Sony’s sci-fi alien adventure Battle: Los Angeles created a solid weekend of box office mayhem with a better-than-expected debut of $36 million that put it at the top of the chart. Feeling more like a summer-style blockbuster than a mid-March offering, the film stars Aaron Eckhart as the leader of a Marine platoon with the unenviable task of fending off a massive offensive by super angry aliens hell-bent on colonizing Earth. Boasting big budget effects and relentless military vs. aliens action, young males will be particularly drawn to the multi-plex looking for plenty of action and lots of on-screen destruction. Harkening back to the sci-fi Earth invasion movies of the late 1950’s, Battle: Los Angeles puts a modern spin on a tried and true genre.
Paramount had a solid $38.1 million number one debut last weekend with its animated Rango featuring the voice of Johnny Depp. Realizing the typical animated feature second weekend drop of around 40%, a second weekend gross of $23.05 million was delivered by the family film. Solid mid-week grosses of around $2 million demonstrate continued interest in the film which will wind up with a domestic total of $68.7 million by the end of the weekend.
In a big screen version of the classic fairy tale, Warner Bros.’ Red Riding Hood casts the lovely Amanda Seyfried as the heroine of the film and the always riveting Gary Oldman in yet another villainous turn. With obvious appeal to young females, director Catherine Hardwicke certainly knows the territory having directed the massively successful first installment of the Twilight franchise. Featuring an attractive young cast and enough young lust, romance and adventure to excite the target audience, this Red Riding Hood generated $14.1 million this weekend.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in Universal’s The Adjustment Bureau which opened last weekend with a solid $21.1 million, realized a fairly modest drop this weekend that earned it $11.5 million in this weekend’s box office contest. A unique hybrid of romance and sci-fi, the film based on a Philip K. Dick short story, puts a fantastical spin on the classic boy meets girl scenario. Hovering in second place in the mid-week contest with grosses in the $1.5 million range, the film adjusted itself into a fourth place finish and total gross that is pushing $40 million by Sunday night.
The red planet called Mars makes its debut in the top five as Disney’s Mars Needs Moms! earned $6.8 million. Opening wide on Friday and including 211 IMAX screens, the 3-D animated family film took kids and their parents on an otherworldly animated adventure. Featuring the voices of Seth Green and Joan Cusack and produced by Robert Zemeckis, the film attempted to grab family audiences who up until recently had few options for appropriate entertainment at the local movie theater.
Check out our exclusive Mars Needs Moms!-themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
Top Movies – For Weekend of March 11, 2011
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 Battle: Los Angeles (PG-13) $36.0M $36.0M
2 Rango (PG) $23.0M $68.6M
3 Red Riding Hood (PG-13) $14.1M $14.1M
4 The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) $11.5M $38.5M
5 Mars Needs Moms (PG) $6.8M $6.8M
6 Hall Pass (R) $5.1M $34.9M
7 Beastly (PG-13) $5.1M $16.98M
8 Just Go WIth It (PG-13) $4.0M $93.98M
9 The King’s Speech (R) $3.6M $129.1M
10 Gnomeo and Juliet (G) $3.5M $89.0M