Sure, Twilight Saga: Eclipse dropped from its crazy opening day of $68.5 million, and yes, The Last Airbender has been destroyed by critics. Even so, the holiday weekend’s two new wide releases scored enough business to make this year’s Fourth of July box office bigger than what Ice Age 3 and Public Enemies brought in at this time last year. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse grossed an estimated $69 million over the three-day weekend; add that to its Wednesday and Thursday grosses and its total now stands at an estimated $161 million. That should increase to $181 million when tomorrow’s numbers are reported, less than the $200 million originally estimated but still a solid beginning. (Eclipse technically surpassed New Moon‘s opening weekend of $143 million, but that number was reached in three days. It’ll take Eclipse six days to hit its $181 million estimate.)
The Last Airbender earned $40.6 million for the three-day weekend from audiences that gave the movie a C+, according to exit pollster CinemaScore. The M. Night Shyamalan flick will have earned $70.5 million after all its receipts from Thursday thru Monday have been counted. Whether it’s enough to get the auteur director a sequel is yet to be seen. We know that if critical reaction was the only barometer for success this would be the last pairing between Shyamalan and Airbender but commerce trumps all, and this film is doing pretty well.
Slot three went to the incomparable Toy Story, which grossed another $30.1 million this weekend and is likely to add $14 million more tomorrow. It surely will become Pixar’s highest-grossing movie ever. Its three-week gross will stand at around $303 million, trumping Up and gaining quickly on studio champ Finding Nemo.
Fourth and fifth place went to last weekend’s new releases Grown Ups and Knight & Day. Grown Ups earned $18.5 million in its second weekend, a number that should grow to $25 million when Monday’s figure is added in, giving the Adam Sandler-starrer a total take of $84.5 million after ten days. Tom Cruise’s Knight & Day grossed an estimated $10.2 million, bringing its two-week gross to $45.5 million.
The Karate Kid and The A-Team took slots six and seven, respectively. The Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan pairing grossed $8 million, a 35 percent drop. The film’s cume will likely stand at $155 million after Monday numbers are counted. The A-Team earned $3 million for the weekend, giving it a four-week total of $70 million. Spot eight went to Universal’s Get Him to the Greek. The R-rated comedy fell 56 percent from last weekend, earning another $1.2 million; its total gross should be at $57.9 million by Tuesday morning.
Shrek Forever After continues to hang in the top 10. The fourth installment of the successful franchise earned $799,000, good for ninth place, with its total at $232 million. Cyrus, which Fox Searchlight has playing in just 77 locations, claimed the final spot in the top 10. The movie, starring John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill, earned $770,256 for the three-day frame, giving it a per-theater average of $10,003 and a total gross of $1.5 million. The indie breakout of the summer? Could be if it continues on this trajectory.
Happy Fourth of July everybody. Hope it’s a great one.