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Zac Efron Charlie St. Cloud: Major Disappointment

Charlie St. Cloud Zac Efron Amanda Crew where were the teens
Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron and Amanda Crew is major box office disappointment: Where were the teens this past weekend?

Box Office: Zac Efron ‘Charlie St. Cloud’ a major disappointment, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ a minor one

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi/thriller Inception was the no. 1 movie in the U.S. and Canada for the third consecutive weekend (July 30–Aug. 1) according to the studios’ box office actuals. Toplining Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, the newly released lowbrow comedy Dinner for Schmucks landed below expectations in the second slot, while the Zac Efron weepie Charlie St. Cloud debuted in – a highly disappointing – fifth place.

The one bit of good news for Charlie St. Cloud is that, contrary to Sunday box office estimates, it opened ahead of another just released flop, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. As found at, the former took in $12.38 million at 2,718 venues – about $250,000 more than estimated; the latter, 3D surcharges and all, scored $12.27 million at 3,705 theaters – about $250,000 less than estimated.

‘Charlie St. Cloud’ vs. ‘Remember Me’: Inapt comparison

Directed by Burr Steers, Charlie St. Cloud will have trouble matching its mid-level $44 million production costs – let alone recovering them – at the domestic box office. Zac Efron’s romantic/family drama would have to gross about $80-$85 million for distributor Universal to cover its production expenses, not including marketing and distribution fees.

Comparisons to the Robert Pattinson vehicle Remember Me – which opened to $8 million in early March – aren’t exactly apt. Remember Me was a $16 million production, a “little movie” that received a wide opening (2,212 theaters) via Summit Entertainment (not exactly a major studio, either) merely on the strength of Pattinson’s Twilight popularity.

Despite its downbeat ending and widely mixed reviews, Remember Me ultimately scored $19 million in North America and, thanks to Pattinson’s international popularity, a perfectly acceptable $55 million worldwide.

Zac Efron’s international fans to come to the rescue?

Quite possibly, Zac Efron’s international fans – $72 million for the Burr Steers-directed 17 Again; $162 million for High School Musical 3: Senior Year – may come to the rescue of Charlie St. Cloud. Universal must be ardently hoping they will.

As for the $85 million-budgeted Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, competition from steady kiddie-flick holdovers such as Despicable Me and Toy Story 3 surely didn’t help. Distributor Warner Bros. has a major flop in its hands.

‘Inception’ rules

Over the past weekend, Inception took in $27.48 million ($7,753 average at 3,545 sites), only slightly less than studio predictions, and down a relatively low 36 percent (after having lost 245 theaters) from the previous weekend.

With $193.3 million after 17 days, the Warner Bros. release should cross the $200 million milestone in the next day or so. Inception will eventually hit the $250 million mark, but it remains to be seen whether it’ll have enough steam to reach $300 million domestically.

Each weekend, Nolan’s film has been losing about one-third of its business. If that pattern continues in the next two weeks, it’ll earn about $17–$19 million next weekend and $11–12 million the weekend after.

After that – and the inevitable decline in number of venues – Inception‘s drop-off rate should increase. That’s why the $300 million milestone looks somewhat iffy.

Besides three-time Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception features the following:

Best Actress Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, 2007).

Best Actress Oscar nominee Ellen Page (Juno, 2007).

Two-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986; The Cider House Rules, 1999).

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father, 1993).

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Tom Berenger (Platoon, 1986).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom Hardy. Ken Watanabe. Cillian Murphy. Dileep Rao. Lukas Haas.

Dinner for Schmucks Steve Carell Paul Rudd below expectations‘Dinner for Schmucks’ with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd: Opening below expectations.

Less appetizing than expected ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

Jay Roach’s Dinner for Schmucks, starring The 40 Year Old Virgin actors Steve Carell and Paul Rudd earned $23.5 million at 2,911 venues. (Pundits had been predicting $27-$30 million.) The top movie on Friday, this Hollywood remake of Francis Veber’s 1998 French hit The Dinner Game lost ground to the dreamworld of Inception during the weekend proper.

