In a reversal of Sunday's studio estimates, Warner's Hall Pass was barely able to top Disney's Gnomeo and Juliet after all this weekend. The Farrelly Brothers directed comedy starring Owen Wilson debuted with $13.54 million, which outpaced Gnomeo and Juliet by a slim $135,244 for the frame. Despite coming out on top this weekend, Hall Pass still debuted slightly below pre-release expectations nonetheless. Hall Pass opened very similarly to both last year's Hot Tub Time Machine and the Farrelly's last film, 2007's The Heartbreak Kid, both of which debuted with $14.02 million. Going forward, Hall Pass will hope to duplicate the holding power of Hot Tub instead of that of The Heartbreak Kid.
Gnomeo and Juliet fell just short of claiming first place for the second weekend in a row. The 3D computer animated film grossed $13.40 million, which was down a very solid 30 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. Though it didn't take first, it still had the more impressive performance this weekend between it and Hall Pass. Gnomeo and Juliet has grossed a much better than expected $74.33 million through 17 days, leaving it $25.67 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone. However, the film should take a much bigger hit next weekend when Paramount's Rango enters the marketplace on Friday.
Gnomeo and Juliet has grossed $26.7 million internationally thus far, placing its current worldwide total at $101.0 million.
Warner's Unknown took third place with $12.57 million. The Liam Neeson vehicle fell two spots and 42 percent from last weekend. After holding up fairly well during the midweek, the size of the film's second weekend decline came as a bit of a surprise, especially given how old the film is skewing as well as the fact that this weekend's new releases left much to be desired. While it won't be able to duplicate the long term success of 2009's Taken, Unknown has still grossed a very respectable $42.98 million through ten days of release. On the international front, Unknown grossed $5.7 million from 19 foreign territories this weekend. That places the film's international total at $12.7 million.
Also coming as a bit of a surprise was how relatively well I Am Number Four held up this weekend. On the heels of a slower than expected start last weekend, the sci-fi film from DreamWorks was down a solid 43 percent from last weekend to finish in fourth with $11.02 million. With a ten-day start of $37.72 million, I Am Number Four is still running softer than widely expected, so the film's holding power will obviously continue to be quite important going forward.
Internationally, I Am Number Four grossed $16.3 million this weekend from 21 markets. Key debuts included $3.1 million in Russia, $3.1 million in Australia, $2.7 million in the United Kingdom and $2.0 million in Korea. The film's international total now stands at $19.3 million.
Meanwhile, Summit's Drive Angry was dead on arrival with a ninth place start of $5.19 million. The 3D Nicolas Cage vehicle debuted well short of its already modest pre-release expectations. After the so-so recent performance of Relativity's Season of the Witch, moviegoers were in no hurry to see Nicolas Cage in another role. Drive Angry delivered the weakest opening weekend of any major wide release thus far in 2011, a fact that is even more disappointing when factoring in the film's higher priced 3D tickets.
The King's Speech continued its impressive run by taking eighth place with $7.34 million. The Academy Award winner for Best Picture was up a terrific 12 percent over last weekend. The King's Speech has grossed $114.23 million to date and should be able to hold up well for a while longer thanks in part to its Best Picture win on Sunday.