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On a Wing and an Abahdah

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | January 24, 2010 |

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | January 24, 2010 |

Avatar. $36 million. Yawn. Next.

Screen Gems has a knack for opening their B-movies on just the right weekend to fare well, so Legion’s estimated $18.2 million take is right in line with last year’s Underworld three-quel ($20.8 million) and the equally ammo-happy Rambo the year before that ($18.2 million). I’m not sure that it’s enough to justify director Scott Stewart’s vision of a trilogy (yeesh), but it’s likely enough to put the film in the black by the time it hits home video.

Right on its tail was last weekend’s overtly religious apocalyptic outing, The Book of Eli, with $17 million, and this weekend’s other winged-man release, The Tooth Fairy, which landed with $14.5 million. That number pales in comparison to The Rock’s Disney vehicles (The Game Plan opened with $22.9 million, Race to Witch Mountain with $24.4 million), so we can only hope that dear old Dwayne will shake off this kiddie kick of his after this.

The Lovely Bones held on decently in fifth place with $8.8 million (though the film cost much more than its current $31 million tally); Sherlock stuck around with $7.1 million, and all of Harrison Ford’s clock-rounding labor couldn’t open his glorified TV movie, Extraordinary Measures, to any better than $7 million in seventh place. (Oddly enough, co-star Brendan Fraser’s Inkheart — co-starring Legion lead Paul Bettany — also opened a mere $7 million this time last year; the same weekend in 2008 saw the limited release of his The Air I Breathe and, well, that one just happened to be the worst of the bunch.) (My point is, the man needs a new weekend, not to mention clapping lessons.)

The Squeakquel drew in $6.5 million worth of families who resisted the allure of The Rock in a tutu, It’s Complicated got another $6.2 million out of the menopausal mamas tired of Harrison Ford’s crotchety charms, and The Spy Next Door made another $4.7 million from everyone who had a gift card to use and time to kill when everything else had sold out.

Like I said, yawn.

2010 SAG Winners | Pajiba After Dark 1/24/10