In a rarity, two films debuting at theaters this weekend featured the same lead actor. It was Ashton Kutcher vs. Ashton Kutcher as both Open Range and The Guardian opened on the same day. When the dust settled, it was Kutcher in the top two slots on the box office charts. It's a good week to be him.
Surprisingly, it was the Sony animated family comedy Open Range, starring Kutcher and Martin Lawrence as a deer and bear, respectively, that took the top honor this weekend. With an estimated $23 million, that take is about 1/3 of it budget, so that's not so bad in of itself. But it's $6 million less than last week's #1 took in, hinting that this weekend's overall take might be on the light side.
Buena Vista's big-budget action adventure The Guardian, featuring Kutcher and Kevin Costner as Coast Guard rescue team members, slid into second place with $17.7 million. It's speculated last weekend's sneak preview might have hurt this week's numbers, but the reviews of been positive for this film, so we'll see if that helps with next week's numbers.
After a week in the top slot, Jackass 2 slides into third place. Down from $29 million in its opening weekend, the film took in $14 million. But don't feel sorry for the film. In just ten days, it has grossed over $51 million in the US alone -- not bad for a film that only cost $11.5 million to make. I'd say there's a good bet there'll be a Jackass 3 somewhere along the line.
Of the week's other new releases, School For Scoundrels was the only other one that made into the top five, anchoring fourth place with a $9.1 million debut. The movie stars Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) as a wimpy meter maid caught up in a war of wills with a con man, played by Billy Bob Thornton (Slingblade, Bad Santa), who teaches an extreme confidence-building class.
Here's how the top ten box office chart looks this week (totals in parentheses courtesy of Box Office Mojo):
1. Open Season ($23 million)
2. The Guardian ($17.7 million)
3. Jackass Number Two ($14 million)
4. School for Scoundrels ($9.1 million)
5. Jet Li's Fearless ($4.7 million)
6. Gridiron Gang ($4.5 million)
7. The Illusionist ($2.8 million)
8. Flyboys ($2.3 million)
9. The Black Dahlia ($2.1 million)
10. Little Miss Sunshine ($2 million)
(all box office totals are taken from actual Friday and Saturday numbers plus an estimate of Sunday's - final totals won't be known until later in the week)