Box Office Briefs: Bradley Cooper's Little Pill Stiffs the Competition

Box Office Briefs: Bradley Cooper's Little Pill Stiffs the Competition

Mar 21, 2011

The premise of Limitless is that we only use a small portion of our brain, and that a new space-aged drug can help us access those dormant parts.

This is ironic, cuz lately, we've only been using a portion of the seats in movie theaters.

So credit Limitless, a moderately priced, $27 million thriller, with being just the little pill the domestic box office needed this weekend, with the Relativity Media film outpacing pre-release projections and taking in a box-office-leading $19 million.

"We're ecstatic," noted Jason Felts, CEO of Virgin Produced, billionaire Brit Richard Branson's new movie-making company, which shot the film for Relativity.

Certainly, with Virgin selling everything from cell phone service to airplane rides, Limitless' promo potential was, well, rather infinite. Try taking a ride on Virgin Airlines over the last few weeks, and right after they give you the pre-flight safety rundown, it was trailer city. You had no where to go or nothing to do but watch.

"We really pulled out all the stops," Felts noted. Sure did.

Not faring so well in the match-up of handsome leading men who sort of look alike, Matthew McConaughey's crime drama The Lincoln Lawyer took in $13.4 million, slightly better than its crummy $10 million pre-release forecast, but only good enough for fourth place this weekend.

Johnny Depp CG-animated film Rango kept rolling along in its third weekend, finishing in second place with $15.3 million; Battle: L.A. had a strong second weekend, finishing third with $14.6 million.

Also debuting wide this weekend, Nick Frost/Simon Pegg film Paul finished fifth with an also-middling $13.2 million. The live-action R-rated movie voice stars Seth Rogen as an E.T. with a potty mouth.

Overall, the box office was down about 10 percent from the same weekend last year -- which is not too bad, considering how things have been going.

Here's how the market shaped up this weekend compared to our Thursday predictions:

Limitless Made: $19.0M We predicted: $16.0M
Rango Made: $15.3M We predicted: $14.0M
Battle: Los Angeles Made: $14.6M We predicted: $15.0M
The Lincoln Lawyer Made: $13.4M We predicted: $12.0M
Paul Made: $13.2M We predicted: $12.0M
Red Riding Hood Made: $7.3M We predicted: $8.0M
The Adjustment Bureau Made: $5.9M We predicted: $7.0M
Mars Needs Moms Made: $5.3M We predicted: $7.0M
Beastly Made: $3.3M We predicted: $3.0M
Hall Pass Made: $2.6M We predicted: $2.0M

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