Box office update: 'Cars 2' speeds away with $25.7 mil on Friday

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Image Credit: Disney/Pixar

The Cars are all right. The Pixar sequel Cars 2 lit up the scoreboard with $25.7 million on Friday, according to early estimates, putting the G-rated movie on track for a big $70 million weekend. Critics gave the film the worst reviews in Pixar’s history, and industry insiders were predicting an opening closer to $50 million, so this result is a welcome surprise for Pixar and its owner Disney. Assuming Cars 2 reaches $70 million this weekend, that’ll be the best debut for an animated film since last June’s Toy Story 3, which unspooled to $110.3 million. It’ll also place Cars 2 right alongside Pixar’s The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, which opened to $70.5 million and $70.3 million, respectively. In 2006, the original Cars took in $60.1 million its first weekend, or about $72 million when adjusted for ticket-price inflation.

In second, the R-rated comedy Bad Teacher grossed $12.1 million and is headed for an opening of about $32 million. By comparison, Bridesmaids debuted to $26.2 million, although it’s highly unlikely that Bad Teacher will duplicate that film’s box-office stamina. Nevertheless, this is a huge win for star Cameron Diaz. The last movie to rest entirely on her shoulders was 2009’s The Box, which mustered only $15.1 million during its entire run. Also, Bad Teacher cost just $20 million to produce, and its solid opening is further confirmation (along with Bridesmaids) that audiences are willing to support female-driven raunchy comedies.

Losing quite a bit of green was Green Lantern, which plummeted 72 percent from last Friday for $6 million. The $200 million superhero film will have to settle for a $19 million weekend, pushing its two-week tally to a disappointing $90 million. In fourth place, the sci-fi adventure Super 8 continued to hold up well, dropping only 37 percent for $3.8 million. And Mr. Popper’s Penguins slipped 43 percent for $3.7 million on Friday. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Cars 2 — $25.7 mil
2. Bad Teacher — $12.1 mil
3. Green Lantern — $6.0 mil
4. Super 8 — $3.8 mil
5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins — $3.7 mil

Box office preview: Cars 2 to lap its competition


Comments (113 total) Add your comment
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  • jason

    Green Lantern was a fail.

    • Jenckles

      I knew it! I knew Green Lantern would be the first fail of the summer. Just look at that steep, steep 72% drop. Poor Ryan Reynolds. I actually like him.

      • Mcfly

        Hey EW, why to let these ads (Like Lydia’s below) through? Can’t you stop this crap?

    • tomm

      RR is a nice guy, just too manufactured and unreal looking. Too perfect.

      • Chris

        Ry Ry needs to do more movies that allow him to show off his smoking hot bod. I’d love to see him in some gritty independent films.

    • Tom

      Wow. A completely computer animated dominated everything so far this year. Not by a little. By 5x!

      That’s amazing. I sure hope they are paying attention to those numbers.

      • Ogram

        Yes Tom. This scrappy, start-up company called Pixar really came out of nowhere and shocked everybody with this brand new technology called “computer animation”…

      • Larryman

        Instead of making those other features this year, they could have made just this one, and grossed the same amount as all of them combined. CGI is WINNING

    • Carl

      I think Bad Teacher will follow in he same path. Good trailer but the movie has hardly any laughs throughout the movie. I’m looking forward to Captain America next.

  • Paul Boyd

    I love how critics always assume that moviegoers will do whatever they tell them. It is like they are upset that Cars 2 and Bad Teacher are doing better than expected. Same thing with the Hangover 2.

    • Tommy Marx

      I love how we went from learning the weekend gross on Wednesdays, then getting estimates on Sundays, then guessing estimates on Friday, then reporting Friday estimates on Saturday. What’s next, hourly updates?

      • Tom

        When real actors can’t do as well as CGI actors, you know it is only a matter of time that everything is CGI. I think the only filmmakers left anymore or doing indie films probably.

    • Mike

      I think people expected Hangover 2 to do well, even with bad reviews. Hangover 2 did drop quite a bit though and it probably wont match the first movie.

