You can blame it on reefer madness: This is the End, the bro-mantic apocalyptic comedy released by Sony/Columbia Pictures, opened at No. 1 at the box office, taking in $6.5 million over Tuesday night and Wednesday. The celeb-heavy movie, starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, and countless other members of the Judd Apatow posse, is expected to take in more than $30 million over the next five days, most definitely making back its $32 million budget. Not bad for a little stoner comedy about the end of the world.
This is the End is hardly the first weed-centric movie to make serious green at the box office. Back in 2008, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay made over $43 million in theaters and $23 million in DVD sales. Later that year, the Rogen and Franco starring Pineapple Express took in $101 million, more than four times its budget. Last July, Seth MacFarlane's Ted surprised everyone and became an enormous success, taking in almost $550 million dollars worldwide.
Of course, there have been stoner films that have flopped — remember Your Highness? That's right, you don't. Starring Franco, Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, and Zooey Deschanel, the 2011 film from the Pineapple Express director was a box office bomb, barely making back half of its 50 million budget and causing Roger Ebert to use the words "juvenile excrescence." Or how about High School, a 2010 indie starring Adrien Brody? The pot-centric film earned an embarrassing 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and made a whopping total of $139,000 dollars in theaters. Ouch.
Thankfully, This is the End is actually good, at least according to reviews, and its box office prowess so far is pretty impressive for a film that opened in the middle of the week. It won't last long, though — come the weekend, Man of Steel will undoubtedly swoop in and steal its thunder. For now, though, Rogen and Co. can just sit back, light up, and enjoy their movie's success.