Will Ferrell salvaged his movie career and Mark Wahlberg showed he can play a funny man after their new film “The Other Guys” topped the weekend box office with a $35.6 million gross, displacing Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “Inception” domestically.
Ferrell’s last movie, 2009’s “Land of the Lost” bombed big time. But his latest outing is his second-highest film debut, although the film pretty much matched expectations.
The film marked Wahlberg’s best opening since 2001’s “Planet of the Apes.” which scored $68.5 million in its debut weekend.
Ferrell flopped in both “Land of the Lost” ($18.8 million) and 2008’s “Semi-Pro” ($15.5 million), putting his ability to land another big-budget studio film in doubt. “The Other Guys” cost $85 million to make.
His best opening remains the 2006 comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” with $47 million.
In addition to that film, Director Adam McKay directed “The Other Guys,” and 2007’s “Blades of Glory,” another hit that grossed $33 million over it’s debut weekend.
In “The Other Guys,” Ferrell and Wahlberg play mismatched cops on the trail of a con artist (Steve Coogan).
The film got a nice push going into the weekend from largely good reviews.
“‘The Other Guys’ is most authentically itself when it indulges in a free-form but nonetheless highly disciplined silliness that has the effect of dissolving, rather than piquing, whatever worldly anger or frustration you may be harboring,” wrote New York Times critic A.O. Scott.
But Claudia Piug, writing in the widely read USA Today, panned the film.
“What would have been very funny for 15 minutes, and pretty funny for 45, doesn’t maintain the standard over the course of a feature-length film,” she wrote, citing a frequent problem with Ferrell films.
While “The Other Guys” won domestically, DiCaprio’s dreams thriller “Inception” is still the No. 1 film internationally.
In North America, it grossed $18.6 million, for a total gross of $227.7 million after four weeks in theaters.
The film earnied $46.6 million from 58 markets overseas for a total gross of $250 million.
“Step Up 3D” from Disney debuted at No. 3 with $15.5 million, well below its predecessors even with the help of higher prices for 3D showings.
Angelina Jolie’s spy thriller “Salt” pulled $11.1 million for the No. 4 spot, with a $92 million total after three weeks, while Steve Carell comedy “Dinner for Schmucks” took in $10.5 million and totaled $46.7 million after two weeks.