Some movie pundits are reading the disappointing returns of Summer ’10 so far as a referendum on sequels and remakes, and the need for original material to counter the diminished returns of tired franchises. But between the surprisingly not terrible The Karate Kid last week and Toy Story 3 this week, the message may be simpler: Make good movies that people want to see. With near-universal positive reviews—thanks a lot, Armond!—Toy Story 3 wrapped up Pixar’s signature series beautifully and cashed in to the tune of $109 million over three days, the biggest opening for Pixar to date. It also gave a major boost to one of the worst summers in recent box-office history, lifting weekend grosses nearly 30% higher than the same frame last year. That was enough to put it well ahead of last week’s winner, The Karate Kid, which nonetheless passed the $100 million mark in its second week and continues to be a success story. Alas, it wasn’t all good news: The troubled Jonah Hex—the tattered post-production remains of which received a rare “F” from Keith Phipps—opened to a pitiful $5 million for eighth place, losing out to the lowly Katherine Heigl vehicle Killers, which is in its third week. It’ll be out of theaters faster than you can say “MacGruber.”
In limited release, the Duplass brothers’ joint Cyrus took mumble(ish)core to rare box-office heights with a $45,000 per screen average on four screens. The warmly received Tilda Swinton romance I Am Love also performed well, scoring $15,600 on eight screens.