Box office: 'Toy Story 3' tops solid 'Grown Ups,' soft 'Knight and Day' [updated]
"Toy Story 3" topped the box office for the second weekend in a row, taking in a studio-estimated $59 million in the U.S. and Canada, well ahead of the healthy $41-million opening for Sandler's comedy "Grown Ups" and the tepid $20.5-million start for the Cruise-Cameron Diaz action comedy "Knight and Day."
The second-weekend drop of 47% for "Toy Story 3" is the third-highest for a Pixar film and the highest for one that debuted in the summer, a sign that ticket sales are a bit front-loaded for the studio's second sequel in its 15-year history.
That's still a relatively modest drop for a movie that opened to $110 million. And after a spectacular first week in theaters that included fantastic weekday ticket sales, "Toy Story 3" has grossed $226.6 million, which is $82 million more than the previous most-successful Pixar film, "Finding Nemo," in the same time frame. Though 3-D surcharges and rising ticket prices explain some of the difference, it's continuing proof that excellent word-of-mouth and universally positive reviews have made "Toy Story 3" the most successful in Pixar's long line of hits.
Internationally, "Toy Story 3" collected $36.1 million in 32 countries this weekend, including a good start in Australia, bringing its total foreign ticket sales to $100 million.
"Grown Ups" is not Sandler's highest opening ever, coming in behind "The Longest Yard," "Anger Management" and "Big Daddy," even before accounting for rising ticket prices. But it's another strong debut and a sign that Sony Pictures' aggressive marketing and publicity campaign worked; Sandler, Rock and James appeared at numerous sporting events and awards shows prior to the film's opening. Given that the film cost Sony and Relativity Media $70 million to $80 million to produce and audiences gave it an average grade of A-, indicating that it should play well for several weeks, it looks certain to be a hit.
In a surprising turn of events given that pre-release surveys had indicated men were more interested in the movie, 53% of the opening-weekend audience for "Grown Ups" was women.
The $20.5-million weekend take for "Knight and Day" and its $27.8 million total since it debuted Wednesday are a poor start given the movie's $117-million production budget -- $107 million after tax credits -- and the presence of two big stars above the title. And yet, there were positive signs for the spy caper. After a weak $3.8-million opening Wednesday, ticket sales declined only slightly on Thursday and then rose significantly on Friday and Saturday, signs that audiences are enjoying the movie and spreading good buzz.
After advertisements failed to generate much pre-release excitement for "Knight and Day," distributor 20th Century Fox decided to sneak preview the movie last weekend and open it Wednesday instead of Friday in an effort to kick-start word-of-mouth for one of the summer's few big-budget movies that's not a sequel, remake or adaptation. That effort appears to be paying off somewhat and though it's still unlikely that "Knight and Day" will become a hit in the domestic market, it could turn into at least a so-so performer if ticket sales decline slowly over the next few weeks.
[Update, 12:35 p.m.: In the best-case scenario, "Knight" could follow the pattern of past Cruise movies, such as "Valkryie" and "Collateral," which had similar-sized openings and ended up with domestic totals of $83 million and $101 million, respectively. Summer is a competitive time of year when movies that underperform can quickly lose theaters, but "Knight and Day" will remain the only adult-targeted film for the next three weeks, until "Inception" debuts, and audiences gave it an average grade of B+, according to market research firm CinemaScore, one more sign that it may not drop rapidly.
Fox has higher hopes for the movie overseas, where Cruise's star power is stronger in certain countries. It debuted in only 12 foreign markets this weekend and collected $12.6 million, including good No. 1 openings in Russia, South Korea and Taiwan.]
In limited release, the John C. Reilly-Jonah Hill comedy "Cyrus" continues to play well, collecting $300,000 at 17 theaters on its second weekend and bringing its total to $565,000. Afghanistan war documentary "Restrepo" opened to a solid $30,453 at two theaters.
[Update, 12:35 p.m.: Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, along with international ticket sales when available:
1. "Toy Story 3" (Disney): $59 million on its second weekend, down 47%. $36.1 million overseas in 32 foreign markets. Domestic total: $226.6 million. International total: $100 million.
2. "Grown Ups" (Sony/Relativity): Opened to $41 million.
3. "Knight and Day" (Fox/New Regency/Dune): $20.5 million on its first weekend. $27.8 million since opening Wednesday. $12.6 million overseas in 12 foreign markets.
4. "The Karate Kid" (Sony/China Film): $15.4 million on its third weekend, down 48%. $8.4 million in 26 foreign markets. Domestic total: $135.6 million. International total: $25.3 million.
5. "The A-Team" (Fox/Dune): $6 million on its third weekend, down 58%. $7.7 million in 53 foreign markets. Domestic total: $62.8 million. International total: $47.2 million.
6. "Get Him to the Greek" (Universal/Relativity/Spyglass): $3 million on its fourth weekend, down 51%. $3.9 million overseas in eight foreign markets. Domestic total: $54.5 million. International total: $9.8 million.
7. "Shrek Forever After" (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount): $2.9 million on its sixth weekend, down 49%. Domestic total: $229.3 million.
8. "Prince of Persia" (Disney): $2.8 million on its fifth weekend, down 50%. $6.9 million overseas. Domestic total: $86.2 million. International total: $226 million.
9. "Killers" (Lionsgate): $2 million on its fourth weekend, down 60%. Domestic total: $44 million.
10. "Jonah Hex" (Warner Bros./Legendary): $1.6 million on its second weekend, down 70%. Domestic total: $9.1 million.
Sources: Studio estimates and Hollywood.com.
-- Ben Fritz
Photos, from top: A scene from "Toy Story 3." Credit: Disney / Pixar. Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise in "Knight and Day." Credit: David James / 20th Century Fox