‘The Bourne Legacy’ topped the box office this weekend, landing in first place with a solid $40.3 million debut. That’s on par with ‘The Bourne Identity’ ($27.1 million) and ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ ($52.5 million) but not nearly as good as the third and last film in the franchise, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ ($69.3 million).
‘Legacy’ has a few challenges facing it: for starters, Bourne is Matt Damon, and losing that face from the franchise means possibly losing fans. Universal also needed to sell moviegoers on the introduction of a new face, Jeremy Renner, which they somewhat successfully did by emphasizing the tag line “There was never just one” and tying this movie to the events of ‘Ultimatum’.
Finally, ‘Legacy’ faces a challenge for the male audience when ‘Expendables 2′ opens next weekend, with bigger stars and no twisty reboot plot to follow. So, while ‘Legacy’ is certainly a worthwhile addition to the franchise—and, hopefully, bodes well for future installments—it probably won’t do nearly so well at the box office as its predecessors.
In second place, ‘The Campaign’ opened with $27.4 million, the best ever debut for a movie centered around a political campaign (they’re a notoriously tough sell). While that debut is noticeably down from Will Ferrell’s previous comedies, the August calendar is devoid of any direct competition in this genre, so it should at least do well for the rest of the month and pull in a decent total gross before it leaves theatres.
After three weeks on the top of the chart, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ fell to third place with $19.5 million. So far the film has earned $390.2 million, which is considerably less than ‘The Dark Knight’ but still lands it at number fifteen on the all-time domestic chart.
‘Hope Springs’ debuted in fourth place with $15.6 million. Meryl Streep is almost always good at the box office and because the movie has such a targeted demographic—older females—it could do quite well in the long run.
Finally, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’ landed at number five with $8.2 million.