“Gnomeo” loses to “Hall Pass” by a gnose

Gnever say Gnever. Even Justin Bieber knows that. On Sunday night, the box office news that broke beneath all the Oscar talk and celebrating was that “Gnomeo & Juliet” had taken first at the box office despite having been out for two weeks already. Well, turns out that the complete reports for the weekend put the new comedy “Hall Pass” at number one … by little more than $135,000.

  1. Hall Pass – $13.5 M (weekend) … $13.5 M (gross)
  2. Gnomeo & Juliet – $13.4 M … $74.3 M
  3. Unknown – $12.5 M  … $42.9 M
  4. I Am Number Four – $11 M … $37.7 M
  5. Just Go With It  – $10.5 M … $78.7 M
  6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $9.3 M … $62.9 M
  7. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son – $7.6 M … $28.6M
  8. The King’s Speech – $7.3 M … $114.2 M
  9. Drive Angry 3D  – $5.1 M … $5.1 M
  10. True Grit – $1.9 M … $167.1 M

More surprising however, is how “Drive Angry 3D,” the renegade cars-and-carnage spectacle starring Nic Cage, made a paltry and pathetic $5.1 million in its debut, making it the first humungous flop of 2011. It did worse than “Jonah Hex” last summer, but its reviews were far better than that of “Hex.” Haters of 3D, however, will rejoice tremendously in this victory.

The box office fell 26 percent from last weekend and still remains well below last year’s numbers.

With “Drive Angry” not driving away any business from the returning films that debuted last weekend and the weekend before, most films held up well. Of all the top ten films, only “Big Mommas” fell further than 50 percent from last weekend’s totals.

Oscar-winning Best Picture “The King’s Speech” saw an increase in business by about 12 percent. With the box office looking like it does, expect it to hang around the top ten for at least a couple more weeks.

Next weekend, four new films will make a play at the top ten and with No. 1 earning just $13.5 million, the box office is ripe to be had. Expect the Johnny Depp animated Western “Rango” to scurry up to first place with ease.



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