Five movies with preternatural themes earned big at the box office this weekend, according to the latest figures from Rentrak Corp.
This week, we have a tie between The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens, although The Smurfs is ranked Number 1 according to Rentrak Corp. Both films brought in an estimated $36.2 million dollars in its opening weekend.
When the evil wizard, Gargamel, chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours. Sony’s The Smurfs (offered in 3D) is directed by Raja Gosnell and written by Peyo (characters) and J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, and David Ronn for screenplay for Sony and stars Gargamel (Hank Azaria who also lends his voice as Chief Wiggum/Moe Szyslak /Apu on The Simpsons), Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) and Odile (Sofia Vergara). Some other notable mentions are Smurfette (Singer/Songwriter Katy Perry), Grouchy (George Lopez) and Handy (Jeff Foxworthy).
Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens is directed by Jon Favreau and written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and stars Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig better known James Bond in Casino Royale), Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford also Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Han Solo in Star Wars) and Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde). A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.
Captain America: The First Avenger ranked Number 3 at the box office this weekend, earning an estimated $24.9 million dollars for Paramount. Directed by Joe Johnston and written by Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Joe Simon (comic books) and Jack Kirby (comic books) and stars Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury). After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 fell from the Number 2 ranking to Number 4 this weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $21.9 million for Warner Bros. On 31 July, 2011 , only 17 days after it’s North American, as well as most international markets, theatrical release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 surpassed the $1 billion mark for worldwide box office earnings. Part 2 is the first film in the popular series to achieve billion dollar earnings and only the ninth film in cinema history to do so. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the top-grossing film in Warner Bros. history. It shares the record for the fastest climb to the $1 billion mark.
“To say that the global response to the film has been extraordinary would be an understatement,” said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution for Warner Bros. “We are so proud that this last film in the series has not only reached such heights but has reached them in record time. It is now Warner Bros.’ most successful release ever, and there is still plenty to come.”
With an extensive cast Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II is the first and only Harry Potter film to be offered in 3D and it is the most successful box office earner in the Harry Potter franchise. With an extensive cast, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fines), Albus Dumbledore ( Michael Gambon), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch, who somehow manages to stay clean throughout the final film), Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and Draco Malfoy (Best Villain Tom Felton), to name a few, this final instalment truly marks the end of an era.
Harry Potter: The End
The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon fell to the Number 8 spot at the box office this weekend. Earning another approximately $5.9 million dollars for Paramount, the third installment of the Transformers franchise brings back the Autobots and their bid to save Earth from the Decepticons. Reprising their roles are Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeof), Lennox (Josh Duhamel), Epps (Tyrese Gibson) and Simmons (John Turturro who is currently in pre-production as Hades in Gods Behaving Badly), to name a few. Dylan (Patrick Dempsey or Robert Phillip from Enchanted), joins the cast as does newcomer and former member of the British Embassy, Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whitely in her film debut) and Bruce Brazos (preternatural icon John Malkovich who sat down with Artisan News Service to discuss the experience).
Directed by Michael Bay and written by Ehren Kruger, this is the first Transformers film to be offered in 3D. In this instalment, we are taken back to 1961 when President John F. Kennedy makes his promise to the nation to put a man on the moon. Little did the nation know, the reason behind such a promise was because of a report of a crash on the moon. The 1969 NASA moon landing was actually an investigation of the wrecked spacecraft. We are then fast-forward to 2011 where we see Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeof) through his desperate attempt to navigate adulthood and we learn that he is no longer with Mikaela, but is now living with his new girlfriend, Carly (Huntington-Whitely). The Autobots, however, learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft on the moon and are forced into a race against the Decepticons to find it and learn its secrets.
It has been a good weekend for movies with preternatural themes. What did you see this weekend?