Box office report: 'Cars 2' cruises to first place with $68 mil


Image Credit: Disney/Pixar

Ka-ching! Disney and Pixar’s Cars 2 shook off conservative industry projections and wound up opening to a hearty $68 million, according to studio estimates. While that’s by no means the strongest debut for a Pixar film, Cars 2‘s performance should come as something of a relief to the animation powerhouse since some industry experts were predicting a debut closer to $50 million. Among all 12 Pixar movies, Cars 2‘s opening ranks fifth. When adjusted for ticket-price inflation, it drops down to ninth. The original Cars debuted to $60.1 million in 2006, or about $72 million in today’s dollars.

It’s a bit hard to gauge moviegoers’ response to the $200 million automotive sequel. CinemaScore audiences gave it a strong “A-” grade, which should indicate positive word of mouth. However, Cars 2 dropped 9 percent from Friday to Saturday. Family films usually grow from Friday to Saturday, so this decline is a bit concerning. Part of the problem may have been the G-rated film’s mediocre reviews, which potentially scared off some childless adults. Or Cars 2 was simply front-loaded thanks to families with young boys demanding to see the movie right away. As for Hollywood’s current 3-D funk, Cars 2 didn’t provide any relief. According to Disney, 40 percent of the film’s gross came from 3-D screenings, making Cars 2 the fourth straight major release (after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Green Lantern) to earn less than half of its opening from 3-D theaters. Hollywood is hoping that next week’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon breaks the trend.

In second place, Bad Teacher became the summer season’s third R-rated comedy hit, joining The Hangover Part II and Bridesmaids. The Cameron Diaz movie took in $31 million, beating Bridesmaids‘ $26.2 million opening. Both movies relied on support from female moviegoers — women made up 63 percent of Bad Teacher‘s audience. However, like Cars 2, the film slipped from Friday to Saturday, falling 10 percent. And CinemaScore graders weren’t nearly as kind, handing the comedy a tepid “C+” rating. In other words, don’t expect Bad Teacher to match Bridesmaids‘ incredible box-office legs. But considering the picture cost only $20 million to produce, the end result will surely look good on Sony’s report card.

Warner Bros., on the other hand, will have to live with the blemish that is Green Lantern. The Ryan Reynolds superhero flick dropped 66 percent for $18.4 million. After two weekends, the $200 million movie has collected only $89.3 million. Finally, both the sci-fi adventure Super 8 and the Jim Carrey family comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins fell 44 percent this weekend, making $12.1 million and $10.3 million, respectively.

In limited release, the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop grossed $105,000 from 24 locations — a disappointing per-theater average of $4,375. And the immigrant drama A Better Life earned a decent $60,000 from four theaters. Check back next week as Transformers: Dark of the Moon makes mincemeat out of the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts comedy Larry Crowne and the Selena Gomez comedy Monte Carlo.

1. Cars 2 — $68.0 mil
2. Bad Teacher — $31.0 mil
3. Green Lantern — $18.4 mil
4. Super 8 — $12.1 mil
5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins — $10.3 mil

Comments (88 total) Add your comment
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  • Audrey

    YAYYYY! i’m so happy for Cameron Diaz, and Justin Timberlake the movie was great!!

    • Jeffrey

      Wow, didn’t think Green Lantern would fail this much. So much for a sequel.

      • V

        90 million for 2 weeks isn’t exactly a flop.

      • Aaron

        It’s a flop when it cost 300 million to make

      • Chris

        It’s already made $111 million world wide. That’s not a fail.

      • Brian

        And a sequel is already underway. I liked GL-thought it could’ve done more, but it was a good movie-so I’m glad WB’s not giving up on the character.

      • Shaun

        Let’s see where it ends up… Hard to say whether it’ll make its costs back or not. $111 million worldwide, while it’s more money than I’ll ever see, isn’t a great showing for a movie that cost $200 million, added another $100 million in promotional costs, and is now fading fast. It doesn’t appear to have much in the way of “legs,” and it remains to be seen whether there will be interest in it on DVD. You can sure find tons of copies of Superman Returns in bargain bins now… I suspect the same will happen to Green Lantern. At least WB has the final Harry Potter in a few weeks.

      • Julie

        Apparently, people aren’t really interested in watching comicbook movies anymore. Big shocker there.

