There was good news and bad new for Hollywood this weekend at the box office. The good news is that the new DreamWorks animated film "The Croods" turned out to be a solid performer, bringing in an estimated $44.7 million to top the box office, while fellow newcomer "Olympus Has Fallen" also opened strong with a surprisingly robust $30.5 million take.
The bad news? The box office is still down more than 30% from last year, as the combined grosses of every single film in current release still don't equal the opening weekend of "The Hunger Games" alone.
Oh well. You take what you can get.
For "The Croods," that means settling for what is only a so-so debut for their epic about neanderthals exploring what it means to be human. Sure, "How to Train Your Dragon" opened to similar numbers three years ago and ended up becoming a runaway hit. But while viewers did give "The Croods" a stellar A+ Cinemascore, reviewers weren't nearly so kind, suggesting that word of mouth on this one might not be enough to keep it going, especially with Stephenie Meyer's "The Host" expected to dominate proceedings when it hits theaters next weekend.
On the other hand, "Olympus Has Fallen" has to be thrilled with its second place debut considering it stars Gerard Butler, who hasn't had a real hit since sandals and togas were in style, and boasts one of the most cliche-ridden trailers in recent memory. Fans apparently were in the mood for some good old fashioned dumb action, though, meaning "Olympus Has Fallen" now has a real shot at more than recouping its estimated $70 million production cost.
Meanwhile, Tina Fey's new romcom "Admission" took a complete header, earning just $6.4 million, which makes us cry a little inside. We'd cry a lot if the movie had been better, but unfortunately, this one really isn't up to Fey's usual high standards. And finally, "Spring Breakers" surged into sixth place on the charts despite still being in limited release, proving that the highbrow formula of boobies + guns may actually have a place in modern cinema. Who knew, right?
Here's a look at the full box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "The Croods" - $44.7m (our review)
2. "Olympus Has Fallen" - $30.5m (our review)
3. "Oz the Great and Powerful" - $22m (our review)
4. "The Call" - $8.7m (our review)
5. "Admission" - $6.4m (our review)
6. "Spring Breakers" - $5m (our review)
7. "Burt Wonderstone" - $4.3m (our review)
8. "Jack the Giant Slayer" - $3m (our review)
9. "Identity Thief" - $2.5m (our review)
10. "Snitch" - $1.9m (our review)