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.”
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