As predicted, Total Recall placed second to The Dark Knight Rises this weekend, earning $26 million to the final Batman film's $36.4 million. Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 film starring California's former governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. My expectations for a remake of such a well-known original weren't that high, but other remakes/relaunches have had impressive debuts. Think of the remake of The Karate Kid, which debuted to $55 million and totaled $176 million. Or last year's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which had a near-identical performance, opening to $54 million and finishing with $176 million (but earning twice as much abroad, over $300 million). Sony is probably less focused on domestic totals and more on international ones. This is the kind of project that translates well internationally, so the distributor should expect to see even stronger returns abroad as it starts to roll out in more foreign markets.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days of Summer, the third in the adaptation of kid's books, opened to a less-than-stellar $14.7 million. This entry opened in August in order to match up with the movie's summer setting, but that may have hurt the movie's opening. The first two film chose a March "Spring Break" timeslot, opening to $22 and $24 million. Star Zachary Gordon filmed both Dog Days and the prior movie back to back last year in a battle to outrun puberty, so even without these box office results, this may be the final entry in the series.
Within the top ten, Ted posted the strongest hold, dipping just 26% to finish with $5.4 million in its fifth week. That was enough to tip the R-rated comedy past the $200 million mark. Beasts of the Southern Wild rose from thirteenth to twelfth place, posting a 26% gain as it added 110 theatres for a total of 318 locations. It was one of thirteen specialty releases to post gains this weekend. The highest-earning of the bunch included Versailles-set Farewell My Queen, which went up 40% for a total of $186,000, and Killer Joe, which expanded from three to fourteen locations and brought home $163,000 in the process, a 330% increase from its debut.
Un-rom-com Celeste and Jesse Forever averaged $28,000 per screen in its opening in four locations. That puts the Rashida Jones-Andy Samberg picture in a strong position for expansion. Magnolia's 360 had a softer opening, averaging $6,300 per screen in two locations. That release is also opening on-demand so it's likely the use of multiple platforms will bolster returns.
This Wednesday, the empty nester sex-and-relationship comedy Hope Springs will get a head start on the weekend. On Friday, the Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis political comedy The Campaign will open opposite The Bourne Legacy, the first of the franchise without Matt Damon in a starring role.