Weekend Box Office: America prefers sports to movies that remind them of horrible things

Weekend Box Office: America prefers sports to movies that remind them of horrible things

Given the easily accessible spectacle of the Olympics—what with the Queen flying in via jetpack for a cage match with Roger Moore, and Russell Brand exploding himself into a million fireworks while Herman's Hermits played the entirety of Iron Maiden's The Number Of The Beast—it was a relatively slow weekend at the box office, a situation that certainly wasn't helped by lingering anxiety over the Aurora shooting (the healing power of Dane Cook-provided laughter notwithstanding). Nevertheless, The Dark Knight Rises continued to dominate, taking in $64 million to bring its domestic haul so far to just over $289 million. As Deadline points out, there is "no doubt" that the film has been hugely affected by the tragedy, but even with all the extenuating circumstances, it still has the third-highest gross for a film in the first 10 days of its release (behind The Avengers and The Dark Knight), and its worldwide total is already around $537.2 million. Next weekend, should those lingering fears abate and the Olympics settle into a less alluring groove of people simply playing sports, it's expected to bounce back even bigger.

Fox's The Watch—which arrived saddled with its own negative associations, and also wasn't very good—disappointed the most, debuting at third place with $13 million, a hangover from its accidental evoking of the Trayvon Martin case that forced the Ben Stiller comedy to scrap its marketing campaign, as well as a theater chain dispute that cost the film nearly 30 screens. And perhaps the unlikeliest movie to suffer from unfortunate timing in the wake of Aurora, Step Up Revolution opened at fourth place with $11.8 million, after the media went nuts over a scene where mask-wearing dancers menace partygoers with gas grenades. No doubt future filmmakers will think twice about including scenes of domestic terrorism in their little dance movies, particularly if said movies do not also have the reassuring presence of Channing Tatum.

In limited release, Ruby Sparks and Killer Joe offered respite from potentially traumatizing reminders of recent events, with their respective soothing balms of romantic whimsy and fried chicken abuse earning them $11,692 and $12,633 per screen apiece. And finally, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry ($9,000 per screen), Searching For Sugar Man ($9,500 per screen), and Klown ($5,967 per screen) allowed Americans to broaden their worldview and think about more global concerns like political dissidence and horny Danish people.  

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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