With a mediocre 47 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics, Dinner for Schmucks actually went down slightly (0.4 percent) on Saturday. Even so, its $8,082 per-theater average was the highest among the top twelve movies on the chart. The Paramount/DreamWorks release cost a reported $69 million, not including marketing and distribution expenses.

No ‘Grown Ups,’ but ‘Date Night’ a possibility

Despite its somewhat disappointing opening figures, Dinner for Schmucks could have a long life at the U.S. and Canada box office. After all, Adam Sandler’s widely panned Grown Ups – 10 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics – remains on the Top Ten chart five weekends after its debut. In fact, Grown Ups has just crossed the $150 million milestone domestically.

Dinner for Schmucks shouldn’t reach these lofty heights. No, not because it’s not stupid enough. It’s just that Grown Ups opened with $40.5 million.

Yet don’t be too surprised if Dinner for Schmucks ends up crossing the $100 million mark within the next couple of months. For comparison’s sake: Date Night, in which Steve Carell co-stars with Tina Fey, opened with $25.2 million at 3,380 theaters on April 9, ’10, and has taken in $98.47 million in North America.

Having said that, Dinner for Schmucks’ domestic box office longevity could be curtailed by competition from other lowbrow comedies such as the upcoming Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg star vehicle The Other Guys, which may put a dent in the schmucky audience.

More box office figures: Angelina Jolie, Adam Sandler

Trailing Inception and Dinner for Schmucks – but ahead of Charlie St. Cloud and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – were the Angelina Jolie thriller Salt with $19.47 million at no. 3, and the animated hit Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Julie Andrews, with $15.52 million at no. 4.

Lee Unkrich’s blockbuster Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, was the no. 7 movie with $5.12 million.

Next in line was Grown Ups with $4.54 million, having passed the $150 million milestone on Sunday, Day 38. The widely derided Adam Sandler comedy has become the eleventh 2010 release to reach $150 million at the North American box office; it’s also the only live-action comedy to have achieved that feat so far this year. Total to date: $150.7 million.

Grown Ups is at no. 127 on Box Office Mojo’s chart (not adjusted for inflation or IMAX/3D surcharges) of the fastest movies to reach $150 million in the U.S. and Canada. It’s positioned behind another Adam Sandler comedy, Big Daddy (1999), and ahead of the Tim Burton-Michael Keaton combo Batman Returns (1992).

Selena Gomez Ramona and Beezus About to disappearSelena Gomez in ‘Ramona and Beezus’: About to disappear from theaters.

‘Eclipse’ trailing ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’

Rounding out the Top Twelve movies this weekend were:

Eclipse should be passing the $300 million milestone within the next ten days or so. By next weekend, it’ll probably edge ahead of New Moon‘s $296.6 million.

Only on its second weekend out, Ramona and Beezus had the lowest per-screen average, $1,365, among the Top Twelve movies.

Among the holdovers, The Kids Are All Right, which jumped from 201 to 847 locations (a 221 percent increase), expectedly posted the biggest gains compared to last weekend, up 36 percent. Despicable Me had the lowest drop-off rate, down 35 percent.

After losing 980 outlets, the $150 million-budgeted The Sorcerer’s Apprentice suffered the steepest drop, 54 percent, followed by Ramona and Beezus (which kept the same number of theaters), down 53 percent.

Tom Cruise, ‘The Last Airbender’ gone

Gone from the Top Twelve:

Amanda Crew and Zac Efron Charlie St. Cloud image: Universal Pictures.

Paul Rudd and Steve Carell Dinner for Schmucks image: Merie Weismiller / DreamWorks/Paramount.

Selena Gomez Ramona and Beezus image: 20th Century Fox.

The Kids Are All Right The Who do we have here question‘The Kids Are All Right’: The ‘Who (Mark Ruffalo) do we have here’ question answered differently by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Box office: ‘The Kids Are All Right’ vs. ‘Brokeback Mountain’

Directed and co-written (with Stuart Blumberg) by Lisa Cholodenko, and starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as lovers, in addition to Mark Ruffalo as the biological father of the lesbian couple’s children (Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson), The Kids Are All Right has received numerous positive reviews and has performed admirably at the domestic box office.

