Oliver Stone’s unofficial return to gritty, adult-skewing genre fare

HollywoodNews.com: I’ve already allotted five paragraphs to The Amazing Spider-Man, so it’s time to discuss the other films. There were two other wide openers this weekend. Oliver Stone’s Savages debuted on Friday of the holiday weekend, proving to be relatively successful counter-programming. The $45 million hard-R drug thriller earned $16.2 million. Considering most of the stars (Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, and Benicio Del Toro) are not box office draws, the director was the main attraction here. While supporting player John Travolta probably helped a bit, this was Oliver Stone’s unofficial return to gritty, adult-skewing genre fare. World Trade Center, W., and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps were exactly kids flicks, but the unapologetic auteur behind Platoon, JFK, and Natural Born Killers hadn’t been seen since Any Given Sunday back in 1999 . As such, it stands as the third-biggest debut of his career, behind World Trade Center ($18 million) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ($19 million). With a C+ from Cinemascore (it’s arguably worse than that, sadly), it won’t be reaching the heights of Platoon ($138 million) or the $70-$75 million range of Any Given Sunday, JFK, World Trade Center, and Born on the Fourth of July. Coming anywhere near the $50 million mark (Natural Born Killers) will count as a win for Universal, which probably should have moved this one to July 13th after they moved the unexpectedly successful Ted to June 29th.

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