($8.4 million)
You can keep your fancy animation and computer-generated effects, audiences seemed to say this weekend, all we need is a little Will Ferrell and a whole lot of funny hair. Following in the footsteps of last year’s Ferrell comedy, “Talladega Nights,” “Blades of Glory” iced the competition to the tune of $33 million, easily beating the computer-animated films “Meet the Robinsons” and “TMNT” — and the might-as-well-be-computer-animated action fest “300.” The “Blade” haul represents the fourth-highest-grossing opening for a sports comedy and the second-largest opening in Ferrell’s career.
The story of a boy taken on a trip through time to meet his distant — and we mean distant — relatives, “Meet the Robinsons” finished second with a modest $25 million. While the Disney film’s take was low when compared to other recent adventures in computer animation, “Meet the Robinsons” shouldn’t drop off too much in coming weeks due both to its outstanding performance in 3D, and a week of spring holidays, when most children are home from school.
Less likely to recover from a worse-than-expected weekend is “TMNT,” which dropped over 60 percent its second weekend in theaters to finish fourth with $9.1 million. The film’s previous success looks like it may be another case of fanboys rushing to theaters opening weekend, inflating a project’s initial numbers. All shell might break loose for those insisting on a follow-up — “TMNT” looks poised to be the worst performing of the turtle franchise.
Speaking of sequels, there is a natural one for those chiseled heroes at the center of “300,” who brought great glory to Sparta in their fourth week with $11.4 million. Unfortunately it involves those “boy-loving Athenians,” as they’re called in the film, who at the Battle of Salamis did something the Spartans couldn’t — actually win a fight and end the Persian threat. I know, history can be so dry sometimes.
And like the four horsemen of the apocalypse they seem to represent, John Travolta and friends rode off with another $8.4 million to finish fifth, bringing their five week total to a hefty — and foreboding — $135 million.
How’d We Do?
Celebrity guest Freddy Rodriguez had history on his side when he picked “Meet the Robinsons” to win the weekend (see “Projection Booth: Will ’Blades Of Glory’ Freeze Out ’The Robinsons’?” ), but the futuristic family film was no match for “Blades,” which was correctly picked by both MTV staffers, Larry Carroll and Josh Horowitz. (I’m not even in this contest and I’ll be the first to admit — we study box-office numbers way too closely). Unfortunately for Mr. Carroll, we play by “Price is Right” rules here — which means the closest prediction without going over takes the weekend. It’s Josh in a close one.
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (14)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (7)
Celebrity guests (2)
Unlike most performers, the funniest thing about Will Ferrell is that he always looks like he’s trying too hard, sweating, grunting, growing ridiculous mustaches. He’s a kamikaze comedian unafraid to go to any length for a laugh, and the very fact that he’s so not self aware has allowed him to excel in roles as diverse as an adult elf to, well, a male figure skater. With “Blades of Glory” Ferrell adds another flick to his list of top-grossing openers.
· “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006) — $47 million
· “Blades of Glory” (2007) — $33 million
· “Elf” (2003) — $31.1 million
· “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004) — $28.4 million
· “Kicking and Screaming” (2005) — $20 million
Grab your lady and put the top down — directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are out to kick ass first and take names second with “Grindhouse,” a double feature which harkens back to drive-in movies, opening next Friday on over 2,500 screens. And it’s likely to be a very good Friday. With fake horror trailers from the likes of Eli Roth and Edgar Wright, “Grindhouse” looks like a lock to smash the competition.
“Are We Done Yet?,” a quasi-sequel to “Are We There Yet?” starring Ice Cube and “The Reaping,” a supernatural thriller about the Biblical plagues starring Hillary Swank, are the two other movies opening in wide release.
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