THE BLOG
06/27/2010 05:28 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Weekend Box Office: Toy Story 3 Retakes Box Office Crown, Grown Ups and Knight and Day Open Well

Ten-and-a-half years ago, Toy Story 2 opened with $57.3 million over Fri-Sun portion of Thanksgiving weekend, which was the third-biggest Friday-to-Sunday take on record (behind Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace at $64 million and The Lost World: Jurassic Park at $72 million). Today, the third Toy Story picture has taken in $59 million on its second weekend. That's the seventh-biggest second-weekend take in history, and the very largest non-opening weekend for a 'part 3' ever. And, at a second-weekend drop of 46.5%, it's the fourth-smallest drop for a film opening to over $100 million. The film crossed $200 million on Saturday (nine days), which is the eighth-fastest on record and the fourth-fastest such dash that did not involve a holiday weekend boost. With $226 million so far, the film has the seventh-largest ten day total ever, and the the third-biggest such total for a film not aided in any way by a holiday weekend in those first ten days (behind Spider-Man 3 at $240 million and The Dark Knight at $313 million). With sustained weekday numbers and a hold such as this, the film could theoretically cross $300 million by the end of the long Fourth-of-July weekend. It won't be the number one film in America for long, as Twilight Saga: Eclipse is opening this Wednesday, but the Pixar masterpiece is almost certain to become the year's highest-grossing film in America in just a few weeks. Audiences have no problem with sequels and what-not, as long as they are this good.

Not to be completely outdone, the Adam Sandler ensemble comedy Grown Ups opened to $41 million, as is demanded by law for such broadly-farcical Sandler comedies. Sandler may get underwhelming box office when he's experimenting outside his safe zone, in films such as Little Nicky, Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me, Funny People. But when he's in his comfort zone (PG-13 gross-out, feel-good humor aimed at juvenile males in a non-fantasy setting), Sandler is the most consistent opener in the business. Sure, there are the outliers I Love You Chuck and Larry ($34 million) and The Longest Yard ($47 million), but Sandler's broad comedies have opened between $37 million and $42 million pretty much every time since The Waterboy opened with $39 million in November, 1998. Ironically, while any number of films are called 'critic proof', Sandler is the rare star whose films seem to perform inversely proportional to the number of positive reviews they receive.

Anyway, Grown Ups is his fourth-biggest debut on record. And, oddly enough, four of his nine biggest opening weekends opened on the same respective weekend in 2010, 2002 (Mr. Deeds with $37 million), 1999 (Big Daddy with $41.5 million), and 2006 (Click with $40 million). With the exception of Will Smith (who can open anything in any genre), Adam Sandler may be the most consistent opening-weekend draw around. Like most Sandler comedies, expect this one to have a heavy drop over the holiday weekend and then rebound as it becomes the safe second choice for general audiences for the month of July. Sandler's comedies close anywhere from $100 million (the surprisingly-good You Don't Mess with the Zohan) to $167 million (Big Daddy). With a campaign aimed at general audiences, including women and older movie goers, expect the film to end in the upper range of Sandler's goofy-comedy filmography.

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz scored third place, as Knight and Day opened with $20.5 million. That gives the film $27.8 million since it opened on Wednesday. In other words (as I said previously), all opening the film on Wednesday accomplished was to knee-cap the Fri-Sun number, as too few people needed to see the film right away (low Wednesday and Thursday box office), but just enough saw it quickly to keep the three day number on the lower-rungs of Tom Cruise's mainstream openings. As for Cameron Diaz, this is actually her largest opening for a live-action picture sold on her drawing power that wasn't a Charlie's Angels picture (it's her tenth-biggest opening and her seventh-biggest live-action opening). Where the film goes from here is an open question. Every film that Tom Cruise has opened to at least $24 million has grossed at least $100 million. Whether or not the $27 million five-day gross puts it in that catagory remains to be seen. Point being, Tom Cruise isn't known for massive openings, he's known for well-recieved pictures that have long legs. Expect plenty of people to catch up with this one after the holiday.

This article continues at Mendelson's Memos.