      • PN

        And to answer about the flop mention, the movie’s got to gross twice the amount it took to make to get a profit. That’s a flop if it took $300 to make and it’s slowly reached over $100 million. It’s going to take all summer for it to outdo it production costs!

    • LOL

      America still loves crap for the most part. Every so often, we’ll surprise you.

      • Ghost of Pia

        It’ll be sad to watch the lemmings march into “Transformers” this weekend. Fools.

      • Rolo Tomasi

        Kind of like they did this week with Cars 2

      • JD

        It happened with Super 8 (and is still happening, holding up well). Transformers will decimate everything. It’ll probably be crap but I think I’ll see it, because the visuals will be incredible. That’s all they’ve become anyways…

      • AP

        I used to think you were just a cynical ass, but lately I kind of believe you

      • Loch Ness

        “Transformers” flicks are made for people who are really cats. They can’t avoid reacting to shiny, moving objects, no matter how dumb.

      • LOL

        I still can’t believe they didn’t get Vin Diesel to voice a car. A sexy, sleek, muscle car with his sensuous, smokey voice would have gotten me in the theatre for sure. And I detest children.

      • Mater

        The fake LOL is late to the party this week.

      • RT

        Don’t go see Transformers. It will only encourage them.

      • Kylie

        Total Film in the U.K gave TF3 3 stars and basically said it was much better than 2 (But so would be a punch in the head) and that RHW makes Megan Fox look VERY good actress wise, particularly when peril is involved, so 95% really.

      • Julie

        They are just tired of the over-saturated run-of-the-mill feature productions they have been cranking out lately. Most movies have sucked, hard, lately.

      • Julie

        Transformers burned their fan base with the last movie they did. How much? We’ll see.

    • D Arias

      Justin Timberlake sucks. He is such a wanna be. He wouldn’t even have that ridiculous role if it weren’t for Cameron Diaz. Wish he wasn’t in the movie or else I would go watch it.

      • David

        Pixar films are cinematic gold and modern day classics!! Dreamworks flicks, Ice Age sequels, The Incredibles knock-offs and Happy Feet as owls or macaws are pure pop trash!!!

    • Cygnus

      Cars 2 was horrible. I didnt think Pixar could do worse than the first one, but they did. Sensory overload. No story. Same ole garbage from the first one.
      Transformers, Harry Potter, and Capt America are about to make Cars 2 an also-ran in the next few weeks. No sustainability for this Pixar flick.

  • Conrad

    Green Lantern: the biggest fail of the summer.

    • MWeyer

      Still early yet, lots of others that could fall flat.

  • mark in nyc

    Surprised at Cars 2 showing, but never underestimate parents need to have a break from their kids for two hours!
    Green Lantern, flop of the summer so far. AS everyone knew it would be from the day the first teaser came out.

    • David

      Pixar films are cinematic gold and modern day classics!! Dreamworks flicks, Ice Age sequels, The Incredibles knock-offs and Happy Feet as owls or macaws are pure pop trash!

      • Julia

        Incredible is a pixar movie.

  • Woot

    Finally saw the Tree of Life this weekend. It was amazing! I would only recommend it to pure cinema lovers or people really in the mood to watch a slow, plotless movie. While I have no plans to see Cars 2, I did see the teaser for Brave. That, I can’t wait for.

    • PNK

      What is Brave about? I’d like to see TofLife next too.

      • Barry

        A Scottish princess. Ya know, another doll for Disney to sell to young girls.

  • Drew

    I’m kind of glad Green Lantern isnt doing so hot. I hope this is a signal to studios to lay off the super hero movies for a while. Also for next week- is it just me or does Monte Carlo look EXACTLY like the Lizzie McGuire Movie?

    • doctor fred

      No way. Yeah, sure, once in a while, a superhero movie fails… but most of them hit and hit big. Plus, they sell a fortune in toys and merchandise. It’s serious coin. Green Lantern simply sucked. It wasn’t the genre’s fault.

    • Brian

      How are superhero movies any different from the dozens of action movies, horror movies, etc that are released each year? There are less superheroes made into movies each year than either of those genres.
      I just hope this doesn’t discourage WB from making other heroes outside of Batman and Superman into films.

