Just Go With It barely squeezed out a victory by earning $31 million. If the result holds, it’ll be star Adam Sandler’s 11th film to open at No. 1. The $80 million movie, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, drew a crowd that was surprisingly 58 percent female. And despite reviews that were overwhelmingly negative, the PG-13 film scored a strong “A-” rating from CinemaScore audiences. With Valentine’s Day on Monday and President’s Day Weekend after that, Just Go With It will be able to further capitalize on its status as a “date movie” that appeals to both women and men.Welcome back, Hollywood. After being in desperate need of a defibrillator this past month and a half, the box office finally roared back to life as three movies debuted to at least $25 million. And it was an exciting comeback as well, with a race so close that it’s too early to declare an official winner. But according to studio estimates, Sony’s romantic comedy
He may be 28 years younger and five inches shorter than Sandler, but pop star Justin Bieber’s 3-D concert pic Justin Bieber: Never Say Never finished just $700,000 behind Just Go With It, according to estimates. The G-rated film debuted to $30.3 million, as throngs of Beliebers (even Johnny Depp is one) stormed theaters to witness the Grammy-nominated singer in three glorious dimensions. As expected, the audience was heavily female (84 percent) and young (67 percent less than 25 years old). And, also as anticipated, the modest $13 million film transported Bieber fans into a state of euphoria. While Never Say Never received an overall “A” grade from CinemaScore moviegoers, women rated it a perfect “A+.” Folks, whether you like him or not, the Bieber isn’t going away anytime soon.
In third place, Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet surpassed the industry’s most optimistic expectations and grossed $25.5 million – the biggest February opening ever for an animated film. Disney took advantage of the market’s dearth of kid-friendly films and slickly advertised the G-rated movie, which was developed as a Miramax project, as a fun-for-the-whole-family treat. In spite of mediocre reviews (and the fact that this was, well, a Shakespeare adaptation starring lawn ornaments), moviegoers took the bait and liked what they saw, with the film receiving a “B+” CinemaScore grade. That wasn’t the case for the Roman Empire-set action film The Eagle, which debuted in fourth place with just $8.6 million. The Channing Tatum-Jamie Bell epic predictably skewed male (64 percent of the audience). But with a middling “C+” rating from CinemaScore graders, the PG-13 film will likely fade from theaters quickly. Thankfully, The Eagle had a lean budget of about $25 million.
The college thriller The Roommate rounded out the top five, dropping a less-than-expected 44 percent for $8.4 million. And in limited release, the Ed Helms comedy Cedar Rapids laughed up $311,000 from 15 locations, for an encouraging per-theater average just over $20,000. Check back next week as Hollywood keeps the new releases coming with the sci-fi action film I Am Number Four, the don’t-mess-with-Liam-Neeson thriller Unknown, and the first movie ever to feature a male comedian dressed as a woman, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.
1. Just Go With It – $31.0 mil
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $30.3 mil
3. Gnomeo & Juliet – $25.5 mil
4. The Eagle – $8.6 mil
5. The Roommate – $8.4 mil