The Top Five
#1 “The Bourne Ultimatum” ($70.2 million)
#2 “The Simpsons Movie” ($25.6 million)
#3 “Underdog” ($12 million)
#4 “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” ($10.5 million)
#5 “No Reservations” ($9.3 million)
He plays an amnesiac super-spy unsure of his past, but Matt Damon made this weekend a debut to remember, as “The Bourne Ultimatum” cruised to a record $70.2 million opening, the largest ever for an August release. The gargantuan haul is nearly as much as the series’ previous two installments, “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy,” made in their opening weekends combined ($27 and $52 million, respectively).
But how tough is Jason Bourne really? Damon told us his character could beat up James Bond with a napkin (See “Jason Bourne Versus James Bond? No Contest, Says Damon”), and with “Die Another Day” as the franchise’s top earner at $47 million — dare we say it? — Bond isn’t even in the same league. Neither are Damon’s more celebrated pals George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck. Between the three of them, the closest they get to Bourne’s boffo box office is Affleck’s “Pearl Harbor,” which debuted at $59 million. (And frankly, we saw that one for Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Garner.)
No need to ask Will Hunting — it all adds up to Matt Damon being the best action star in Hollywood (see “Matt Damon: The Unlikely Action Hero” ).
“The Simpsons Movie,” meanwhile, went over in its second week like “Krusty’s Kavalcade of Komedy” (how many die-hards get that reference?), falling 65 percent to come in second place with $25.6 million. Mr. Burns might think it’s pocket change, but Homer and Co. brought their two-week total to a very healthy $128 million. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another 18 years for the sequel.
Underwhelming in third place was “Underdog,” a live-action adaptation of the animated television series, which opened to $12 million. Star Jason Lee better hope that’s not a trend: He’ll next be seen in “Alvin and the Chipmunks” this Christmas.
One thing that is a trend, sadly, is the dismal box-office performance of “Saturday Night Live” regulars. He may have put his “Di– in a Box,” but this is emasculating: Andy Samberg is the latest to prove he’s no Adam Sandler with “Hot Rod,” which debuted in ninth place with only $5 million.
And for all their talk about girl power, the provocatively dressed “Bratz” couldn’t have felt very empowered this weekend, as the teen comedy tanked in 10th place with a measly $4.3 million. Other new releases included “El Cantante,” which came in 11th place with $3.3 million; “Becoming Jane,” a hit with $1 million from only 100 theaters; and “The Ten,” a biblical disaster with a paltry $117,500 in 25 locations.
How’d We Do?
The race is run, the results are in and, at long last, we crown Josh Horowitz our champion prognosticator. His guess of “The Bourne Ultimatum” at $60 million was a bit low, but it was close enough to notch another point in the standings, leaving him up 12 points with 11 weeks to go. (Nobody picked a winner one week, which accounts for the numerical discrepancy.)
Starting next week, another competition. But for now, the final standings:
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (22)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (10)
Celebrity guest (8)
Matthew Vaughn and Neil Gaiman take you to a world of fantasy with “Stardust,” starring Claire Danes, Sienna Miller and Robert De Niro. Brett Ratner takes you to Paris with the third installment of the “Rush Hour” trilogy. Jeffrey Blitz takes you back to adolescence with the charming and sweet Sundance fave, “Rocket Science.” And Fred Savage — yes, that Fred Savage — takes you to your worst nightmares with “Daddy Day Camp,” an Eddie Murphy-less sequel starring Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr.
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