Jeremy Renner, left, and Rachel Weisz star in "The Bourne Legacy." (Mary Cybulski / Universal )
It was a weekend without disappointments or thrills in Hollywood, as "The Bourne Legacy," "The Campaign" and "Hope Springs" all enjoyed solid but far from spectacular debuts.
The biggest risk going into the weekend was "Bourne," a fresh take on the franchise -- with a new star -- on which Universal Pictures and Relativity Media spent about $130 million. The movie, which stars Jeremy Renner is his first role topping a franchise picture, opened to $40.3 million, a debut healthy enough to have Universal executives breathing a sigh of relief.
The opening weekend box-office take was lower than that of the last two "Bourne" movie starring Matt Damon. But other recent films that restarted franchises, such as "X-Men: First Class" and the James Bond movie "Casino Royale," saw similar drops but were good enough to generate sequels.
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About 69% of audiences for "The Bourne Legacy" were over 30, a sign that most moviegoers who turned out were already familiar with the series. Those who came gave it an average grade of B, according to market research firm CinemaScore.
"The Campaign" showed that star Will Ferrell still has plenty of commercial appeal despite such recent disappointments as "The Other Guys" and "Land of the Lost." The new political comedy co-starring Zach Galifianakis, Ferrell's first lower-budget, mainstream comedy since 2008's "Step Brothers," debuted to $27.4 million.
The relatively diverse audience, slightly more male than female, gave "The Campaign" an unimpressive CinemaScore of B-. That, grade, however, is close to what many of Ferrell's past hits, such as "Talladega Nights" and "Anchorman," received. The North Carolina-set movie performed particularly well in the Midwest and South.
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Warner Bros. spent about $60 million to make "The Campaign."
"Hope Springs," starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a sixty-something married couple working with therapist Steve Carell, is the latest film aimed at older audiences to open at the end of a summer, following in the path of such successes as "The Help" and "Julie & Julia." After opening Wednesday, it took in $20.1 million
That's about the same as 2009's "Julia," which also starred Streep, grossed in its first three days. That film went on to collect a very healthy $94.1 million, and distributor Sony Pictures is hoping for a similarly long run on "Hope Springs." Sony and partner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer paid about $15 million for domestic distribution rights to the film, which was produced by Mandate Pictures for about $30 million.
"Total Recall," which opened last weekend to a soft $25.6 million, tumbled 68% to $8.1 million, as bad word-of-mouth is turning the sci-fi remake into a flop for Sony.
Kids' comedy "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," held on much better, declining 44% on its second weekend, to $8.2 million.
[Update, 11:23 A.M.: In limited release, Spike Lee's new "Red Hook Summer" opened in four theaters in New York City, including one in Harlem and another in Brooklyn, to decent results. It took in $42,100. It will expand to more theaters in New York and New Jersey next weekend and then debut in six more cities, including Los Angeles, on Aug. 24.
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
1. "The Bourne Legacy" (Universal/Relativity): Opened to $40.3 million. $7.8 million overseas in 13 foreign markets. $7.8 million overseas in 13 foreign markets.
2. "The Campaign" (Warner Bros.): Opened to $27.4 million. $2 million in one foreign markets, Australia.
3. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Warner Bros./Legendary): $19.5 million on its fourth weekend, down 45%. Domestic total: $390.1 million. $34.2 million overseas in 58 markets. International total: $445.3 million.
4. "Hope Springs" (Sony/MGM/Mandate): Opened to $15.6 million on its first weekend, $20.1 million since its Wednesday debut.
5. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" (Fox): $8.2 million on its second weekend, down 44%. Domestic total: $30.6 million. $1 million overseas in five markets. International total: $6.2 million.
6. "Total Recall" (Sony): $8.1 million on its second weekend, down 68%. Domestic total: $44.2 million. $18.7 million overseas in 38 foreign markets. International total: $27.5 million.
7. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (Fox): $6.8 million on its fifth weekend, down 22%. Domestic total: $144.1 million. $16.2 million overseas in 62 markets. International total: $626.3 million.
8. "Ted" (Universal/MRC): $3.3 million on its seventh weekend, down 42%. Domestic total: $209.9 million. $20.3 million overseas in 25 foreign markets. International total: $113.2 million.
9. "Step Up: Revolution" (Lionsgate/Summit): $2.9 million on its third weekend, down 52%. Domestic total: $30.2 million. $9.9 million overseas in 27 markets. International total: $32.6 million.
10. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Sony): $2.2 million on its sixth weekend, down 50%. Domestic total: $255.5 million. $3 million overseas in 80 markets. International total: $435.1 million.]
The intricate birth of "The Bourne Legacy"
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"The Bourne Legacy" to dominate "The Campaign," "Hope Springs"