      Bad Teacher is a bit of a suprise but I don’t think Cars 2 making that much is too much of a shocker.

      • m.

        You do realize that Hangover 2’s worldwide box office is already bigger than the first one’s?! And it’s the biggest movie of 2011 so far?!

        I agree about “Cars 2″. It’s Pixar, you should never bet against them!

    • Commodore Schmidlapp

      SUCK IT HATERS AND CRITICS!!!!!! CARS 2 ROCKED IT!!!!!!!

      • Tom

        It did! It rocked everything else so far this year! Good job!

      • Tessa

        Yes! Most creative and fun thing so far this year!

    • KSG

      I agree about the critics. Do people actually listen to them when thinking about seeing a movie? I can’t imagine Cars 2 being worse than Wall-E and the critics loved that. What a snoozefest..

      • Kris

        I don’t think people listen to the critics when it comes to movies they have strong opinions about. For instance, if I really wanted to see Bad Teacher, a couple of bad reviews wouldn’t stop me. The same could be said if I really didn’t want to see it. However, if someone is on the fence, and doesn’t really know if they want to see it, glowing reviews could change their minds. It was the great reviews that had be excited for Bridesmaids and I really liked that movie.

      • Demond

        The critics have never mattered to me.If a trailer looks good for a movie I will go see it.But paying attention to some reviews don’t hurt.Nowadays a lot of these movies are terrible.You really have to a good vibe from these movies.The Star Trek reboot was one of those movies that I didn’t know was going to be any good until I saw the trailers.When I saw it opening weekend I loved it.

      • MesoSoup

        Wall_e was incredible.

  • MomC

    I think the one thing that has surprised me about the Cars reviews has been the lack of knowledge of the reviewers of the direction Cars has gone in since the original movie. Mater was made an equal “star” to Lightning with the Tall Tales series. I think it is kind of neat that Pixar has made a movie that might have a narrower niche appeal than their earlier films. I am actually OK with Pixar making a movie that my 5 year old loves. I do not expect every one to pull my heartstring the way TS3 or Up did.

    • Paul Boyd

      I loved Up, but if they were all that heart wrenching my kids would walk around crying. There is nothing wrong with a movie that provides enjoyment.

    • poop

      I was overall disappointed with Cars 2 as it was a major step down in storytelling compared to past Pixar efforts, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thoroughly enjoyed by it. So Pixar has made a movie on the same level as Dreamworks. Alright I can live with that, but the critics can’t. Pixar makes one film that doesn’t match up to the rest and all the critics give it bad reviews. I assure you that if the logo at the start of the film said something other than Pixar, even if it was the same exact film, it wouldn’t have a 33% on RT, because what seems to be the only complaint from anyone (myself included) is that it wasn’t “Pixar” good.

      • Nicole

        Dreamworks has had its wins too! How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda comes to mind…

      • Europa

        Being “majorly dissapointed” with a kids film about talking cars is pretty damn stupid. First graders really don’t care about subtext.

      • doug

        Europa, you could say the same thing about a kids’ film about talking monsters or a kids’ film about a talking robot or a kids’ film about talking toys. we expect more from pixar, even if the premise seems elementary.

      • ryan

        I know! Some of those lesser movies recieve A reviews just because they are fun, and not because they are oscar worthy movies. What is the differenece?

  • Amy

    Woohoo. Go Cameron!

    • BLT

      Love her! She rocks in Bad Teacher.

    • AK

      Does anyone feel like the comparison between “Bad Teacher” and “Bridesmaids” seems way off base? Sure, they’re both female-lead raunchy comedies. But as anyone can see by the marketing campaigns, “Bridesmaids” trades on the comedy of female friendships while “Bad Teacher” merely transposes the same type of raunchy comedy jokes onto a female character. “Bad Teacher” seems to still be aiming for that young male audience, as evidenced by splashing Cameron Diaz’s hot body all over the commercials.

  • christie

    I saw Cars 2 yesterday with my 3 kids and we all loved it!!!

