A preternaturally great weekend at the box office

For the second weekend in a row eight preternatural films have ranked among the top earners at the box-office (nine if you count Jim Carrey as preternatural since his penguin costars definitely aren’t). Seven of the top preternatural films over the father’s day weekend were repeat performers, while the one new film on the list, The Green Lantern, was the biggest grossing firm of the weekend ending 19 June, 2011.


Test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) faces the greatest challenge of his career and life when he becomes the first human recruited to the Green Lantern Corps. Now this cocky and confident must prove he can master the power of the ring and restore the balance of power to the Universe as The Green Lantern. Oh, yeah, and along the way he gets to save the Earth, if he can…. Director Martin Campbell is responsible for bringing the popular DC Comics hero and other characters to the big screen for the first time. The Warner Bros. film, which opened this weekend and honored military dads with several special screenings on military bases across the U.S. brought in more than $52 million this weekend.

Super 8 slipped to the second spot overall still bringing in an estimated $21 million for Paramount. The story of a group of young friends – Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning, sibling of Dakota Fanning), Joe Lamb (newcomer Joel Courtney), Cary (Ryan Lee), Preston (Zach Mills), Charles (Riley Griffiths) and Martin (Gabriel Basso) – who begin investigating strange happenings around their small town after a mysterious train wreck. Produced by Steven Spielberg and written and directed by J.J. Abrams, Super 8 has been, almost inevitably compared to E.T. Despite some superficial similarities (a young cast and aliens), Super 8 is a very different and darker film. Fans who prefer some story with their monsters won’t be disappointed!

X-Men: First Class dropped to Number 4 this weekend behind the potentially preternatural Jim Carrey and his penguins. The mutants still manged to bring in a cool $11.5 million for 20th Century Fox. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) are still battling for the minds and powers of the 1962 generation of mutants. In an interesting twist, X-Men: First Class includes the biblical mutant Azazel (Jason Flemyng, whom some will recognize as Danny Quinn from the television seriesPrimeval) who seems drawn from the same legend as Azazeal (played by Michael Fassbender in the BBC television series Hex). X-Men: First Class was produced by Bad Hat Harry Productions and directed by Matthew Vaughn. 

Po and his new group of kung-fu masters fought to hold Kung Fu Panda 2 in the Number 6 spot for the weekend. The animated sequel from director Jennifer Yuh generated more than $8.7 million at the box office this weekend. A star-studded cast of voices including Gary Oldman (Dracula, Sirius Black, The Fifth Element) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) join Po (Jack Black) in bringing this animated adventure to life.

You just can’t keep a good, or would that be bad? pirate down. Although Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides fell to Number 8 among the overall earners of the weekend. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) raked in more than $6 million for Disney in this preternatural treasure hunt based on the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. Director Rob Marshall assembled quite the motley crew including Geoffrey Rush (who also lent his voice to The Green Lantern) as Barbossa, Ian McShane (the voice of Captain Hook in Shrek The Third) as Blackbeard and Richard Griffiths (Harry’s Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter franchise) as King George.

Number 10 among highest grossing film for the weekend, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer owes its place on a list of preternatural films to the guest appearance of Bigfoot. There might be a few zombies, vampires and werewolves involved as well as third-grader Judy Moody sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her young life. Directed by John Schultz, Judy (Jordana Beatty), brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) and Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) brought in an estimated $2 million for Relativity Media.

Thor hammers his way to Number 11, grossing another $1 million over the weekend for Paramount. Chris Hemsworth (King Arthur in the television series Guinevere Jones and George Kirk, father of James T. Kirk, in 2009’s Star Trek) makes an impressive thunder-god and is in good company sharing the screen with Natalie Portman (Padme in Star Wars Episodes I, II and III) and Stellan Skarsgärd (Bootstrap Bill for the first 2, make that 3, Pirates of the Caribbean films and Ralph in Metropia with son Alexander). Kenneth Branagh directed.

Spiritual quests and the search for the meaning of life may or may not be preternatural. We’re including The Tree Of Life, on this list simply because the Kabbalah concept has strong preternatural ties and the idea of Sean Penn portraying Brad Pitt’s sun caught our attention. Box office earnings of more than $1 million were actually an improvement over the previous week’s receipts at  $875,126 and enough to put the Fox Searchlight film directed by Terrence Malick in the Number 12 spot for the weekend.

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