Image Credit: Peter IovinoOn the Oscar weekend when Hollywood gets together to celebrate the best of cinema, it’s ironic that the box office is trapped in the gutter. The week’s two new releases, Hall Pass and Drive Angry, have underperformed, and the frame will most likely be won by an animated film in its third week, Gnomeo & Juliet. The Farrelly brothers’ raunchy comedy Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, led Friday’s results with $4.6 million, according to early estimates. That figure practically replicates the first-day tally of the filmmaking duo’s last two films, 2007’s The Heartbreak Kid ($4.7 million) and 2005’s Fever Pitch ($4.5 million). Those two movies wound up with disappointing opening weekends of $14 million and $12.4 million, respectively, and the R-rated Hall Pass is on pace to split the difference with $13 million. So much for the Farrellys’ comeback.
Unknown was second on Friday with $3.9 million — a modest drop of 43 percent. The Liam Neeson thriller, which was produced for just $31 million, should also finish the weekend with around $13 million. That’d bring its two-week total to a little more than $43 million. The romantic comedy Just Go With It landed in third, falling 38 percent to earn $3.3 million. In fourth, the lawn ornaments Gnomeo & Juliet raked in $3.2 million on Friday, slipping only 26 percent. Like the last two weekends, expect the Disney animated musical to enjoy a significant boost today. Its Friday-to-Saturday jump was 89 percent during its opening weekend, and an astounding 96 percent last week. With Hall Pass falling short of expectations, Gnomeo seems headed toward its first weekend victory with $14 million, and will increase its cumulative jackpot to about $75 million.
And where’s Drive Angry? Ninth, with a Friday gross of $1.6 million. The $50 million action film, featuring Nicolas Cage as a felon who escapes from Hell to avenge his daughter’s death (and does so, appropriately, in 3-D), may walk away with just $5 million this weekend. If it does, the R-rated flick will mark Cage’s worst wide-release debut since 2005’s The Weather Man, and his third big flop in a row following The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and last month’s Season of the Witch. This guy needs another National Treasure movie, stat.
1. Hall Pass — $4.6 mil
2. Unknown — $3.9 mil
3. Just Go With It — $3.3 mil
4. Gnomeo & Juliet — $3.2 mil
5. I Am Number Four — $3.1 mil
Box office preview: Will Hall Pass give the Farrelly brothers their first No. 1 hit in a decade?