'Toy Story' trumps 'Grown Ups,' 'Knight'

8:48 AM PST 06/27/2010 by Carl DiOrio, AP

No. 3 Cruise film undermined by soft dates prior to weekend

Nice try but no kewpie doll for the overgrown kids.

Sony's ensemble comedy "Grown Ups" opened impressively during the weekend with an estimated $41 million in domestic boxoffice. But Disney/Pixar's 3D three-quel "Toy Story 3" easily repeated at No. 1 with a $59 million sophomore session -- just 47% less loot than in the previous frame -- yielding $226.6 million in cumulative coin.

Fox/New Regency's "Knight and Day," starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz," landed in third place with $20.5 million on the weekend and a $27.8 million cume since its Wednesday bow.

Warner Bros./Legendary's comic book-inspired actioner "Jonah Hex," which limped into theaters a week earlier, fell a whopping 70% from its light opening tally to $1.6 million in 10th place with a $9.1 million cume.

Collectively, the weekend's top 10 pics rung up $154.2 million, or 19% less than top performers in the same frame last year, Rentrak said.

Among limited bows, National Geographic's Afghanistan War documentary "Restrepo" took in $30,453 from solo engagements in New York and L.A., or an auspicious $15,227 per playdate.

The romantic drama "Wild Grass" from Sony Pictures Classics and E1 debuted in two New York locations and three in Canada to register $35,732, or an encouraging $7,146 per site.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, IFC's doc "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" added 58 theaters for a total 86 and grossed $365,500, or a solid $4,250 per venue, with cume of $$716,500. The distributor's Michael Winterbottom-helmed thriller "The Killer Inside Me" added three playdates for a total four and grossed $24,400, or a sturdy $6,100 per engagement, with cume of $42,622.

Fox Searchlight comedy "Cyrus" -- starring Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly -- added 13 locations for a total 13 and grossed $300,000, or an impressive $17,647 per site. "Cyrus" cume reached $565,032.

Roadside Attraction's dramatic thriller "Winter Bone" added 31 theaters for a total 70 and grossed $446,000, or a solid $6,371 per venue. "Winter" cume climbed to $1.1 million.

The "Toy Story" three-quel amassed its huge 10-day cume on core support from family audiences padded significantly by fervor among date-movie couples and adult moviegoers generally.

"You can tell how broadly it's playing by the later performances," Disney distribution boss Chuck Viane said. "We're used to doing well at the matinees. But when you wake up in the morning and see all those evening numbers, it's because adults are coming out to those two evening shows."

A total 2,463 locations played "TS3" on at least one 3D screen, accounting for 60% of the pic's second-weekend boxoffice, or $35.4 million. High-grossing Imax 3D venues contributed $4.3 million of the extra-dimensional moolah.

"Grown Ups" cast includes Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Salma Hayek, with Dennis Dugan ("You Don't Mess with the Zohan") directing the PG-13 pic about a reunion of onetime high school basketball teammates. Opening audiences skewed 53% female, with 52% of patrons under age 25.

"It's a great number," Sony distribution topper Rory Bruer said of the bow. "You had the whole cast traveling everywhere and getting the word out that this was the fun summer movie to see, and it paid off. It's an Adam Sander film, in that it's a Happy Madison film, but the whole cast worked it and audiences responded."

Reuniting its topliners for the first time since 2001's "Vanilla Sky," "Knight" was directed by James Mangold ("3:10 to Yuma").

"Knight" was supposed to be a career-reviver for its Cruise and Diaz. But any buffing of their marquee luster will have to come over the longer haul, as the film's five-day bow was undermined by a soft couple of days in theaters prior to the weekend.

Rated PG-13, "Knight" drew audiences split evenly between males and females, with 56% of patrons aged 25 or older.

"It's absolutely a situation of all's well that ends well," Fox senior vp Chris Aronson said of the weekend tally. "The film is displaying the great word of mouth that we knew it would."

Looking ahead, two pics open wide ahead of the big Independence Day weekend: Summit three-quel "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" gets a two-day jump on the four-day frame on Wednesday, while Paramount family adventure "The Last Airbender" unspools on Thursday.
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