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One of the Weirdest Anomalies in Box Office History

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | August 22, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | August 22, 2010 |

There’s some strange things afoot at the Circle K this weekend. I’ve seen a lot of surprising and not-so-surprising box-office records in my day, but this weekend’s box-office rankings are just plain bizarre. The Expendables held on to the top spot for a second week, dropping 52 percent but nevertheless amassing enough — at $16.2 million — to keep the number one ranking. What’s weird, however, is that there is no number two movie in the rankings this week. It’s not a glitch on a single website — it’s widespread, indicated in all of the box-office reporting services. There is simply no number two film this weekend. The rankings skip from The Expendables to number three, Eat, Pray, Love ($12 million) and there’s no explanation provided for the omission.

It’s best not to question it, though. Like the box-office reporting services, I think we’ll just move along. The less said the better.

There were four new entries into the top ten this week, but none of them faired particularly well. Lottery Ticket was the highest debut of the week, landing at number four with $11.1 million, although it did have the highest per theater average of any movie in wide release this week. Just imagine how much better it might have fared if it had actually been a really good movie targeted toward black audiences. Hell, white people might have gone, opening up the demographic by a whopping 85 percent.

The other three debuts landed at sixth, seventh, and eighth, behind The Other Guys, which held on in the top five (it’s put up $88 million after three weeks, ensuring a $100 million box office). The other three debuts stunk up the joint. Piranha 3D made $10 million, the Nanny McPhee sequel scored $8.3 million, and not even Jason Bateman could counteract The Aniston problem, as The Switch debuted with a lousy $8.1 million (suck it, Alan Loeb!). That’s $12 million less than even the execrable The Bounty Hunter debuted with.

(Reviews of Piranha 3D and Nanny McPhee will be posted tomorrow.)

And, for those hoping that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World would have serious box-office legs, all hope is lost. It fell 52 percent, landing at number ten with $5 million. Better luck on Blu-Ray.

And speaking of Scott Pilgrim and its box-office performance, I neglected to announce last week’s box-office challenge winner. Neo was the big winner (followed closely by Darthcorleone). Neo: Email me your details, and your choice of an Edgar Wright, Julia Roberts, or Jason Statham DVD ($25 max).

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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