Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zack Galifianakis just got a whole lot more famous. The troika of funnymen scored big over the weekend as their Vegas romp, The Hangover, cashed in $43.2 million at the box office, finishing just about $1 million behind Pixar’s Up for second place. The news wasn’t as good for Will Ferrell: Land of the Lost came up snake eyes, opening in a disappointing third, with just $19.5 million. Elsewhere on the charts, My Life in Ruins wound up in ninth place, with a dreadful $3.2 million, while Sam Mendes’ twee road trip dramedy, Away We Go, maintained a sparkling $35,750 per screen average in just four theaters. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. Up: $44.2 million ($137.3 million total)
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got legs! Up dipped a scant 35 percent over the weekend and in the process became the first movie of the summer to maintain its No. 1 position for two straight weeks. The much-loved film appears to be in the middle of a perfect storm: With the low rate of attrition, the more expensive price of 3-D tickets, and the fact that there isn’t another animated movie hitting theaters until Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on July 1, Up is poised to become one of the biggest hits of the year.
2. The Hangover: $43.2 million ($43.2 million total)
The financial success of The Hangover feels about as surprising as the sun rising. Did anyone actually think this thing wasn’t going to make bank? The film to remember here is Wedding Crashers, which had a similar “surprise” opening back in the summer of 2005. That film got to $209 million domestic—with a smaller first weekend, mind you—because of great word of mouth. Based on the reactions we heard coming out of the theater (“That was the funniest movie since Superbad!”), expect The Hangover to perform similarly.
3. Land of the Lost: $19.5 million ($19.5 million total)
Move over, Terminator Salvation, there’s a new whipping boy in town! With a budget reportedly well past $100 million and an advertising campaign pitched just a shade north of ubiquitous, an opening under $20 million for Land of the Lost is borderline catastrophic. However, while we don’t want to sugarcoat this mess, some perspective: If you take away Talladega Nights and its $47 million opening, Mr. Ferrell’s last eight movies have averaged $23 million in their initial frame. Based on that, Land of the Lost really did what should have been expected. The fault here then lies with Universal. For some reason, the studio thought spending $100 million on a Will Ferrell comedy was a good business decision. News flash: It wasn’t.
4. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: $14.3 million ($127.3 million total)
While Universal is licking their wounds from Land of the Lost, 20th Century Fox has to be thrilled with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Faced with both Lost and the second weekend of Up, the family film dropped just 40 percent and pushed its total to $127.3 million. While it isn’t doing quite as well as the first Night at the Museum, the sequel has been a quiet moneymaker for three straight weeks. If a blockbuster falls in the forest and no one notices, is it still a blockbuster?
5. Star Trek: $8.4 million ($222.8 million total)
This is getting ridiculous. The fifth weekend of Star Trek dropped just 33 percent, the lowest decline in the top 10, and held off Terminator Salvation ($8.1 million/$105.4 million total) and Drag Me to Hell ($7.3 million/$28.5 million total) for fifth place at the box office. William Shatner cannot be pleased.