In a summer that gave us Transformers: The End of Western Civilization As We Know It, it’s heartening to see people turn out in ample numbers to see the mostly subtitled and fairly smart likes of District 9 last week and Inglourious Basterds this week. Granted, they each happen to have a violent climax that goes well with popcorn, but after the former managed an opening weekend of $37 million as what one presumes was the unofficial last hurrah of summer, Basterds racked up the exact same amount this time around, helping keep the Weinsteins marginally afloat and screwing with proper spelling and historical consistency for generations to come. (D-9 was number two with $18.9m, for what it’s worth.)
It’s all the more impressive because said future generations couldn’t turn out to either R-rated film on their own, leaving them to buy tickets for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (number three, $12.5 million) instead and then sneak in while the ushers weren’t looking. Or they went with their girlfriends to The Time Traveler’s Wife (number four, $10 million), seeing as they already knew the ending (thanks, McAdams) and were thus guaranteed some head in return for the timely supply of tissues. (Barring that, they went to see Julie & Julia — number five, $9 million — and settled for handjobs.)
The other half of the unofficial Grindhouse reunion didn’t turn out as hot, as Robert Rodriguez’s Shorts drew in a mere $6.6 million in sixth place — even less than Aliens in the Attic had when dumped as the token family option a few weeks back. At any rate, something tells me that Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings and William H. Macy’s mustache will all escape this particularly spazzy anthology unscathed, though it should be noted that this, G-Force and Harry Potter (number seven and eight, respectively) were all more welcome family options than the week’s other wide release, Post Grad, which opened at number ten with $2.8 million, likely insuring that star Alexis Bledel sticks to Sin City sequels and the next adventures of the Traveling Pants.
Something called My One and Only opened to the largest per-screen average of the week. It stars Renee Zellweger. I bet she squints in it.