Michael Bay's Pain & Gain -- headlining Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson -- topped the North American box office with $20 million on the final weekend before summer tentpoles begin rolling out.
Pain & Gain, from Paramount and based on a true story, is a marked departure for Bay in both storyline and scope. The dark action comedy cost a modest $26 million to produce (at CinemaCon, Bay called the film his "small" movie) and overperformed in Bay's hometown of Miami, as well as in Los Angeles.
The movie played more evenly among the genders than expected, with females making up 49 percent of the audience. However, it only received a C+ CinemaScore, which could hurt word of mouth.
Pain & Gain also stars Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson and Bar Paly. The screenplay was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on the Miami New Times article of the same name by Pete Collins. The film is produced by Donald De Line, Bay and Ian Bryce.
The story follows a trio of bodybuilders (Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie) who get caught up in an extortion ring and kidnapping scheme that goes horribly awry.
The weekend's other new wide entry, The Big Wedding, opened to a dismal $7.5 million to come in No. 4, despite a star-studded cast that includes Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams.
Big Wedding, from Millennium and Lionsgate, appealed heavily to females (77 percent) but only drew a C+ CinemaScore. The R-rated comedy cost just north of $30 million to produce and was directed by Justin Zackham.
Universal's Oblivion came in No. 2 in its second outing, falling a respectable 53 percent to $17.4 million. The Tom Cruise took in another $12.8 million overseas for an international cume of $134.1 million and worldwide total of $198.8 million (the pic's domestic total is $64.7 million).
Jackie Robinson baseball biopic 42 continued to hold nicely in its third weekend, coming in No. 3 with $10.7 million and pushing its domestic total to $69.1 million for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.
DreamWorks Animation and Fox's The Croods continued to make gains in its sixth weekend, upping its domestic total to $163 million and placing No. 5. The 3D animated film jumped the $300 million mark internationally for a worldwide total of $453 million.
Matthew McConnaughey and Reese Witherspoon thriller Mud, from director Jeff Nichols, made news at the specialty box office, opening to $2.2 million from 363 theaters. The critically acclaimed film, from FilmNation and Roadside Attractions, came in No. 11 overall.
Mud debuted just one week after Witherspoon was arrested disorderly conduct in Atlanta, and did well in both traditional arthouse markets, as well as in commercial theaters Arkansas, where the film is set, and other locales in the South, Midwest and Southwest.
Mud was among a slew of new offerings at the specialty box office. The Weinstein Co.'s action-adventure Kon-Tiki opened to $22,334 from two theaters for a location average of $11,167.
Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, distributed by IFC Films, opened to $32,700 from three theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $10,900.