It may not be 300, but Immortals—a.k.a. “That Movie That Kinda Looks Like 300 And I guess That Will Have To Do For Now”—appealed enough to a desperate moviegoing public to take first place on its opening weekend with $32 million. The alternative was the Adam Sandler comedy Jack And Jill, which received lousier reviews than usual for Sandler, but scored a reasonably solid $26 million for second. We’re guessing this means the average American viewer understood its themes of Jewish ethnicity better than every critic not named Armond White. Fun fact about this week’s #1 and #2 movies: The Sandler joint cost slightly more than Tarsem’s special effects extravaganza, despite looking like it was shot on a camcorder by a mental patient. As one Twitterer noted, perhaps Bialystock and Bloom financed the production. Meanwhile, the Clint Eastwood prestige picture J. Edgar got off to a decent start despite mixed reviews, earning $11.57 million for fifth on well over 1,000 fewer screens than its competitors.
In limited release, Lars Von Trier enjoyed a rare box office victory with his highly regarded apocalyptic drama Melancholia, which averaged nearly $14,000 per screen on 19 screens, despite Von Trier’s Nazi talk and subject matter as dark as a Spinal Tap album cover. Another colorful auteur, Werner Herzog, found less success with his death penalty documentary Into The Abyss, which made just $4,200 per screen on 12 screens, getting little help from positive notices.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.