The big bad wolf and cartoon Martians were no match for aliens of a much more sinister kind at the box office over the weekend. “Battle: Los Angeles” was the #1 movie with a $36 million debut, while the sci-fi flick’s fellow new releases — “Red Riding Hood” and “Mars Needs Moms” — failed to muster the same type of excitement from moviegoers.
While the UFO-invasion flick starring Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”), Michelle Rodriguez (“Avatar”) and Ne-Yo was victorious in the battle for tickets, it failed to conquer film critics. “Battle: Los Angeles” currently has a 33-percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Conversely, last week’s #1 picture, “Rango,” boasts an 89-percent rating with critics. The animated film about a lizard sheriff, which features the voice talents of Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”), was #2 on the tally with a $23 million take, making its two-week total $68.6 million. (All box office figures are according to studio estimates.)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mean Girls”) stars in “Red Riding Hood,” a PG-13 take on the classic children’s tale, which debuted at #3 after bringing in $14.1 million. The dark fantasy tale was the worst-reviewed film in the top 10 over the weekend, with a paltry 12-percent critical-approval score. “Red Riding Hood” was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, whose last movie was the first entry in the “Twilight” series, which, of course, launched an international box-office phenomenon. And Seyfried’s recently starring vehicle, the 2010 romantic drama “Dear John,” has earned more than $80 million.
“The Adjustment Bureau” was #4, earning $11.4 million for a two-week total of $38.4 million. The mind-bending thriller stars Matt Damon (“The Bourne Identity”), whose “Green Zone” opened during the same weekend last year with just a $14.3 million debut. Damon’s new movie has already earned more than “Hereafter” or “Invictus” in just two weeks.
With an estimated production budget of $150 million, it’s safe to say that “Mars Needs Moms” absolutely needed more viewers. The performance-capture Disney flick brought in just $6.8 million in its debut week to land in the #5 spot. The take was the lowest in history for a 3-D animated movie opening in more than 2000 theaters. (It premiered on 4,400 screens.) “Mars” was, of course, competing with another Disney kids movie, “Gnomeo and Juliet,” which was #10 after earning $3.5 million to bring its total to $89 million. “Gnomeo”’s opening five weeks ago was four times that of “Mars.”
The raunchy comedy “Hall Pass” was #6 six with $5.1 million for a $34.9 million total. “Beastly” continued to underperform with just $5 million for a $16.9 million total. Adam Sandler’s “Just Go With It” headed closer to the $100 million mark by adding another $4 million to its domestic haul. Its $93.9 million total, of course, is still nowhere near the $160 million-plus earned by the comic actor’s “The Waterboy,” “Big Daddy” or even the more-recent “Grown Ups.”
Multiple-Oscar-winner “The King’s Speech” was #9 with $3.6 million for a $129 million total. For a small-budget historical drama, it’s getting surprisingly close to star Colin Firth’s biggest box-office successes — “A Christmas Carol” and “Mamma Mia!” — and has already passed pictures like “Shakespeare in Love” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
This weekend’s new releases will include “Limitless,” “The Lincoln Lawyer” and “Paul.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.