Box Office: The Mechanic Doesn’t Quite Have the Rite Stuff

Holy priests versus hitmen — who ya got? Hindsight says “The Rite”, which took the top spot at the box office over the weekend, beating out fellow newcomer “The Mechanic” and edging out the romcom “No Strings Attached”, which continues to perform better than expected. The predictable-as-they-come romcom has earned $39 million at the box office in two weeks, easily recouping its $25 million budget. “The Rite”, meanwhile, won the weekend with its $15 million debut. Not exactly outrageously awesome numbers, but I’m sure the producers will take it.

Jason Statham and Ben Foster’s remake of “The Mechanic”, meanwhile, couldn’t quite beat out “No Strings Attached” for second place. Instead, the Simon West-directed actioner opened in third place with a rather disappointing $11.5 million according to studio estimates. With a production budget of around $40 million, I don’t foresee the film doing better next week, especially with the teen “Single White Female” clone “The Roommate” opening next Friday. Meanwhile, Natalie Portman, one of the stars of “Strings”, will be competing against herself when her more serious drama “The Other Woman” opens in limited release next week.

Notable: Seth Rogen’s “The Green Hornet” adds another $11.5 million to its coffers, giving it $78.8 million in three weeks of release so far. The film has earned $116 million worldwide, which puts it just south of its $120 million production budget. Why exactly a movie like “Hornet” would cost $120 million to make is a mystery only the best Hollywood accountants could answer you. “Hornet’s” $11.5 million ties it with “The Mechanic”, so don’t be surprised if Monday’s final numbers puts “Hornet” over “Mechanic” for the third spot, which would just about be an extra dose of slap-in-the-face to the Statham-fronted flick.

1 —–The Rite —–$15,005,000—– $15,005,000
2 —–No Strings Attached —– $13,650,000 —– $39,742,000
3 —–The Mechanic —–$11,500,000 —– $11,500,000
4 —–The Green Hornet —–$11,500,000—– $78,800,000
5 —–The King’s Speech —– $11,102,000 —– $72,217,000
6 —–True Grit —– $7,600,000 —– $148,388,000
7 —–The Dilemma —– $5,476,000 —–$40,634,000
8 —–Black Swan —–$5,100,000—– $90,704,000
9 —–The Fighter —– $4,055,000 —– $78,373,000
10 —–Yogi Bear —–$3,165,000 —– $92,507,000

'Oh yeah. The Rite stuff, baby.'