'Pineapple Express' gets smoked | EW.com

Movies

'Pineapple Express' gets smoked

Even with a terrific opening for an R-rated comedy, Seth Rogen and fellow jokers' stoner opus couldn't take down the Caped Crusader as Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel continues to roll over box-office records

Seth Rogen, James Franco, ...

(Darren Michaels)

Okay, so I was wrong. I thought Pineapple Express had the necessary mojo to end The Dark Knight’s run at the top of the box office chart. My bad. I’m sure those who personally know Bruce Wayne could tell you that he simply cannot be stopped. And so the $26 million The Dark Knight earned over the weekend brought its cumulative gross to $441.5 million — which is good enough for the No. 3 spot on the all-time box office performers list, just behind Star Wars at $460.9 million. And if The Dark Knight keeps on track, the Force won’t be with George Lucas’ sci-fi flick for much longer.

Still, Pineapple Express didn’t do too shabbily. While its $22.4 million three-day opening didn’t best Knocked Up’s $30.7 million, the $40.7 million Pineapple Express has brought in since its Wednesday release more than covers its reported $27 million production budget. Besides, films about the ''wacky tabaccy'' aren’t known for blazing up the box office: If you combine the entire domestic haul of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and Half Baked you still don’t hit the number Pineapple pulled down in its first five days.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor took the expected 60 percent dive in its second week, unearthing $16.1 million and bringing its total gross to $70.7 million. Say what you will about his choice of films, Brendan Fraser is having one hell of a summer — with The Mummy 3 likely to nudge up against $100 million, and Journey to the Center of the Earth currently at $81.8 million, the actor could find himself sitting pretty by the time September rolls around.

The fact that America Ferrera and Blake Lively have found hit TV shows — Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, respectively — since the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants hit theaters didn’t seem to make much of a difference: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 opened with $10.9 million, less that a $1 million bump from the original. Maybe the tween girls were all on vacation, or home listening to Miley Cyrus' new CD.

That’s it for the newbies and the big-leaguers. Step Brothers rounded out the top five with $8.9 million — it’s now passed the take for previous Will Ferrell success Old School ($75.6 million) and is closing in on Anchorman’s $85.3 domestic gross — while Mamma Mia! crossed the $100 million mark. And Kevin Costner’s Swing Vote has all but swung out of theaters: the ambling election comedy has declined 50 percent since last weekend, bringing in a total of $12 million. Feh.

All in all, a good weekend, but not a great one, given that this same weekend last year had Rush Hour 3 opening to $49.1 million and The Bourne Ultimatum pulling down $32.9 million in its second weekend. See you next week, where maybe — just maybe — Tropic Thunder can finally shock Batman from the box-office belfry.