There were two other inexplicably semi-wide releases, including a monster movie that got 1,500 screens at the last minute for reasons yet unexplained. Bucky Larson: Born to Be A Star went out on 1,500 screens mainly due to the fact that it is a Happy Madison production (IE - Adam Sandler's involved). It still scored a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and we can only guess that much of the $1.45 million weekend take was from critics who shelled out their own money to review the film on Friday morning. I don't usually quote studio releases, but Sony's was refreshingly honest: "Clearly we were hoping for a better result. While the movie was made and marketed on a very modest budget, it didn't work out the way we hoped." I'll leave it at that and wish them better luck with Moneyball in two weeks. The other film in question is the equally trashed Creature. The would-be direct-to-DVD monster movie scored just a single positive review (from the Los Angeles Times) out of 16 critiques. Anyway, the film grossed just $330,000, which is the fifth-worst wide-release opening in history. For the record, that's a stunningly poor $220 per-screen average, which is the second-worst in history for a wide-release. So we'll hope Bubble Distribution didn't spend too much on marketing. In better limited release news, the under-the-radar Kevin Hart stand-up concert film Laugh At My Pain earned a scorching $20,000 per-screen in 97 auditoriums.
In holdover news, the drops were generally large this weekend, as often happens after a holiday. The Help (essay) pulled in another $8.7 million, putting its total at $137 million. When Contagion took over the top spot on Friday, it broke a 25-day streak at the top of the daily box office, a number not seen since The Sixth Sense topped it for 35 days back in 1999. Colombiana came in at fourth place with another $4 million, for a new total of $29 million (essay). Both Apollo 18 (-66%) and Shark Night 3D (-58%) and ended their second weekend with about $15 million. The Debt dropped a rather large (for an adult thriller) 50% in its second weekend, which is especially troubling given that the movie opened on a Wednesday. Still, blame the adult-competition that was Contagion, and the $20 million-budgeted film still has grossed $22 million in twelve days (essay). Spy Kids 4D has $34 million while Our Idiot Brother and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark both have $21 million. Rise of the Planet of the Apes sits with $167 million, and it should pass Captain America ($173 million) in the next week or two.
That's it for this relatively quiet weekend. Join us next time when Ryan Gosling tests his movie-star mettle with the critically-acclaimed artsy action film Driver while Sarah Jessica Parker stars in the 'struggles of the working mother' dramedy I Don't Know How She Does It. In less original territory, Rod Lurie's remake of Straw Dogs also opens in wide release, as does Disney's 3D-conversion of The Lion King. Until then, keep reading and commenting (summer movie review I, II, and III), and please check out Warrior.