Weekend US Box Office report: Up continues Pixar’s winning ways

Pixar scores another big hit, as Up storms to the top of the US box office. But what's happening to Terminator: Salvation?

Pixar's Up

Another new Pixar release, another monster hit. Up, the sweet little movie wrapped in big movie trappings (review here), took in an impressive $68.2 million this weekend at the box office as it bowed in both 3-D and 2-D formats. The 3-D showings, of course, were hugely profitable, which suggests to me that the 3-D gimmick is here to stay in a big way. As a 3-D fan, I think that’s wonderful. I hate that they charge extra for it, but what are you going to do?

Last week’s top movie, Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, had a very strong second weekend. The film grossed another $25.5 million, and more importantly, crossed the $100 million barrier. It’s crucial in the summer for a movie to hit hard and hit strong, and Night At The Museum did that perfectly. Audiences don’t stick around long in the summer, which means that the sequel will be hard pressed to have the legs and grosses of the original comedy, but this is a great start.

In a not so great start, Sam Raimi’s long-awaited return to horror, Drag Me To Hell, debuted at the third position at the box office this weekend. The film picked up $16.6 million, which isn’t bad for a horror film. Still, the PG-13 rating suggested that the opening could’ve been a bit better, even if it was put against a juggernaut animated blockbuster as counter-programming cannon fodder. Had this movie come out in January (or October) it would’ve been top dog.

Terminator Salvation falls to fourth place from second place last week, bringing in $16.14 million in the process. I never would’ve thought I’d see that day where a Terminator film didn’t debut number one for the weekend, but here we are. The franchise has lost a lot of luster, which is a shame because Terminator Salvation is actually a damn good film if you can forget it’s related to The Terminator and Terminator 2.

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Star Trek becomes the top-grossing movie of 2009 this weekend, thanks to its fifth-place, $12.8 million weekend. Trek has grossed $209 million in the US in only a month! Angels & Demons (sixth place, $11.2 million) also crossed a milestone as the film’s US gross broke $100 million. This seems to be the week in which films make huge amounts of money and cross important profit-making thresholds.

Amazingly, we don’t reach our first non-eight-digit grossing movie until we drop to Dance Flick. The spoof is in seventh place this weekend, and brought in 4.9 million dollars. Can this please be the end of these? No? Well, fine then; just don’t expect me to watch them.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is in eighth place this weekend, with 3.9 million dollars in box office receipts. This movie has held up much better than I thought it would, despite being kind of awful. The film won’t hit $200 million US grosses, but it’ll get close. Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past is in ninth place this weekend, thanks to 1.9 million dollars. The film broke $50 million this week, and may have set a box office report record by being the third movie to end in 9.

One of the things that always amused me about box office reports, long before I started doing them, is when you’d see a movie break the top ten and not make a million dollars. It’s fairly rare in this day and age, but Obsessed has done it. The tenth-place movie this week made only $665,000! That’s incredibly low, and a testament to just how mediocre May was.

June is starting off with a bang, as two movies hit wide release, and a third movie hits pretty big as well. Will Ferrell’s Land Of The Lost will probably be a big hit, because it combines Will Ferrell’s smart dumb guy routine with dinosaurs. (When leaving the late night screening of Up this weekend, I had great fun posing in front of the dinosaur stand up and acting as if I was being chased. Yes, I’m easily amused.) Also rolling out large is The Hangover, another guy-centric comedy from Road Trip and Old School director Todd Phillips. As I was telling DoG’s own Simon Brew the other day, Todd Phillips directed one of my favorite documentaries of all time, Hated: GG Allin And The Murder Junkies, before going on to have a nice career in comedy.

The third release coming out this weekend is the girl-centric comedy My Life In Ruins, starring My Big Fat Greek Wedding auteur Nia Vardalos. Did you know that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the highest-grossing romantic comedy in history? Because I did not. Will lightning strike twice?

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