  • Andy

    Its too bad that a great character like Green Lantern didn’t get the movie he deserved. Oh well, this is Hollywood and in 5 years they’ll reboot the franchise with an art-house director and it’ll be fantastic. Also it’ll probably still be in 3D.

    • doug

      yeah, because hiring the art-house director for “Hulk” really worked well…

    • Brian

      It was a good movie and I liked it, but they could’ve done more with the world they set up. Theater I saw it in was packed last night, so maybe it won’t be quite as steep a drop this weekend.

      • Eric T.

        I loved Green Lantern too! Definitely was not The Dark Knight, but it was still fun and entertaining.

  • Scrooge McDuck

    Green Lantern bomb of summer

    • Leah

      And Captain America is next!

      • Larryman

        What a waste of money.

  • vince

    Why so hard on GL, how $90 million in two weeks a disappointment.

    • A

      Because it cost $200 million to make. It plummeted over 70 percent from last weekend, which means it has bad word-of-mouth and people are losing interest in it fast. It’s probably going to keep dropping the same amount in the coming weeks. It has terrible reviews. It is a disappointment.

      • Aging GenXer

        300 Million if you count all the Promotion tie ins

      • Shaun

        That $200 million price tag doesn’t count what WB spent promoting the movie either, and they spent a ton on advertising. Hey, I’m part of the core audience for GL… I’m a 30-40 year old male who grew up reading comics (I still love them, though I don’t buy/read them as much as I used to) and I have no interest in seeing it until it’s on Netflix or my local library gets the DVD. It looked bad from the first trailer, and I think the casting was awful (apart from Mark Strong), so the terrible reviews are no surpise.

        It’s this year’s Superman Returns: Another big-budget attempt to bring a DC hero to the big screen that will fall well short thanks to bad writing and bad casting.

      • Leah

        And Ryan Reynolds (a tabloid star) was a terrible choice as the lead.

      • Tom

        Because when the movie costs as much as most small countries gdp for the entire year, and makes about as much as lemonade stand worth in box office gross sales, comparatively speaking, you got problems bigger than superman or batman can save you from. Just sayin

  • Barry

    Glad to see that Pixar made a baby sitting movie. Now lets get back to making quality films!

    • Woot

      The teaser for Brave was GORGEOUS. Can’t wait for that!

      • E L

        It was like Pixar is saying “we know, we know… just cut us a break this summer, will ya? Look, we got right back into making something far more special for next summer, so cut us some slack for phoning one in for the kiddies this year.”

      • Nathan

        so true, after everything Pixar’s given us it’s pretty hard to hold Cars 2 against them, heck it’s still better than 90% of the animated films the other studios are putting out, Disney included: Mars Needs Moms anyone?

  • James

    Now that Pixar and Disney are one company, global merchandising plays a bigger factor in selecting which movies to green light. Shareholder value is maximized when boxoffice receipts, merchandising, and theme park impact are all factored in.

  • Michael

    that really sad that car 2 and badteacher are the top two movie really show you how bad american has become

    • Commodore Schmidlapp

      You are an illiterate idiot.

      • doug

        well said, commodore. well said.

    • Tom

      It’s sad, but they didn’t have much a choice either.

  • Ulysses

    My son loved cars and thats all that matters to me. Forget the critics and their reviews.

    • Lauren

      Good for you.

  • Michael

    see Marvel was so scare that GL would be better then their movie their paying people not to see it

    • Demond

      The movie is not as good as it should have been.That’s why people are not going to see it.A big disappointment for a movie with so much potential.

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • Tom

      It’s interesting to see what they like the most though.

  • Aging GenXer

    Larry the Cable Guy should not be allowed to carry a Pixar movie. Mater is the Jar Jar Binks of Computer animation

    • Jason

      Technically, since Jar Jar was CGI, Jar Jar is the Jar Jar of Computer animation.

      • doug

        nice, aging Genxer. seems like you read the same NYTimes review that I did. care to give us an original thought of your own? or is that too difficult?

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