Battle: Los Angeles Fights Its Way to the Top

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The second weekend of March saw the release of two very different alien invasion movies, one that did well, the other one bombing badly.

Produced by Neal Moritz, coming off his earlier 2011 hit The Green Hornet, the Jonathan Liebesman-directed Battle: Los Angeles (Sony) starring Aaron Eckhart won the weekend with a solid $36 million in 3,417 theaters, averaging over $10k per venue. It’s looking to have the year’s second-biggest opening following last week’s Rango, which may be showing signs of the box office recovering after a slow start to the year. Battle: Los Angeles also grossed $16.7 million internationally in the 33 markets where it opened mostly at #1 with Russia taking in $4.6 million on 655 screens, Korea making $3.6 million on 424 and the United Kingdom bringing in $3 million. It’s another solid hit for Sony who have had four #1 movie openings this year.

Last week’s #1, Gore Verbinski’s animated comedy Rango (Paramount), voiced by Johnny Depp, dropped to second place with a respectable $23 million and $68.6 million in ten days.

Also opening in over 3,000 theaters, Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood (Warner Bros.), starring Amanda Seyfried, brought in a disappointing $14.1 million over the weekend for third place.

Fourth place went to George Nolfi’s sci-fi thriller The Adjustment Bureau (Universal), starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, which dropped 46% to make $11.5 million in its second weekend and $38.5 million total.

Disney’s latest animated venture Mars Needs Moms tanked despite opening in IMAX and 3D theaters, bringing in an abysmal $6.8 million from over 3,000 theaters, making it one of Disney’s biggest animated flops. 2004’s Teacher’s Pet: The Movie opened lower and ended up grossing less in total than “Mars” did opening weekend, but it also cost only $10 million compared to the reported $150 million it cost to make “Mars.”

The Owen Wilson-Jason Sudeikis comedy Hall Pass (New Line/WB took sixth place with $5.1 million and a total gross of $34.9 million, while the Vanessa Hudgens-Alex Pettyfer romantic fantasy Beastly (CBS Films) had a decent 2nd week hold (down 48%) despite facing Hardwicke’s own fairy tale, landing in sixth place with $5.1 million

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s Just Go With It (Sony) dropped to eighth place with $4 million and $93.9 million total.

The Top 10 was rounded out by two movies with British accents, the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) with $3.6 million and $129 million total and Disney’s more successful animated offering Gnomeo & Juliet with $3.5 million and $89 million.

The Top 10 grossed $113 million, down 13% from the same weekend last year where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland reigned over the box office for a 2nd weekend in a row with $62.7 million.

Opening in just four theaters in New York and L.A., Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre (Focus Features), starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, brought in $182 thousand in its opening weekend, averaging $45k per location.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.