This weekend (July 30-Aug. 1, ’10), the Focus Features release took in an estimated $3.46 million, bringing its cume after four weekends to $9.56 million according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. That’s not bad at all for a $4 million production – admittedly, not including marketing and distribution expenses.

Per-theater average down

But now that it has expanded from 201 to 841 theaters, The Kids Are All Right‘s per-theater average has gone down to $4,089 – no. 6 among the weekend’s Top Twelve movies. Prior to the expansion, the family comedy-drama almost invariably had the highest daily average among the Top Twelve.

As it stands, the film’s per-theater average may still leave room for further increases in the number of venues, but probably not that many more and not for very long.

In fact, it’s highly unlikely that The Kids Are All Right will get even close to matching the success of Focus Features’ 2005 sleeper hit Brokeback Mountain – the distributor’s top box office grosser to date – which took in $83.4 million (not adjusted for inflation) in the U.S. and Canada.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ phenomenon

For comparison’s sake: When Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain expanded to 683 theaters on weekend no. 6 (early Jan. 2006), its per-theater average remained a highly impressive $8,499. By then, the romantic Western adapted by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry from E. Annie Proulx’s short story had already grossed $30.8 million. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal starred as cowboy lovers, with Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as their respective wives.

Brokeback Mountain benefited greatly from year-end critics’ awards and multiple Golden Globe nominations, to be sure. These should also help The Kids Are All Right – which will inevitable be shortlisted throughout awards season (Annette Bening is a shoo-in for Best Actress citations) – in case Lisa Cholodenko’s film gets rereleased later in the year or in early 2011.

Yet, as explained above, barring a box office miracle there’s no chance that The Kids Are All Right will ever threaten Brokeback Mountain‘s box office supremacy.

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right image: Suzanne Tenner / Focus Features.

Zac Efron, Charlie St. Cloud

Zac Efron, Charlie St. Cloud

For the first time since it opened 15 days ago, the Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio sci-fi/thriller Inception lost its top spot at the North American box office on Friday, July 30, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.

Proving what pundits have been saying all year long – that North American audiences are starved for quality fare on the big screen – the no. 1 movie at the beginning of the last weekend in July/first weekend in August was Jay Roach’s Dinner for Schmucks, the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy that boasts a 47 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes “top critics.”

Well, come to think of it, a 47 percent approval rating is certainly a vast improvement over popular releases such as Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups, which will pass the $150 million mark some time this weekend, and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, which has collected more than $125 million domestically.

Dinner for Schmucks grossed $8.4 million on Friday, as per studio estimates. That translates into a $2,886 average at 2,911 venues.

Co-starring Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michael Caine, Inception earned $8.15 million ($2,299 average at 3,545 sites), down nearly 38 percent from the previous Friday.

There’s no way Inception, currently at $173.97 million, will pass the $200 million milestone this weekend. That’ll probably take place next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Photo: Dinner for Schmucks (Merie Weismiller / DreamWorks/Paramount)

Down one spot at no. 3, Angelina Jolie’s Salt grossed $5.9 million (down 53 percent from a week ago) or $1,633 per theater, as per Box Office Mojo.

New entry Charlie St. Cloud, starring Zac Efron, opened at no. 4 with $5.61 million at 2,718 venues. Its average was a passable $2,066.

Down two spots at no. 5, Despicable Me, featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and others, took in $4.68 million. Chances are that by the time Sunday figures are tallied, Despicable Me and Charlie St. Cloud will have switched places.

At no. 6, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore grossed $4.22 million at 3,705 theaters. The new entry’s average in the overcrowded kiddie market was a weak $1,140.

Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, was the no. 7 movie with $1.45 million, followed by Adam Sandler’s widely panned comedy Grown Ups with $1.4 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were Nicolas Cage’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with $1.32 million, Selena Gomez’s Ramona and Beezus tied with Robert Pattinson’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (after losing 787 venues) with $1.27 million, and Annette Bening’s The Kids Are All Right with $970k.

Gone from the top twelve: M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, Nimród Antal’s Predators, Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day.

