'Dinner for Schmucks' and 'Cats & Dogs' sequel vie for box office dollars

schmucks-carrell-rudd-1Image Credit: Merie Weismiller WallaceWith a plethora of options at the box office this weekend, you can’t say Hollywood isn’t giving you some variety. Unfortunately, none of the options are likely to be massive blockbusters, and Inception is sure to land on top of the heap again. Paramount will unveil Jay Roach’s (Meet the Parents) latest comedic effort Dinner For Schmucks starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. The film had a lengthy battle to the big screen, but the producers’ tenacity will mean little for its opening weekend. In contrast, Warner Bros. is reviving a franchise that I’m not sure audiences were clamoring for. The original Cats & Dogs opened to $21 million back in 2001, but who was begging them to reunite, in any place other than a backyard? And the third movie out to lure in audiences is Charlie St. Cloud, the supernatural drama that Zac Efron chose over the Footloose remake. Will the decision pay off? We’ll find out. Read on for my predictions.

1. Inception: $30 million

Christopher Nolan’s Inception has now earned $160 million, and the film’s trajectory is likely to continue this coming weekend. With audiences still clamoring to see the movie and others going back for seconds, expect a 30 percent drop on the film its third weekend in theaters.

2. Dinner For Schmucks: $23 million

Paramount has lured in the young men for this movie, but how well it does this weekend depends on whether or not women are coming along for the ride. Carell and Rudd are clearly appealing, but reviews have been mixed. And the mean-spirited premise of the film may turn off female movie-goers. It helps that Zach Galifianakis is co-starring in the movie, a fact that has been highlighted recently in the movie’s marketing campaign. This is definitely one to watch this weekend, because Schmucks‘ gross could fluctuate anywhere in the $20 millions.

3. Salt: $21 million

Angelina Jolie is holding her own against the big boys during the week, and with little in the way of action this weekend, Salt is likely to stay strong its second weekend. Expect a drop in the 40 percent range, a number that will have the film on its way to $100 million soon.

4. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: $19 million

Families are tracking fairly well with this movie, but I think the talking animal genre may feel a bit played out by now. G-Force bowed last year at this time to $31 million and got ridiculed for it. Kitty Galore will be lucky to hit $20 million and that’s counting its 3-D screens. If anything, the fact that the movie is in 3-D could be a turn off to families. That extra surcharge is making the relatively inexpensive outing of movie-going a much more costly activity.

5. Charlie St. Cloud: $15 million

This film from director Burr Steers marks Efron’s first grown-up wide release, but it’s still primarily teenage girls that are coming out to see them. And for Charlie, they are not coming in droves. Tracking suggests low double-digits for the movie, which didn’t cost all that much to produce. But if something sparks and teens want to see Efron’s sensitive side, maybe they’ll show their support with dollars.

In limited release, Get Low starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray opens, as does the acclaimed The Concert.

Comments (55 total) Add your comment
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  • Brianna

    I’m seeing Dinner for Schmucks tomorrow. I’m sooooo excited!!!! Steve Carell is my favorite comedy actor. I love all his movies.

    • MovieMan

      Inception is just killing it. All hail Nolan, the best director working today.

      • TPK

        Enough with the Nolan hyperbole. You can hail him all you want, but leave me (or “all”) out of it. There are many films already out or due out later this year by equally fine directors.

      • bill

        Inception is very good, but not great. Nolan is a very good director, but not the best working today. His weakness is action…he simply is not very good at directing it. Personally, I think he is a better writer than director.

      • Jeremy

        The interesting thing about Inception is that it’s turning out to be sorta like Twilight for males, in the sense that it’s a HUGE hit with its target audience, they are coming back for seconds, and thirds, but nobody beyond that demo cares. Only young/youngish males are hyping it up and recommending it, and they love it. Yes, the film is good (not great) and yes, it’s creating talk, but only among its demo. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just like Twilight, Inception proves that even with mostly one quadrant, you can have a blockbuster.

      • Terry(: Turdz(:

        I agree with Bill.
        ALL HAIL BILL.

      • Blake

        @TPK and @Bill: Agreed. I’m sick of the more measured reviews of Inception being branded as spiteful critical backlash. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but having to use your brain during a film does not automatically mean the film is brilliant. It was just a welcome relief from the particularly miserable studio dreck being churned out this summer.

    • LOL

      Cats and Dogs looks like garbage.

    • Rosalie

      We saw Salt this past Monday. The movie was GREAT. You really did not know what to expect and could not figure out whether Salt was good or evil. A couple of my friends thought it would be like the Bourne Identity, but it was nothing like it.

    • Nathan

      It would be so funny if Schmucks beat out Inception at the box office, doubt it will happen however.

    • dave

      Nobody wants to this bullsh!t.

  • Jose

    The Kids Are All Right is expanding to my local theatre, so I’ll be watching that instead, I wonder if it’ll make it to the top 10?

    • Woot

      Mine too! I think it has an outside shot, it need to be in several hundred at least. How many will it expand to this weekend?

      • Jose

        Boxofficemojo.com is reporting it’ll be in 847 theatres.

      • Terry(: Turdz(:

        It’ll make the top ten, sweeetie (;

    • dave

      Helllllllll No

  • rebecca

    what movie do I want to see? hmm…a movie with Roger Moore playing a cat because he is such a terrible actor he can’t even get a real acting job anymore, or any other movie in the world? hard choice!!

