Had the film been a little cheaper and/or a lot better, this would be a far more promising debut. On paper, Universal successfully opening a franchise entry without its marquee star and only a loose connection to the prior entries is pretty impressive. On one hand, the film represents an unwillingness for studios to die at the end of their natural life cycle. On the other hand the film's use of the prior trilogy's continuity is somewhat clever and the approach is technically better than a straight-ahead reboot. All three Bourne films had decent legs, with weekend-to-multipliers of 3.2 (part III), 3.3 (part II), and an uncommonly leggy 4.5 (part I). Using the sequels as the likely pattern, the film could get as high as $132 million domestic. The only downside, since the film is pretty bad (what sounds clever on paper actually hurts the prior films), it A) might drop pretty quickly and struggle to top $100 million and B) won't build the kind of momentum that would otherwise pay-off for a sequel 2-3 years from now. The film earned a "B" from Cinemascore, meaning word of mouth won't approach the prior three mostly well-liked and/or loved entries. The Bourne franchise was a textbook case of a well-liked original film having a leggy run and strong DVD sales and thus exploding out of the gate over the opening weekend of part II. Don't expect the same kind of magic to happen twice. Free tip studios: when rebooting your franchise, do try to remind people why they fell in love with said property in the first place.
The next big opener was The Campaign, an R-rated political comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinackas. The film is directed by Jay Roach, who is best known for the Austin Powers franchise and Meet the Parents but moonlights as a director of top-notch HBO political dramas (Recount and Game Change). With $28 million, the $60 million performed at the end end of expectations for an R-rated Will Ferrell film. It's quite as not has high as the $30 million debut of Step Brothers four summers ago (still Ferrell's best R-rated debut) but is certainly larger than the $15 million debut of the underrated Semi-Pro back in April 2008. Depending on final numbers, it's either Ferrell's seventh-biggest or eighth-largest debut ever just ahead of Anchorman ($28 million) and behind Step Brothers ($30 million), Elf ($31 million), Blades of Glory ($33 million), The Other Guys ($35 million), Megamind ($46 million), and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ($48 million). It's surely below the $32.6 million debut of Zach Galifianakis's Due Date, which had less competition and the red-hot Robert Downey Jr. plus director Todd Phelps coming off of The Hangover. What this means for Ferrell is that he can keep doing his barely-released 'one for me' projects (Everything Must Go, Casa De Mi Padra, etc.) knowing that his mainstream vehicles will compensate. For Zach Galifianakis, this is another sign that his is genuine box office when paired with a strong comic foil, but he has yet to test the open road and go it solo. And considering the success he's had as one of a duo or trio, he may not be itching for a solo gig for awhile anyway. This is his sixth-biggest debut, behind the two Hangovers ($45 million and $87 million respectively), Puss In Boots ($34 million), Due Date ($32 million), and G-Force ($31 million). If The Campaign crosses $100 million domestic (not a sure thing but a likely one considering that Ferrell's comedies often have strong legs), it'll be Ferrell's seventh and Galifianakis's sixth such milestone. That's not a guarantee, as it understandably earned B- from Cinemascore (it's a mess of a film, painfully unfocused but with genuine laughs and some strong commentary).
Oh, and Arc Entertainment unleashed Nitro Cirus: The Movie 3D on 800 screens and earned a whopping $1.1 million for their efforts. The Dark Knight Rises is sticking around for the moment, although its time in the sun is quickly coming to an end if only due to screen-bleeding. It'll keep its IMAX screens until Resident Evil: Retribution opens on September 14th, but the ten wide releases between now and then plus a few possible expansions will cost The Dark Knight Rises its normal 35mm/DLP screens in the meantime. Alas, the Batman threequel has made a measly $390 million after four weekends. The Dark Knight had $440 million at this juncture, meaning that The Dark Knight Rises, with around $800 million worldwide, is an unmitigated disaster and Chris Nolan should be tarred and feathered on the Warner Bros. lot. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days has $30 million after ten days, trailing the first film ($35 million) and the second film ($38 million) at the same juncture. *But* its $8.3 million second weekend compares favorably as the first two films had $10 million second weekend grosses despite both opening well over $20 million (it dropped 43% this weekend).
Ice Age 4 has... does anyone really care what this film's domestic gross is? The fifth film could go direct-to-DVD in the states and still make $600 million overseas. Still, it has $144 million over here and over $750 million worldwide. Ice Age 4 has... does anyone really care what this film's domestic gross is? The fifth film could go direct-to-DVD in the states and still make $600 million overseas. Still, it has $144 million over here and over $750 million worldwide. The Amazing Spider-Man has a similar situation, with a series-low (by a long shot) domestic cume of $255 million but a worldwide total heading towards $700 million, although it may not top the $782 million worldwide gross of Spider-Man 2 making this the lowest-grossing Spidey flick anywhere and everywhere. Step Up: Revolution has topped $30 million although hitting $40 million will be a challenge. Also topping out at $30 million is The Watch, which now has $31 million and is pretty much finished domestically (of course, it's Fox, so it could do $100 million overseas). Ted has $209.9 million, meaning its now the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever behind Beverly Hills Cop ($234 million) and the two Hangover films ($279 million and $254 million respectively). Brave has surpassed Wall-E and sits with $227 million while Ruby Sparks expanded to 261 screens and topped $1.25 million this weekend. Beasts of the Southern Wild topped $7 million while The Intouchables has about $6.3 million. The Moonrise Kingdom has $42 million and From Rome With Love has topped $15 million. And still sticking around somewhere is the delightful Safety Not Guaranteed, which didn't expand like it should have but still snagged $3.6 million so far.
That's it for this weekend. I'll try to update later today with relevant foreign totals and some of the (mostly middling) limited release debuts. Let's just say Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer sadly did not set the arthouse world on fire. Join us next time for a crowded frame with four wide releases. The Odd Life of Timothy Green opens on Wednesday and Friday brings Whitney Houston's Sparkle, the animated Paranorman, and The Expendables 2.