Among the top twelve movies, Dinner for Schmucks had the highest per-theater average, $2,886. Ramona and Beezus had the lowest, $469.

Among the top twelve’s holdovers, The Kids Are All Right, which jumped from 201 to 870 locations, posted the biggest gains in comparison to Thursday, up 206 percent. Next in line was Salt, with up 73.3 percent.

The lowest increase was that of Toy Story 3 (which lost about 650 venues), up 6.9 percent – the sole movie to post gains of less than 10 percent.

Photo: Charlie St. Cloud (Universal Pictures); Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (Warner Bros.)

Previously posted:

Zac Efron, Charlie St. Cloud
Zac Efron, Charlie St. Cloud

Moviegoers want quality at their local cineplex, we’ve been told. The latest masterpiece to attract solid weekend business is the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd comedy Dinner for Schmucks, which grossed $10 million on Friday ($27 million for the weekend?), according to early, rough estimates found at

Deadline’s Nikki Finke lists the top six movies on Friday: After Dinner for Schmucks, comes Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception with $7.8 million ($27 million for the weekend?), Angelina Jolie’s Salt with $5.6 million, Zac Efron’s Charlie St. Cloud with $5.3 million (the weekend prediction of $14 million found at is way lower than the $18m-$21 million many pundits were expecting), Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore with $4.3 million, and Despicable Me with $4.2 million.

At Deadline, Finke provides more details regarding number of screens and weekend estimates.

Photo: Universal Pictures

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gaby -

i loved dinner for schmucks!! it was a hilarious movie i loved it!!!!!!!!!!!! :]

Angela -

Perhaps Universal should just learn to make movies in a smaller budgets. Summit is laughing now because the Twilight movies, Remember Me and others are made on a cheaper scale (Summit did release a few flops this year such as Furry Vengeance, but I think it’s forgivable?). Universal, on the other hand, releases a few movies with decent box office numbers but they are still consider flops because of the prodcution costs. For example, Green Zone grosses $94m worldwide. Good right? But the production cost for that movie was $100m!

LilyCC -

Universal has had the most flops this year. Now that they’ve cleaned house they should hope to get a good script or series.

LilyCC -

I’ve heard it was awful. Scott Pilgrim comes out soon and Inception is still strong. I don’t see Dinner for Schmucks making $100 million. Steve C. has been typecast. He needs to pick a different role soon.

LilyCC -

I’m so happy that Eclipse is close to $300 million domestic. It’s made more than $650 worldwide so it’s on par to make about the same as New Moon. Summit is so lucky that they bought this series. The last three movies less than $150 for all three and they’ve done close to $2 billion. Other studios should be so lucky.

Also Rob is almost finished filming WFE which I’m very excited to see next year. Kristen is starting On the Road today and that’s just huge. It’s one of the top 100 books of all times and she’s playing the only living person. I am dying for pictures of her and Garrett Hedlund in costume. It’s a great time to be a Twilight fan. The success of the movies have helped all the actors/actresses get other roles. I wish I could play one of the bit parts in Breaking Dawn.

Oh and I must say I loved the Eclipse picture you chose. That was one of my favorite scene. I look forward to posts about WFE and OTR.

Cindy -

Happy to see that most sites are also refraining from comparing St. Cloud’s surprisingly weak BO #’s to Remember Me’s. Very different circumstances considering RM had little to no advertising and was a small budget indie drama. It was an outstanding movie and am very happy that it ended up being a $$ maker for Summit in the end.

ASFan -

Like I said, it was the kind of film that needed to be exceptional to have a shot at it and it wasn’t exceptional.

zac -

I should have added:

“or gets very close to that milestone”

“Date Night” opened to $25.2m vs. “Dinner for Schmucks'” $23.3m. True.
However, the “Schmucks” average was about 8% higher: $8,004 (if studio estimates are correct) vs. $7,471.

ASFan -

Dinner for Schmucks is the kind of film that needed to be exceptional in order to have a shot at 100M. It isn’t exceptional, so I would be surprised if it made it to 100M. If Date Night couldn’t do it when it opened a bit higher, how could Dinner for Schmucks?


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