Weekend Box Office: Both ‘Cars 2’ and ‘Bad Teacher’ Blow Predictions Out of the Water

As expected, family-friendly ‘Cars 2’ raced to first place this weekend against crude adult comedy ‘Bad Teacher’. The surprising part? Both outgrossed their weekend predictions by more than $10 million.

With terrible tracking and horrible reviews, ‘Cars 2‘ was only expected to draw between $50 to $55 million this weekend. It seems that the studio underestimated the appeal of the $200 million animated giant that places talking cars in a formulaic spy plot. The film went on to gross $68 million.

Although Disney can definitely mark this weekend up as a win, the percentage of 3D ticket sales still continues to drop. Only 40% of the audiences that went to see ‘Cars 2’ did so in 3D – the lowest 3D percentage yet.

Sony’s raunch-com ‘Bad Teacher‘ also defied studio predictions by pulling in $31 million. At best, ‘Bad Teacher’ was estimated to only bring in $20 million. Despite only receiving a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (12% above the 34% rating ‘Cars 2’ received), ‘Bad Teacher’ is the third successful R-rated comedy to open in the last two months, after ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘The Hangover Part II’.

On only 24 screens, ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop‘ sure didn’t impress with its weekend gross of $105,000. Perhaps due to the fact that anyone with basic cable can get a Conan fix nightly, the documentary averaged a measly $4,375 per screen. Like I said in my review, all Conan fans need to know is that watching ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’ will only make you love him more.

Although it dropped 65.5% percent and grossed only $18 million in its second weekend, Warner Bros. announced that it has green-lit a ‘Green Lantern‘ sequel. The studio believes that the franchise still has high potential. There’s no word about a script, story, director, or expected release date yet.

While I may have said that I would never mention it in another box office recap, ‘Midnight in Paris‘ has once again done something to earn its way into this post. As of Friday, my 4-star reviewed movie ‘Midnight in Paris’ is the highest grossing Woody Allen film in 25 years. Way to go, Woody!

Top 10:

1. ‘Cars 2’ (Buena Vista) – $68,000,000

2. ‘Bad Teacher’ (Sony) – $31,000,000

3. ‘Green Lantern’ (Warner Bros.) – $18,350,000

4. ‘Super 8’ (Paramount) – $12,100,000

5. ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ (Fox) – $10,300,000

6. ‘X-Men: First Class’ (Fox) – $6,600,000

7. ‘The Hangover Part II’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,865,000

8. ‘Bridesmaids’ (Universal) – $5,372,000

9. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (Buena Vista) – $4,702,000

10. ‘Midnight in Paris’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $4,481,000


  1. EM

    In a way, it’s too bad that Cars 2’s 3D ticket sales did so relatively poorly. Wanting to see the movie but not having high hopes for it, I initially resolved to reduce my financial invstment by seeing it at a 2D matinee. However, despite my attempts to avoid reviews, I ran across two; one was negative, one was positive, and both praised the 3D. So, I went to see the film in 3D after all. And I agree: esthetically it’s the best 3D I’ve seen yet. The problem is that it’s infused into a movie that doesn’t deserve the cutting-edge best.

    • I think we already know that a big part of the problem with the public’s perception of 3D is the fault of all the lousy 2D to 3D conversions inundating theaters. Vierwers are left skeptical as to whether they’re going to get good 3D or bad 3D and don’t want to spend the extra money.

      Not helping matters are prominent critics like Roger Ebert, who ended his Cars 2 review by saying: “Note: The 3-D adds nothing and darkens the bright colors. See it in 2-D if you can.”


      This is boilerplate that he adds to the bottom of every review of a movie playing in 3D, whether he actually saw it in 3D or not. He hates the very concept of 3D so much that he’s incapable of acknowledging when it’s done well, and is misleading his readers about it.

      I actually rewatched the first Cars over the weekend for the hell of it, and the racing scenes in that movie practically BEG for 3D. I imagine that the 3D would enhance the sequel considerably. (Still don’t plan to see it in the theater, though.)