      • Drew

        Ok calm down. I just said lay off them for a while. I didnt say never make another super hero movie. But why not concentrate on finding a good story and taking some time with it instead of getting a whole bunch of special effect, slap a comic book name on it and calling it a movie.

      • Brian

        I agree, they should make good movies (not that I thought GL was bad…I liked it and had fun). But there’s no way to do GL without a lot of special effects.
        I just think it’s funny when people complain about there being so many superhero movies out there, when really there isn’t compared to any other genre.

    • m1

      Agreed on Monte Carlo. I actually somewhat liked The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but Monte Carlo looks boring.

    • Captain

      It has similar themes but if we’re being honest here, both of them are rip-offs from the Prince and the Pauper. I don’t think Monte Carlo intentionally copied TLMM, it’s a pretty unoriginal idea that’s been recycled many times. Regardless, I’ll still be seeing it with my best friend. Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester in the same movie? Yes please!

    • katie

      david, totally agree with you! monte carlo does look like it’s a rip off of the lizzie mcguire movie.

      • Will

        Agreed, which is funny because why would anyone want to rip off the Lizzie McGuire Movie?

  • Flip

    Green Lantern failed because they chose to use Hal Jordan over Kyle Rayner. A Kyle movie would have been a megahit.

    • Murphy

      Sure it would, nerdlinger.

    • Sana

      I have to admit that I am not a fan of Hal either. I would have preferred Kyle or John Stewart. Or even Guy instead.

    • CaptainStimpy

      Thank you Flip, my thoughts exactly. Kyle would have been more interesting. I quit reading GL after they resurrected Hal.

  • Jeff

    Green Lantern = First Big Bomb of the Summer. I’m shocked on how DC screwed this up. Maybe Christopher Nolan can reboot it?

    • V

      I’m sorry, 90 million in 2 weeks is a bomb?? Sure, it didn’t live up to expectations, but come on.

      • Jose

        Again, the film costed over $200 to make, almost $20 million for last minute special effect changes, and add that with the over $100 million in advertising.
        Still not a flop you say? The film slipped over 65% in its second weekend and it hasn’t even broken the $90 million barrier.

      • Rolo Tomasi

        @Jose, you are just thinking domestic. It’s over 100 million worldwide.

      • Jose

        Ah, thought I added that in my post.
        Either way, any idea on how many countries the movie is already out? If its out worldwide and only made that much then it doesn’t look so promising.

    • Jose

      And Jeff, as much as I’d love to see Green Lantern have a second big screen adventure, I just think that Chris Nolan is all wrong for the role.

      • Brian

        Apparently a sequel is already underway.
        And yes, Chris Nolan is totally wrong for GL. I think he’s sucked the fun and heroics out of Batman too, but that’s another discussion.

  • Sara

    Yeah for Cameron. I really like her. Totally nice person.

  • Racer X

    I have noticed a trend with CGI animated movies underperforming at the Box Office this year. Sure Cars 2 grossed more than what people were expecting, but its $68 million opening take is $2 Million less than last years Shrek 4’s first weekend and that was considered a major disappointment.

    • Anya

      Films in general seem to be underperforming at the box office this year. I think people are just finally getting sick and tired of spending so much money on the same old same old crap that is obviously just a ploy to get them to, well, spend more money.

  • nando2920

    Other than Batman and Superman, not much interest in DC characters as opposed to Marvel ones

  • hokeamaniac

    Hollywood…you want to stop disappointing box office returns…stop casting Ryan Reynolds in your movies…his is the Actor equivalent of Dane Cook…it’s amazing they both had a career.

    • PN

      Even Ryan Reynolds and Dane Cook look SO ALIKE with the hairstyles and the overdone wavy-slick hair! Ryan isn’t that strong a lead actor in movies and that’s why he movies don’t perform as well as the other well known actors out there.

  • jets

    I love the last sentence in this article.

  • Mya

    Well, the last sentence in this article is funny and spot on. But, I think its gonna be a bloodbath at the box office for alot of films next week. That said, the trailers for Monte Carlo and Larry Crowne are pathetic. Could they look any more than lame than what their already generic titles suggest???

  • Mya

    sorry- it’s

  • redvector

    Not surprised that GL bombed. From the very begining it looked like a CGI heavy mess.

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