The Projector

The Grosses: Hilariously, “The Lion King 3-D” Wins Again

Will Leitch
The Projector

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Walt Disney Pictures

Top Five (Full list)
1. "The Lion King 3-D" $22,130,000 ($390,217,776)
2. "Moneyball" $20,600,000 ($20,600,000)
3. "Dolphin Tale" $20,260,000 ($20,260,000)
4. "Abduction" $11,200,000 ($11,200,000)
5. "Killer Elite" $9,500,000 ($9,500,000)

First Place.
When you think of how much money studios have spent producing and marketing every movie over the last fortnight, from "Dolphin Tale" to "Drive" to "Straw Dogs" to "Killer Elite" to "Abduction" to "I Don't Know How She Does It" to "Moneyball" (which has been out for three days and we're already exhausted by it), it's pretty amusing that you can repackage a 17-year-old movie with a couple 3-D tricks and wipe them all out. "The Lion King 3-D," which you can pretty much count on playing longer than its initial two-week engagement now, remained No. 1, which has to be making studio people bash their heads against something. Lots of work y'all putting into something that people are ignoring for movies they already own on DVD. Next year, "Beauty and the Beast" is surely coming. You'll know they're out of titles when "Hercules 3-D" comes out.

YOU FLOPPED. It wasn't a good week for either Taylor Lautner or Jason Statham, something else they have in common. "Abduction" is unlikely to turn Lautner into an action leading man -- and it's strange to think anyone ever thought it would -- and "Killer Elite," despite Clive Owen and Robert DeNiro hanging around, actually made less than Statham's January film "The Mechanic," and we didn't know anyone even noticed when that movie came out. Statham's movie should do better overseas. Lautner's ... well, we'll see.

Impressive Bridesmaid. Actually, we shouldn't make fun of "Moneyball" or "Dolphin Tale" too much: Each hung in solid for their first week, surviving the TORRENTIAL RAINSTORM OF JOY that is "The Lion King." "Dolphin Tale" was especially strong, and when the final numbers come out, it wouldn't surprise us if it sneaked by "Moneyball" after all. Don't worry too much about the Brad Pitt baseball movie, though: It notched an "A" CinemaScore and, if it catches a couple of breaks, could ride the "Social Network" pattern to longterm success. Though it also has the advantage of having Brad Pitt.

Tiny Dancer. "Puncture" and "Machine Gun Preacher" both fell flat on their proverbial faces, so we hope you're OK still living in a world in which Chris Evans and Gerard Butler are not Oscar nominees. Much better was "Weekend," a gay romance that made about as much as those two did, on just one screen. This means that the Evans-Butler gay romance has to be coming, right?

Next Week's Contestants. Anna Faris makes out with Chris Evans (and everyone else) in "What's Your Number?" Seth Rogen shaves Joseph Gordon-Levitt's head in "50-50." Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz hide from the critics in "Dream House." And "Courageous" is a nice warm Christian movie.

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