      • EM

        As you might expect from its predecessor, Cars 2 is often a brightly-colored movie, at least in the presentation I saw. (The opening sequence tends to be fairly dark, though.) As for whether the 3D adds anything—well, it’s not integral to the plot, but it enhances the experience, just as the color and synchronized sound do.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        I loved every word of this post! I’m suprised that there hasn’t been a libel lawsuit opened against Ebert. I can’t believe he can continue to write such defamatory remarks against 3D. It’s clear to me that he doesn’t even see any films in 3D. His experience with it probably dates back several years, and yet he continues to feel like he can use his influence as a critic to damage the potential success of it.

        I’ve seen Cars 2 twice now. Once in 3D, and once without. To my extremely nitpicky eye, there was no discernible difference in brightness. I mean that! None whatsoever! Granted, this could be because it was projected with the 3D lense on when I saw it in 2D (I didn’t bother to look), but I doubt it. I saw it at a theatre that usually does an impeccable job at not keeping the 3D lense on for 2D screenings.

        You nail it in your post! The racing scenes in Cars practically beg for 3D. This is the rare movie that has such immersive and outstanding 3D quality that is actually makes the film better. As I stated in my other posts about Cars 2, it is not a good film by any means. However, experiencing it in 3D makes it exponentially more tolerable. Disney did that superb of a job with the use of 3D.

        When I saw it in 2D, it was practically insufferable. It just doesn’t offer anything artistically or creatively to keep the audience engrossed. 3D actually helps it atone for what it is lacking in inspiration. And I’ll say it again, the brightness and overall image of Cars 2 in 3D is absolutely stunning if you see it in a theatre that knows how to project a 3D film, as I did.

  2. Jane Morgan

    Jodie Foster’s ‘Beaver’, after eight weeks of limping along, is about to crack $1 million.

    The audience for ‘Bad Teacher’ was 63% female and 57% age 25+. Perhaps the poor word of mouth is because the ladies were expecting a standard Hollywood chick flick.

    How much is ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ forecasted to gross in its six-day, Independence Day opening weekend? $200M+

    • EM

      I don’t know if the Foster movie is any good, but it sure has a marketability problem. I doubt you’d get much favorable reaction if you approached a crowd of movie mavens and asked, “Would you like to see Mel Gibson in Jodie Foster’s Beaver?” (Probably most of the ayes would be disappointed by the actual flick, regardless of its quality.)

      • Luke Hickman

        For what it’s worth, I hated ‘The Beaver.’ It was trying to be so much more than it really was. The story about Mel and his puppet is far less interesting than that of his son (Anton Yelchin) trying to date a cute girl (Jennifer Lawrence). It was trying to be preachy with a script that hardly called for it.

  3. vihdeeohfieuhl

    I just want to add that Cars 2 is the first film that I’ve ever seen that I would actually award it a different grade for the 3D version than I would for standard 2D. I would give it 2.5 stars for the 3D version, and 1.5 stars for the 2D version.

    The use of 3D for this film makes that much of a difference!

    How do you like them apples Ebert?!

  4. It doesnt matter how good the 3D really is, people just arent willing to pay for it, it isnt the fact that 3D conversions are ruining the experience for people. The people I work with and family and friends that go to the theaters have no clue when a movie has been converted or not, so I’m sure that the general population out there that dont follow this shit like we do, have no idea either. The fact of the matter is that these same people just dont want to pay extra for it, I hear that all the time from them, it isnt worth the money to them, plain and simple.

    Cars 2 obviously offered something for everyone to keep their attention, I love these broad generalizations people have when they throw around their opinion, because THEY thought it offers nothing of value, it must offer nothing of value to everyone else too, I have so many friends and co-workers that were taking their kids to see it this weekend, it was the biggest hyped release for the families this summer and none of them were disappointed after seeing it, so I’m not sure who these people are (besides people who really didnt like cars to begin with) that are getting nothing out of this movie.

    I havent had a chance to check it out, but from the word of mouth from people I know, its going to be excellent stuff, just like every other Pixar movie I love 🙂 With that and Transformers coming this week, its going to be a nice 4th of July weekend!

