“Cars 2″ may be the worst-reviewed movie in Pixar’s storied history, but that didn’t stop the animated sequel from maintaining the studio’s streak of box-office number ones. The second entry in the merchandise-friendly franchise took in $68 million over the weekend, according to distributor Walt Disney Studios, making it Pixar’s 12th consecutive movie to debut atop the box-office charts.
Thanks to higher ticket prices and expensive 3-D screenings, “Cars 2″ enjoyed the fifth-biggest opening for a Pixar film ever. In terms of attendance, however, the “Cars 2″ debut was ahead of only “A Bug’s Life,” “Ratatouille” and the beloved company’s first feature film, 1995’s “Toy Story.”
The 3-D fatigue evidenced by other recent openings continued as a mere 40 percent of moviegoers chose to see “Cars 2″ in that format (versus the 60 percent who opted to see “Toy Story 3″ in 3-D).
“Bad Teacher,” the weekend’s other new wide release, debuted at #2 with $31 million. It was a strong showing for the reportedly low-budget Cameron Diaz vehicle, which industry watchers had predicted would be less well-received. Debuting the adult-oriented comedy against the family-oriented “Cars 2″ was apparently a wise choice on the part of Sony Pictures, which released the film.
Warner Bros., meanwhile, watched “Green Lantern” drop 66 percent in its second weekend of release. A sequel was already in development before Ryan Reynolds hit the screen as the DC Comics hero, but there has been little news about those plans since its lukewarm debut. “Lantern” made $18.4 million over the weekend for an $89.3 million total. With an estimated production budget of $200 million and a major marketing campaign behind it, “Green Lantern” has not done well.
“Super 8″ bears the distinction of being the only well-reviewed film in the top five. JJ Abrams’ nostalgic homage to ’80s coming-of-age classics took in $12.1 million for a $95.2 million total. Coming in at #5, Jim Carrey’s “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” dropped 44 percent with $10.3 million for a $39.4 million two-week total.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” seems a safe bet for the top spot next weekend.
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