For a while I've been wondering how Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer feel when they read reviews and articles calling them scoundrels, charlatans, and scourges of the Earth. This weekend, it finally dawned on me: they are laughing at us. All the way to the bank. All the vituperative reviews in the world -- and I almost literally mean that -- couldn't keep crowds away from Vampires Suck this weekend, as the $20 million Twilight "spoof" generated more than twice the opening weekend gross of Disaster Movie, the last Friedberg/Seltzer telegram from hell (more than three times in the five days since its Wednesday release). So send these guys all the nastygrams you like. Call them an affront to the spoof genre, to cinema, to all that is decent on this Earth. Their audience won't listen -- and their coffers grow with every poop-drenched "parody" they slap together and release.

What's funny is that I don't even think people like this stuff. I think that -- outside of audiences who are on top of the movie beat -- the Friedberg/Seltzer anti-phenomenon remains under the radar. I suspect that people are just getting snookered over and over again. But who knows.
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Vampires Suck led the pack of five different new releases in what was for all intents and purposes the first weekend of the fall season. The rest had middling debuts, though the only real disappointment was The Switch, which got no traction and grossed only $8.1 million -- on par with last year's Jennifer Aniston stinker Love Happens, though the folks behind this reasonably clever, reasonably well-reviewed film likely hoped for more. The Bow Wow comedy Lottery Ticket made $11 million, which is just fine for that film; ditto Piranhawith $10.5 million. $8.3 million for Nanny McPhee Returns is a little disappointing (the first film did better), but that movie is looking overseas for the bulk of its business anyway.

Despite all the new "competition," Stallone's The Expendables took first place again, while Eat Pray Lovedidn't show much staying power, slipping to third. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, likewise, didn't really show signs of sticking around; it's looking like $30 million (and eternal cult status) for the beloved comedy.

1 - The Expendables (Lionsgate) - $16.5 ($5,046) - 53% - $64.9
2 - Vampires Suck (Fox) - $12.2 ($3,774) - new - $18.6
3 - Eat Pray Love (Sony) - $12.0 ($3,894) - 48% - $47.1
4 - Lottery Ticket (Warner Bros.) - $11.1 ($5,639) - new - $11.1
5 - The Other Guys (Sony) - $10.1 ($2,909) - 42% - $88.2
6 - Piranha 3D (Dimension) - $10.0 ($4,063) - new - $10.0
7 - Nanny McPhee Returns (Universal) - $8.3 ($2,985) - new - $8.3
8 - The Switch (Miramax) - $8.1 ($4,026) - new - $8.1
9 - Inception (Warner Bros.) - $7.7 ($3,188) - 32% - $261.8
10 - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal) - $5.0 ($1,785) - 53% - $20.7

Next week: A potential sleeper in the form of The Last Exorcism, the heist thriller Takers, and a semi-wide rerelease of Avatarin slightly extended form.