Weekend Box Office: ‘Battle’ Triumphs, ‘Mars’ Needs More Than Moms

This weekend’s box office was dominated by two movies that were, in the immortal words of Ricky Gervais, “utter shite.” One was the talk of the town because it trumped everyone else at the box office, while the other one was the subject of discussion for an entirely different reason – because it’s a huge, huge, huge financial disaster.

On the “winning” side of things (to quote Mr. Sheen) is ‘Battle: Los Angeles‘, a movie that almost everyone hated but which still made $39 million, easily claiming the #1 spot. The tale of a militaristic alien invasion and the brave humans who defend our fair globe (led by the dimpled Aaron Eckhart) was boosted by a strong, atmospheric marketing campaign that somehow helped people tell it apart from ‘Skyline‘ (yuck).

At #2 was ‘Rango‘ with another $23 million (down only 39% from last weekend). It’s good that this toon, which is way more out there and stylistically bold than the other animated film vying for the top spot, was able to hold its ground. I was worried that its weirdness would ultimately be its downfall. Fortunately, it’s holding tough.

The #3 slot was secured by another new movie, the somewhat spooky ‘Red Riding Hood‘. It took $14.1 million to grandmother’s house. The movie is only so-so, but I thought that it might be a bigger hit, especially with the all-important ‘tween demographic. It looks like maybe it was too hard a sell. (Perhaps the period setting did it in?) If I was one of the half-dozen studios with active, fairy tale-influenced tent poles in the pipeline, I’d be a little concerned.

The Adjustment Bureau‘ hung in at #4 with another $12 million.

At #5 was the huge, huge, impossibly huge bomb ‘Mars Needs Moms‘. Made for more than $150 million (before marketing costs are factored in), the 3D bore made a mere $6.8 million. Woof. There’s a reason Disney shuttered Robert Zemeckis’ motion capture laboratory. This is that reason.

Finally, ‘Gnomeo & Juliet‘ looks like it’s about to finally bow out of the Top 10 after an unexpected winning streak. It brought in another $3.5 million to bring its total up to nearly $90 million.

The Top 10:

01 ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ (Sony) – $39 million

02 ‘Rango’ (Paramount) – $23 million

03 ‘Red Riding Hood’ (Warner Bros) – $14.1 million

04 ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ (Universal) – $12 million

05 ‘Mars Needs Moms’ (Disney) – $6.8 million

06 ‘Hall Pass’ (Warner Bros) – $5.1 million

07 ‘Beastly’ (CBS Films/Sony) – $5 million

08 ‘Just Go With It’ (Sony) – $4 million

09 ‘The King’s Speech’ (Weinstein Company) – $3.6 million

10 ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ (Disney) – $3.5 million


  1. From Wikipedia – Mars Needs Moms earned only $1,725,000 on its first day, for a weekend total of $6,825,000.[6][7] This was the tenth worst opening ever for a film playing in 3000+ theaters. [8] Due to its very high budget of $150 million, the film is a massive box office bomb and is on track to see losses of well over $100 million for parent studio Disney.

    • The weird thing is that the movie really doesn’t look THAT bad. I mean, it’s nothing that I have any interest in ever seeing – but it certainly doesn’t look any worse than Gnomeo & Juliet, which has been a pretty big hit.

      I guess I’m just curious what it was about the trailers for this movie that so strongly turned off kids and parents from wanting to see it. Was it just that the family audience was already so heavily divided between Rango and Gnomeo that there was no room for a “Meh” movie like this? Would it have done better if scheduled for a weekend with less competition?

      • Could have been, but I think it was its title worse than anything. It just SOUNDED like a B movie. With so many other offerings out there, such as Rango and Red Ridding Hood, why would anyone go see something called “Mars Needs Moms”? That’s my thought

          • Oh? I hadn’t heard of it. But heaven forbid that they actually change the name for a movie! LOL, do you think Blade Runner would have done that well if it was named “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”? Then again, it only made 6 million its opening weekend too, but it came out at the same time as Star Trek 2 and ET, so it had to compete. That being said, once you adjust for inflation, “Blade Runner” did significantly better than “Mars Needs Moms”.

  2. I saw the adjustment bureau and I loved it! I hope it does well and sticks around for a few more weeks. Also I have no desire whatsoever to see any of the current animated films out in theaters… Idk if I am just feeling too old to enjoy those, or too young to enjoy them, but I would rather sit at home and watch anything else than to pay for an animated movie like those.

  3. lordbowler

    I enjoyed Battle: Los Angeles. It was predictable, but it exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed it very much.

    It was a very good merger of Independence Day and Black Hawk Down, more Black Hawk than ID4.

    Kind of reminds me of The Battle for Iwo Jima.

  4. motorheadache

    Wait, who are the people who hate Battle: LA? I’ve heard nothing but positive comments so far (I haven’t seen it).

  5. I saw this over the weekend… talk about a loud noisy movie that has nothing to it. It’s not even ‘fun’. It just is. People have compared Independence Day and stuff like that, but for all its flaws and stereotypes, at least Independence Day was cheesy fun, had actual characters (Even if they were clichéd), varied action, and good concept design!!

    This was just The Hurt Locker with even less character, and nearly-pointless aliens that could be swapped for any normal human villains.