‘Just Not That Into You’ gets lots of love

Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson star in the Warner Bros. romantic comedy
Yes, audiences were, in fact, just that into "He’s Just Not That Into You." The star-studded romantic comedy won its opening weekend by a wide margin, grossing $27.5 million, according to Sunday’s early estimates.

That sum exceeds expectations, and it’s on par with the debut totals of distaff draws like “The Devil Wears Prada” ($27.5 million) and last year’s winter hit “27 Dresses” ($23 million). While this is very good news for many folks surrounding the film — from actors like Ben Affleck and Drew Barrymore, who have had mixed financial track records of late, to the people behind “Sex and the City,” whose franchise helped inspire this movie — Jennifer Aniston may benefit most. The “Friends” alumna had never fully caught fire at the box office, but “He’s Just Not That Into You” now represents her second straight box office success, following “Marley & Me,” which has barked up more than $140 million to date. Anyway, needless to say, the film drew a crowd that was a whopping 80 percent female and 60 percent over age 25. They gave it a B+ CinemaScore grade. “Taken” (No. 2) enjoyed a super-strong second outing, with $20.3 million, a miniscule decline of just 18 percent from its big Super Bowl weekend win. The Liam Neeson action thriller has banked $53.4 million in 10 days.

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Meanwhile, the 3-D animated flick “Coraline” came in at No. 3 with $16.3 million, which is a particularly sweet sum for an oddball family film on a crowded weekend. Disappointing, however, was my pick for the weekend winner, “The Pink Panther 2” (No. 4), which brought in a paltry $12 million. That’s a substantially lower gross than anticipated and also significantly down from the $20.2 million first weekend take of 2006’s “The Pink Panther.” And all despite drawing a crowd that was pretty much evenly spread out across all demographics and that gave “The Pink Panther 2” a decent B+ CinemaScore review. Oh well. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” rounded out the top five, with $11 million. And the weekend’s other big new release, the sci-fi flick “Push,” grossed a good-enough $10.2 million at No. 6. Overall, the cumulative box office total was up a huge 36 percent from the same frame a year ago, when “Fool’s Gold” led the way. And things may continue to look up as the week continues and the one-two shot of “Friday the 13th” and Valentine’s Day approach.