Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Box Office

Am I alone in thinking that the summer movie season, a mere six weeks in, already feels kind of over.  Sure there's blockbusters on the horizon...Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II are a coming complete with retrofitted 3-D.  And Captain America will continue the ongoing Avengers advertisement, and who knows, maybe original properties like Cowboys & Aliens and Crazy Stupid Love will surprise.  But, by and large, it feels kind of over for Hollywood.  The dearth and blah comes with the top selling item this week:

Bad vs. Good

  1. The Green Lantern- Middling reviews, a terrible trailer, and misgivings over the profitability of any DC character other than Batman or Superman couldn't stop the Ryan Reynolds-magical ring comic from top the chart with a respectable (if earthbound) take of $52 million.  I love Manohla Dargis New York Times review, which sufficiently states..."The Green Lantern is bad," literary cred isn't always necessary.  Next weekend, and how it holds up will tell us how quickly the film fades.
  2. Super 8- Last weekend's champ, and the first Hollywood studio flick this year to work, in my opinion, but that's hardly a contest this year fell 40% in it's second weekend with $72 million overall.  Considering the film only cost $50 million to make, Paramount should be pleased...however audiences should be flocking to this joyously nostalgic picture.  A 33% increase in sales from Friday to Saturday is contrast The Green Lantern, in it's first weekend, fell 22% from opening day to Saturday.  Fanboys aren't the only audiences!!!!
  3. Mr. Popper's Penguins- Is it just me or doesn't the title sound a bit dirty.  I kid, this family picture adapted from the 1930s children stories (loosely adapted) made a ho-hum $18 million opening weekend.  Jim Carrey can still kind of open a picture, but one must assume had this opened in the late 90s, this would be a blockbuster.
  4. X-Men: First Class- In it's third weekend, the last incarnation of our favorite mutant superheros has amassed $119 million.  One has to think if 20th Century Fox isn't kicking themselves for not reformatting the flick to 3-D.  Of course that would be a huge mistake; I prefer a clear picture of Michael Fassbender.
  5. The Hangover: Part Two- Currently the highest grossing film of 2011, Todd Phillips frat-house frenzy dropped 45% in it's fourth weekend.  Total cume is $232 million.
  6. Kung Fu Panda 2- If disappointing that it hasn't out-grossed the original, this second outing with the martial artist panda has made $143 million in four weeks.
  7. Bridemaids- In what can truly be described as the sleeper of the year, Kristen Wiig's comedy in it's sixth weekend dropped a scant 25% and has earned $136 million to date.  Many in the industry might see it as a feminist bellwether...the greater truth might just be that the film is funny.
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides- 2011's one billionth unnecessary sequel that squanders the good will and small virtues of the original has amassed $220 million in five weeks.  Yes, it's the weakest seller in the quad, and weakest on terms of attendance, but $200 million is ridiculous.  I miss Johnny Depp playing him!
  9. Midnight in Paris- A surprise and wonder, Woody Allen's latest has earned $21 million in five weeks.  To put into perspective, this is Allen's sixth highest grossing film (not adjusted for inflation) in his forty year career, and the widest release of any Allen film to date (it's currently playing on 1,038 screens.)  While always prolific, his films have never been huge money makers, even back in his heyday.  So the response to Midnight in Paris is staggering.  The question now is, since the movie is holding so beautifully, is to whether it will garner awards traction; and since the Academy is going into reactive, bad-shit crazy mode, could it stand a chance?
  10. Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer- The tweener has earned $11 million in two weeks.
  11. Thor- In it's seventh week, and all but forgotten, the mighty hammer man has fallen out of the top ten, soon to be hitting DVD shelves, with a nearly final total of $176 million.
  12. The Tree of Life- Four weeks in, Terrence Malick's divisive tale of "it all" has earned nearly $4 million on 114 screens.  Fox Searchlight still appears tentative about releasing with wide (and that's fairly understandable for those who've seen it), but one wonders, when it happens, will the film have totally fallen out of the cinematic conversation.  Awards consideration is a mo does one sell this one outside a major city?

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