In what is the first victory in quite some time for Quentin Tarantino, the talented but erratic filmmaker has scored his biggest debut ever as his WWII epic Inglourious Basterds easily captured the top of the box office with an impressive $37.6 million US, and $65 million in global grosses. Given that his previous high was $25 million for Kill Bill Vol. 2 in 2004, this has to be considered a huge success for Q and the Weinsteins.
As it turned out, none of the movies that were released in Brad Pitt’s Nazi-smashing shadow were much of a challenge for the Basterds. Fellow Grindhouse director Robert Rodriguez’s latest release, the kiddie Shorts, managed sixth place on $6 million at the box office, which is down significantly from his other kid flicks Shark Boy And Lava Girl In 3D and the Spy Kids movies. To put things in perspective, Desperado had a higher debut in 1995. Maybe Robert might not want to let his kids write the movies anymore.
Meanwhile, Fox’s girl comedy Post Grad barely scrapes the top ten this weekend, debuting with a meager $2.8 million. The X-Games 3D The Movie can’t even break $1 million this weekend ($800,000) despite screening in nearly 1400 locations. Even Gigli made over $3 million on opening weekend!
District 9 continues to perform really well based on positive word of mouth. In its second weekend, the movie brought in another $18.9 million, a great performance given how poorly sci-fi movies retain audiences. I’m going to get to it this week, ASAP, because I’m really intrigued.
Also kind of staggering, GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra continues to perform well despite negative word of mouth, bringing in $12.5 million this weekend. The film has crossed $120 million in the US and $222 million internationally. Of course, the true measure of any GI Joe media’s performance is how well it will sell toys. I don’t know about you, but I want a Marlon Wayans action figure!
The chick flick block, The Time Traveler’s Wife (fourth place, $10.025 million) and Julie & Julia (fifth place, $9 million), also continue to perform well. Especially Julie & Julia, which has lost very little of its original audience despite being three weeks old. They’re shaping up to have legs akin to The Ugly Truth (ninth place, $2.85 million), which has brought in over $82 million in the US. That’s a stellar performance from a female-centric film in the summer.
G-Force (seventh place, $4.2 million (and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (eighth place, $3.515 million), two of the tent pole releases of the summer, are on their way out of the top ten. That means summer is almost over. Time to start thinking about fall, and that means next week’s releases are looking horror-themed as both The Final Destination and Halloween II go wide, along with Taking Woodstock (a week or two too late to hit Woodstock’s 49th anniversary).