Weekend Receipts: Cars 2 Smokes the Competition

"Move, b****, get out the way!" said Cars 2 to Green Lantern as the Pixar sequel burned rubber over all over the competition this weekend. Hey, if Mater and Lightning McQueen can eat sushi and have car doors and live in a world with sidewalks but no humans with no discernable method of procreation in place, Cars 2 can speak in the parlance of Ludacris in my head. Especially when it defies everyone - skeptics, haters, that 34 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating -- to rake in $68M in its opening weekend. Let's review the weekend receipts!

1. Cars 2

Gross: $68,000,000 (new)

Screens: 4,115 (PSA: $16,525)

Weeks: 1

You know what they say: Always bet on Pixar. The toon house's globe-trotting sequel about anthropomorphized automobiles exceeded expectations and handily zoomed to the number one spot, despite scoring the lowest reviews of any Pixar film to date. Cars 2 notched the fifth-best opening weekend in Pixar history, running just about neck and neck with the debuts of Up and WALL-E, so it's probably safe to say the pic will land north of $200M -- unless, as the 10 percent Friday-Saturday drop off may suggest, poor word of mouth retards its momentum. Also: 3-D screens only accounted for 40 percent of that $68M, so it's still up to Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon to step up as this summer's 3-D savior.

2. Bad Teacher

Gross: $31,000,000 (new)

Screens: 3,049 (PSA: $10,167)

Weeks: 1

Mark a big win for Cameron Diaz, whose R-rated comedy vehicle Bad Teacher also overperformed beyond expectations despite mostly lackluster reviews. The $20 million Sony flick already earned back its budget, so expect it to roll on to become one of the summer's big R-rated hits. Diaz can thank Kristen Wiig and her Bridesmaids cohorts and The Hangover Part II's wolf pack for getting the ball rolling this year by whetting audience appetites for raunchy adult-oriented comedy.

3. Green Lantern

Gross: $18,350,000 ($89,311,000)

Screens: 3,816 (PSA: $4,809)

Weeks: 2

Perhaps Terry Gilliam was right, and the color green just isn't lucky these days at the box office. The Ryan Reynolds-starring superhero pic flew south in its second week, dropping by 65 percent from last week. At this rate it's already faring worse than 2003's Hulk, which opened with $81.7M before dropping 66 percent in its second week, then faded into comic book movie obscurity. Despite disappointing numbers, Warner Bros. has announced that they're still moving forward with a sequel. Now that's putting on a brave face.

4. Super 8

Gross: $12,100,000 ($95,186,000)

Screens: 3,424 (PSA: $3,534)

Weeks: 3 (change: -43.6%)

J.J. Abrams's nostalgic sci-fi adventure continues to hold on, despite increasing competition from new summer season competitors. It's already almost doubled its budget, landed its lead his next gig, and proven that a no-name cast of newbies and a secret plot can bring audiences in. So high five, guys! Whatever happens from here on out, it's all icing on the cake.

5. Mr. Popper's Penguins

Gross: $10,300,000 ($39,448,000)

Screens: 3,342 (PSA: $3,082)

Weeks: 2 (change: -44.2%)

Jim Carrey's latest mainstream effort hasn't exactly caught fire with moviegoers, as evidenced by last week's third place opening slot and this week's sizable drop-off. Maybe everyone's waiting to see the Smurfs movie with actual Smurfs in it instead of penguins?

18. Buck

Gross: $297,000 ($395,000)

Screens: 54 (PSA: $5,500)

Weeks: 2

The Beaver is still inching its way toward a million domestic, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is still inching its way toward a billion worldwide, and Tree of Life is going strong as it expands in limited release ($4.5M gross to date), walkouts be damned. The upstart to watch this week, however, is Buck, a lovely little documentary about the soft-spoken horse whisperer who inspired, yes, The Horse Whisperer. High praise and word of mouth launched the Sundance doc to a $23,812 per screen average in four theaters its first weekend, but expanding to 54 theaters has brought the IFC release to a total of $395,000 in its second week. Keep an eye on Buck as it expands through the summer.

[Numbers via Box Office Mojo]


  • Don't plan on seeing Cars 2 but if it was anything like the first Cars then it should has a heavy decrease next weekend

  • whatafy says:

    e but not more than anything else Pixar's done. With each movie, the studio has pushed the graphics into new levels. Each movie has had some wow moment where audiences can't help but be amazed by what they're seeing. There were times in Cars 1 when it looked almost real. Cars 2 lacks any wow factor. One of the most impressive sets, Tokyo, were already spoiled by the Tokyo Mater short. This more than anything makes me wonder if Pixar was even trying to up the ante or if they were just using what they had to make a movie a year.