oceans-13.jpgSUNDAY AM: Ocean’s Thirteen washed over the competition but went well under weekend projections as Warner’s said the third in the franchise opened with $37 million from 3,565 theaters. But rival studios say only $35.5M to $36.1M; there’s no apparent reason for this big a disparity. Not only is that total far less than the $45M to $50M projected by box office gurus, but it’s not equal to the other two Ocean’s films. (For those of you keeping score, Eleven opened with $38.1M from Friday to Sunday in 3,075 venues, while Twelve debuted at $39.1M in 3,290 playdates). Again, U.S. moviegoers look seasick on sequels, even though reviews were good for the threequel again starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt and again directed by Steven Soderbergh. But overseas, audiences continue to have sequel fever: I’m told Ocean’s was No. 1 in the UK, Spain, Hong Kong and a slew of other foreign territories. The ferocious competition for domestic gross receipts at the megaplex will only become more intense as the summer movie season progresses with what was supposed to be risk-free programming. It’s giving Hollywood moguls nightmares! (Look next for Transformers, which is tracking huge, to break out among the blockbusters.)

Disney’s four-quadrant blockbuster Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 battled back for second place over Universal’s R-rated original comedy Knocked Up despite the huge disparity in number of playdates (2,876 for the Judd Apatow laugher compared with 4,002 for Jack Sparrow and crew). At World’s End in its third week made $21.3M for a new cume of $253.6M, while Knocked Up in its second week took in $20M (-35%) for a new cume of $66.2M. P3 made $72.3M worldwide this weekend, including $51M internationally, bringing its global cume to $746.6M, including $493M internationally. That’s a lotta loot!

surfsup_posterbig.jpgSony’s penguin Surf’s Up wasn’t so cowabunga. It was the top toon and #4 pic, but its opening weekend of $18M from 3,528 theaters rode below expectations. Too much competition still from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek The Third, which finished No. 5 with $15.7M from 3,925 venues; its new cume is $281.8M.

For weeks, I and other Hollywood journalists have been criticizing the disgusting torture porn content of Lionsgate’s Hostel II. Maybe that hurt the pic’s prospects, along with piracy and the fact it was sold under the brand of Eli Roth and not Quentin Tarantino, because it didn’t make anywhere close to last year’s $19.5M opening in 2,337 theaters by the original. Placing 6th, the sequel opened to just $8.3M from 2,350 playdates. MGM’s unthrilling Mr. Brooks, starring has-beens Kevin Costner and Demi Moore, continues to disappoint: it made only $18.3M from 2,453 theaters for 7th place and a paltry new cume of $18.3M. With a new cume of $325.6M, Spider-Man 3 is still atop the summer movie cumulative box office. Finishing 8th on Friday, it took in $4.4M from 2,570 venues. In the 9th spot is Fox Searchlight’s Waitress; playing in only 708 venues, it scored $1.6M and a new cume of $12M. And rounding out the Top 10, DreamWorks / Paramount’s Disturbia starts its 9th week in release with $550K from 568 theaters for a new cume of $77.7M.
Here’s the Top 10 chart:

  1. 1. Ocean’s Thirteen $13M Fri, $13.5M Sat, and est $10M Sun. (cume $37M)
  2. 2. Pirates Carib $6.2M Fri, $8.9M Sat, and est $6.6M Sun. ($253.6M)
  3. 3. Knocked Up 3 $6.2M Fri, $7.9M Sat, and est $6.3M Sun. ($66.2M)
  4. 4. Surf’s Up $5.8M Fri, $6.8M Sat, and est $5.4M Sun. ($18M)
  5. 5. Shrek The Third $4.3M Fri, $6.3M Sat, and est $4.9M Sun. ($281.8M)
  6. 6. Hostel II $3.4M Fri, $2.8M Sat, and est $2M Sun. ($8.3M)
  7. 7. Mr. Brooks $1.3M Fri, $1.9M Sat, and est $1.3M Sun. ($18.3M)
  8. 8. Spider-Man 3 $1.2M Fri, $1.8M Sat, and est $1.3M Sun. ($325.6M)
  9. 9. Waitress $460K Fri, $710K Sat, and est $480K Sun. ($1.6M)
  10. 10. Disturbia $180K Fri, $227K Sat, and est $143K Sun. ($77.7M)