If you’re under 17 and reading this, we have to ask: What on earth did you do this weekend? The top four movies at the box office were all rated R, with the field paced by The Final Destination; the 3-D horror sequel opened in the top spot with $28.3 million. Also debuting was Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, slashing into third place with $17.4 million. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all peace and love for the other R-rated opener: Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock was a bad trip, stumbling into ninth with a paltry $3.7 million. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. The Final Destination: $28.3 million ($28.3 million total)
You can’t cheat death or this franchise! The 3-D showings of The Final Destination accounted for a whopping 70 percent of this number (that’s roughly $20 million if you’re keeping score at home), and they helped make this the biggest opening in the history of the series. Someday historians will look back and wonder how Hollywood milked nine films (and counting) out of both Saw and Final Destination.
2. Inglourious Basterds: $20 million ($73.7 million total)
Even more surprising than last week’s $37 million opening is that Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds held up relatively well in weekend two, shedding a reasonable 49 percent of its audience. Basterds is now the second highest grossing film of QT’s career and could conceivably pass Pulp Fiction in total box office (but not ticket sales) when all is said and done. The power of Brad Pitt knows no bounds.
3. Halloween 2: $17.4 million ($17.4 million total)
This is being called a disappointment, especially in light of the $26.4 million that Rob Zombie’s first resurrection of Halloween grossed on this same weekend in 2007. But why? Halloween 2 performed exactly like a sequel to a movie that people didn’t necessarily want to see in the first place. Obviously, the Weinstein Company isn’t convinced of that though: They’re going to commission a new director for the next entry in the franchise: Halloween—wait for it—3D.
4. District 9: $10.7 million ($90.8 million total)
What is left to say about this late-summer sleeper hit? Off just 41 percent, District 9 continued to perform better than expected and will sail past $100 million sometime next weekend. We can’t wait for the summer of 2011 when The Hangover 2 and District 10 both fail to live up to the lofty heights set by their original models.
5. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra: $8 million ($132.4 million total)
The much-maligned Rise of Cobra dropped a slim 34 percent over the weekend and barely edged out Julie & Julia ($7.3 million/$70.9 million total) to finish fifth overall at the box office. While Paramount is no doubt happy that Stephen Sommers’ film has taken in $256 million worldwide, we’re more excited about the sixth place finisher. With the lowest decline in the top 10—a ridiculously negligible 15 percent—Julie & Julia seems sure to finish with $90 million domestically or higher. It’s official: Meryl Streep has legs and she knows how to use them.