In the weekend battle of the flashy, hyper-stylized action flick versus the kid-movie-franchise sequel, it turned out that Rodrick did, in fact, rule. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" bested "Sucker Punch" at the box office to become the #1 movie in the United States with a $22.4 million debut.
Based on the second installment of the kid-friendly book series, "Wimpy Kid" bested the debut of its predecessor, which took in $21.8 million when it was released around this same time last year. All figures are according to studio estimates.
The $19 million opening of "Sucker Punch," meanwhile, was less than the debuts of director Zack Snyder's previous movies "300," "Watchmen" or "Dawn of the Dead." While the latter three films were based on preexisting sources, "Sucker Punch," a loud music-driven action fantasy about a group of girls in a mental institution who lead dream-world lives as action heroines, was Snyder's first wholly original concept. A mere 22 percent of critics reviewed it positively, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
News that the 45-year-old director has cast Amy Adams as Lois Lane in his forthcoming superhero reboot "Superman: Man of Steel" overshadowed talk of "Sucker Punch" across Twitter and film blogs on Sunday.
Last week's #1 movie, "Limitless," brought in another $15.2 million, for a domestic total of $41.3 million. With an estimated production budget of $27 million, the movie's numbers are great news for Bradley Cooper, who chose the flick as his first real starring vehicle since finding fame.
The modest success of "The Lincoln Lawyer" is great news of a different kind for Matthew McConaughey. It's his best-reviewed film in years. Telling the story of a conflicted lawyer working cases from his car, the movie has reminded critics that the sometimes-ridiculed leading man does have real talent. "The Lincoln Lawyer" brought in $11 million to land at #4, with a $29 million total.
Johnny Depp's animated "Rango" was one of two movies to cross the $100 million mark over the weekend. The movie landed in fifth place with a $9.8 million take, for a $106.4 million total. Meanwhile, "Just Go With It" became the 12th Adam Sandler movie to gross more than $100 million domestically. Although the romantic comedy is no longer in the top 10 at the box office, it has earned a total of $100.3 million.
Sci-fi action flick "Battle: Los Angeles" was #6 with $7.6 million, for a $72.6 million total. The loving sci-fi homage "Paul" dropped roughly 45 percent in its second weekend of release, earning $7.5 million to land at #7 while upping its total earnings to $24.6 million. The Nick Frost/ Simon Pegg comedy cost about $40 million to make. "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke's "Red Riding Hood" was #8 with $4.3 million, for a $32.5 million total. Matt Damon's "The Adjustment Bureau" was #9 with $4.2 million, for a $54.9 million total.
International tickets, after-market sales and a built-in diehard fanbase will probably save "Paul" from being remembered as a failure, but the weekend's #10 movie, which shares an alien theme, likely won't escape that fate. The animated "Mars Needs Moms" made $2.2 million, bringing its total take to $19.2 million against an estimated $150 million production budget.
Next weekend's new releases include "Moon" director Duncan Jones' "Source Code," starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga; the Easter-themed kid's movie "Hop," featuring the voice of Russell Brand; the haunted-house flick "Insidious"; and the action/comedy "Super," with Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon.
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