No, the weekend box office was not the end of Justin Bieber.
But as for Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston...
As things stand now, Just Go With It is at No. 1 with an estimated $31 million; Never Say Never is on its heels with an estimated $30.3 million.
The Bieber movie's take was bigger than the debut of the Michael Jackson concert movie, This Is It. It was nearly as big as the phenomenon that was the Miley Cyrus concert movie, Best of Both Worlds (although, granted, Never Say Never played on thousands more screens.)
And, most important, it was big enough to thoroughly dominate the expectations game.
"These teen 3-D concert films are always hard to gauge because popularity amongst teens can evaporate quicker than you can say Jonas Brothers," Exhibitor Relations' box-office analyst Jeff Bock said today via email.
Agreed BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino, who was expecting more of a Jonas-sized debut from Bieber: "They all walk a thin line between huge success and massive failure with every project."
For Sandler, Just Go With It was his 11th No. 1 movie. Still, his pairing with Aniston resulted in a marked comedown from his last romantic comedy, 50 First Dates, with Drew Barrymore.
For Aniston, the opening was on the high side--it was her biggest debut, in fact, since 2008's Marley and Me. Also, the performance was a marked improvement over her last two romantic comedies--The Switch, with Jason Bateman, and The Bounty Hunter, with Gerard Butler.
Still, the final scoreboard arguably belongs to Bieber: Never Say Never reportedly cost just $12 million; Just Go With It reportedly cost $80 million.
Elsewhere, among the other new releases, the animated Gnomeo &Juliet did pretty well ($25.5 million); the Channing Tatum sword-and-shield flick, The Eagle, didn't ($8.6 million). In limited release, Ed Helms' Cedar Rapids did nice work, grossing $310,789 on 15 screens.
For those keeping score at home, Seth Rogen's The Green Hornet is expected to break $200 million worldwide on Monday; Natalie Portman's Black Swan, which tumbled out of the Top 10, should break $100 million domestically around the same time.
Here's the rundown of the top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday numbers as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
Just Go With It, $31 million Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, $30.3 million Gnomeo &Juliet, $25.5 million The Eagle, $8.6 million The Roommate, $8.4 million The King's Speech, $7.4 million No Strings Attached, $5.6 million Sanctum, $5.1 million True Grit, $3.8 million The Green Hornet, $3.6 million