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Allow me to re-phrase. Without 3D, it doesn’t offer enough creatively or imaginatively to keep adult audiences engrossed. Keep in mind, when reading my comments about Cars 2, that I actually like the movie. The reason why I agree with many of the reviews that cast it in a negative light — including HDD’s Luke Hickman’s — is because it didn’t do anything to raise the bar. I was able to enjoy it — at least when viewing it in 3D — because my children — especially my son — really loved it. I was able to experience it vicariously through his eyes, and it allowed me to see past the artistic shortcomings of it. I’m sure a lot of parents will feel this same way, and understand exactly what I’m talking about.

      The real shame is that none of the other Pixar films up to this point made parents feel like they could only enjoy them if they were able latch on to their childrens enjoyment and experience them that way. Pixar films have set a standard. They are excellent films, that just so happen to be child friendly. Cars 2 is the first one that this is not true for. Let me ask you a question. Have you seen the direct to video Disney/Pixar collaboration Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales? If so, you will understand what I am going to say next. Cars 2 felt like an extended version of one of the “Mater’s Tall Tales” from that direct to video effort. This doesn’t mean that I’m saying it didn’t have extremely higher production value, or that the overall quality wasn’t better. It just means that no other Pixar film has ever made anybody feel like they were watching an lengthier version of a direct to video spin-off movie.

      • Luke Hickman

        You guys are both right.

        My favorite Pixar flick is probably ‘Up’ because it works for absolutely any age/gender demographic. Grandparents could take their grandkids to see it because it appealed to both audiences. My 80-something grandparents in-law went to see it by themselves and they LOVED it! I daughter watched it at least once a day for the first two months after we bought the Blu-ray (Thank you, Disney, for the $10-off coupon that made it whopping $9.96 for the Blu-ray combo pack at Walmart). And THAT is what I want from Pixar. I want them to keep making movies that appeal to and please EVERYONE. They’ve got an amazing track record of pulling it off.

        Another great example is ‘Wall-E’. I was able to interview Andrew Stanton about ‘Wall-E’. When I mentioned that I loved the first half of the movie because it was like a classic silent film, he told me THAT was their intention – to bring something that older audiences could connect with to a movie made for kids and families. The staff would watch old silent films on their lunch breaks just to get the physicality of speaking through motions and expressions down pat. He said they also gave Wall-E and EVE limited dialogue so that toddlers who still couldn’t speak would be able to connect with them.

        Pixar is freaking brilliant. I never expect them to fail, so I’m surprised that they did. My honest opinion is that Disney pushed a Cars sequel just to generate boatloads of merch cash again.

        • I get where you are coming from with that, I can see why the first Cars wasnt liked by a lot of adults, but I dont enjoy my movies like that, at 32 I’m still a big kid and enjoy stuff thats for kids quite a bit, now I dont enjoy stuff like Dora or anything like that, but Cartoons, animated films, most of that stuff geared towards children I think I enjoy almost as much as they do, I cant wait to have Cars playing all the time for my son when he’s old enough to watch it, but I get why the adults didnt care for it as much as other movies did, films like The Incredibles and Toy Story 3 really did have a lot more adult oriented themes that the adults could understand and enjoy while the kids really didnt know that all of that was in there, they have all had the perfect mix of everything….but honestly I felt Cars was the same way, there were quite a few gearhead car references, adult references to stuff like Organic Fuel, Pinstriping Tattoos and plenty of other things that most kids wouldnt really follow.

          But I’m not here to argue, that was probably the best explanation as to why Cars and Cars 2 was a disappointment, for Pixar it wasnt though 😉 Yeah it definitely sucks when a director, studio or what not fails you personally (which obviously Cars 2 did) but unfortunately Cars 2 did amazing at the box office and its another #1 hit for Pixar

  5. i hate 3D and want it gone. i have seen 3 3D movies. Avatar , tangled ,and thor and avatar was the best because that how they wanted it. 3D added nothing to tangled or thor.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Consider Cars 2 to be up there with Avatar when it comes to 3D really adding to the experience.

      You can hate 3D and want it gone all you want. That’s your right. However, it is here to stay, and we always have a choice when it comes to whether we see something in 2D or 3D. You’re never going to be forced to see something in 3D if you don’t want to, so maybe you could ease up on the hate a little bit. After all, saying that you hate it and want it gone, is no different than someone that hates 2D saying that they hate it and want it gone.

      Let’s all just be happy that we have a choice.

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