Returns dropped off this week overall, but the top five spots played host to three new films and two returning favorites. Limitless debuted at #1, bringing in $19 million; no candle to Battle: Los Angeles' last weekend gross, but not a bad start for the reportedly budgeted $27 million thriller in which Bradley Cooper plays a man obsessed with a drug that brings him all the success he could ever want ... or so he thinks. Meanwhile, Rango held its seat, despite only picking up $15.3 million. Johnny Depp's goofy-looking lizard remains popular enough, and having broke even worldwide looks like it may have a chance to make $100 million domestically within the next few weeks. Battle: Los Angeles also looks to be a winner, the alien actioner earned $14.6 million in week two and is making up ground on its own $70 million budget.
The two new releases to make the list are also the last to break $10 million this weekend: Matthew McConaughey's departure from his usual "shirtless" roles, The Lincoln Lawyer, made a solid $13.4 million debut, ahead of the also critically well-received Paul, which earned $13.1 million. While neither are box-office smashes, they've both performed reasonably well and are on-track to do reasonable well over the next few weeks. The Lincoln Lawyer is the tale of an unconventional defense attorney who works out of his car (the aforementioned Lincoln), and finds his latest case might be more troublesome than it appears, while Paul is a road comedy about two British sci-fi geeks (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) who encounter a genuine (but not hostile) alien (Seth Rogen).
The rest of the board performed average to horribly lackluster: Red Riding Hood's #3 debut appears to be slipping drastically, earning only $7.2 million this week, and sci-fi romance The Adjustment Bureau did even worse, making $5.9 million. Red will need some help from the foreign market if this trend continues, help Bureau has already gotten ($72.5 million worldwide total gross). However, no market may be able to save Mars Needs Moms; with a poor debut and only $5.3 million this week, the $150 million CG film may be destined for "bomb" status. Beastly and Hall Pass came in with $3.3 million and $2.6 million, respectively, and may have earned derision in the press, but this weekend have managed to cover their costs domestically.
Weekend Box-Office (3/18 – 3/20)
1. Limitless...$19 million
2. Rango...$27 million
3. Battle: Los Angeles...$14.6 million
4. The Lincoln Lawyer...$13.4 million
5. Paul...$13.1 million
6. Red Riding Hood...$7.2 million
7. The Adjustment Bureau...$5.9 million
8. Mars Needs Moms...$5.3 million
9. Beastly...$3.3 million
10. Hall Pass...$2.6 million