While Friday night audiences were hungry for R-rated raunchiness, and propelled "The Hangover" to the top spot with a take of $16.5 million, box office analysts were predicting that a family-themed flick such as "Land of the Lost" -- which reviews describe as surprisingly family-unfriendly -- might overtake it with Saturday grosses. It was "Up" that triumphed over all, smacking "The Hangover" down to the #2 spot. Saturday saw Disney/Pixar's latest bring in another $44.2 million dollars at the box office, meaning it will probably end the weekend with a firm grasp on the #1 spot.
"The Hangover" may have lost out to Pixar's flying house fable, but it is enjoying a strong opening nonetheless. The Vegas escapade has now brought in $43.2 million, making it the third highest opening for an R-rated comedy, behind only last year's "Sex in the City" and "American Pie 2" in 2001.
Riding a wave of pour reviews, "Land of the Lost" is languishing at #3. The film opened with a slow start on Friday, drawing in only $7.2 million, and climbed to only $19.5 million on Saturday. The Hollywood Reporter suggests that its uneven marketing led to the weak performance, as audiences were unsure whether it was a kid flick or an adult comedy.
At this point, "Lost" is going to have a rough time just breaking even. According to Nikke Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily, "Universal told me its expensive Land Of The Lost needed to debut with at least $30M for the studio not to sweat. In 3rd place, it's now officially one of the first turkeys of the summer." With Universal's "Drag Me to Hell" also languishing at the theater, bringing in only $7.3 million, Uni's summer season is off to a rocky start.
Summer isn't all about loud blockbusters of course. Two smaller films opened this week with varying degrees of success. Sam Mendes' "Away We Go" performed very well, earning $143,260 from just four venues in New York and L.A. The same couldn't be said for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" writer/star Nia Vardalos' return to comedy, as her latest starring role in "My Life in Ruins" had a limited run of 1,164 venues, but only managed to bring in $3.2 million.