  • Brad

    Don’t make Inception #1 again! So tired of the hype.. not as good as it is made out to be. You people stop drinking Kool Aid!

    • Get real

      the one drinking kool-aid is you.

    • Jose

      Didn’t we go over this last week? It’s a matter of taste and many people enjoyed Inception and wish to see it again and there are other people that are curious to see whether or not it will hold up to its strong buzz. Weird how the buzz has yet to die if it is “not as good as it is made out to be”, now please stop complaing.

    • Shelby Coman

      Sorry, Brad, you’re a bit confused. Hype is what opened the movie at #1. What’s keeping it there is word-of-mouth, and that’s much more valuable.

      • Brad

        Hence, the Kool Aid…

  • Carlisle

    I’ll probably get ridiculed for this, being that I’m now a 31 year old male, but I quite enjoyed the first “Cats And Dogs” movie. Was it silly? Definitely! Did it make me laugh? Surprisingly yes. Even so, I wont be watching it on opening weekend when the cinema will be filled with noisy kids.

    • Jose

      Agreed, maybe it had a lot to do with the fact that I was 9 when the original came out, but the trailer did have me chucking in a few places (particularly when the cats are on catnip), but I’d rather wait for it to hit the dollar theater.

  • Butters

    Salt & Kitty Galore for me all the way to Hollywood, woohoo!!! :)

  • Carlos

    Cats and Dogs for me. And I’m not ashamed to go to that movie as much as I was when my girlfriend forced me to recent Sandler’s trash.

  • Sara

    Saw Dinner for Schmucks at a screener last night (it was free). It’s pretty bad. There are a few funny moments but you have to sit through 90 minutes of boring and predictable “whacky” hijinks to get to them. Slap stick comedies should NEVER be 2 hours long and this one was just shy of the 2 hour mark making it very tedious.

  • Christian

    “That extra surcharge is making the relatively inexpensive outing of movie-going a much more costly activity.”

    Have you taken a family to a movie lately? “Inexpensive” is the last word I’d use, even for non 3D films.

  • Bingo McSnood

    hristopher Nolan’s persistent thematic idea is: ‘What we see is not true, it’s just a facade’. You see this in all his movies. But he never says ‘Why is it a facade, or what’s behind the facade?’ And because he never really does that in any depth, it weakens the film and it just seems like a gimmick.” Basically, there’s nothing to ‘get’ in the first place so just, like, enjoy the explosions an that…..

    • Krugeri

      Are you insane? Nolan’s movies do not stop and start at Memento and Inception. His work is inventive, bold and daring. His Following, Insomnia and The Dark Knight were all psychological studies of well crafted characters.

      In a Hollywood of sequels, remakes and predictable action movies (I’m looking at you Michael Bay) Nolan’s work stand out. Only Shutter Island has had people talking about a movie’s premise this much in years.

    • Mac

      Nolan is a good director, maybe even great. However, I have yet to see him direct women to any real extent. All his movies are just trips through a male dominated story. Sure, sometimes a woman is thrown in there (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, Hilary Swank, Carrie Ann Moss) but they are just supporting characters. Actually, there aren’t too many directors today that are able to balance a story with equal measure for men and women. It’s been a very long time since the likes of William Wyler or Billy Wilder, two directors that could tell a story will both male and female leads. Nolan is becoming a thinking man’s Michael Bay.

  • Kevin Nhat

    Inception is the best movie on the box office now, Salt is just a bunch of nonsense.

    • Krugeri

      It isn’t either/or, dude. Do you money riding on which one wins the week? I liked both Inception and Salt, for different reasons. I thought was a fantastic popcorn action movie. Not as thought provoking as Inception but really well done escapism.

  • don

    I can’t believe Warner Bros. came out with a Cats and Dogs 2. No child is going to see that. You know there’s something wrong when substantial children’s movies like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Where the Wild Things Are make less than $100 million domestically, but those two stupid Alvin and the Chipmunk movies make over $200 million domestically. Why do studios keep coming out with children’s movies that are so simple-minded. Because children today will accept anything that Hollywood shoves in front of them.

    • Shelby Coman

      Blame the marketing. Alvin and movies like it look flashy, loud and colorful because they don’t contain any substance. Marketing departments botched Wild Things and Mr. Fox because they played up the quality of the movie and by contrast made them look boring to a child’s mind. Don’t forget, when Wild Things was released there were several articles talking about how the movie was too deep for children to understand so a lot of parents were afraid to take the chance on a movie their kid wasn’t interested in and might not like. Mine enjoyed it more than Alvin, so I’ll just assume there is hope for my gene pool.

    • Jose

      I thought Fantastic Mr. Fox was last year’s best film.

  • SeXX ED

    It was really nice not having a perpetual onslaught of idiot movies for a couple of weeks – but here they come! I’m thinking Inception can hold them off for the top slot. I have faith that people want more from their entertainment these days. And NOBODY is as stupid as the Hollywood execs believe them to be.

  • jared

    I disagree. I think “Schmucks” is No. 1 this week — ads are ubiquitous, and it’s getting some great reviews (see NYT today).

    • Woot

      reviews are pretty mixed actually. 54% on rottentomatoes.

      • ASFan

        Plus, while there are ads all over, they suck.

    • sarCC

      “Get Schmucked.”

  • Nate

    I hope Inception makes road kill out of Cats & Dogs/rest of the releases this weekend. Christopher Nolan is the Director of the Decade.

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