Weekend Box Office Results
A couple of months ago, I think Lionsgate would have been only marginally disappointed if their tent pole feature, The Hunger Games, came out with $61 million on its opening weekend. Seeing as how that’s the total it brought in during its second week of release, I’d imagine the people at Lionsgate haven’t yet stopped partying. It’s not inconceivable, given the relatively mediocre new releases headed our way this week, that The Hunger Games will come out on top again this time next week, a huge achievement for the film and a major milestone for the studio. Very cool story in my opinion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, both of the mainstream new releases this week underperformed significantly, especially when considering their respective budgets. Wrath of the Titans came in well below the $61 million in sales its predecessor pulled in on opening weekend in 2010 and came away with little to show for its $150 million budget. Likewise, Mirror Mirror didn’t really find much of an audience at all and looks to be a long shot to recoup its $85 million price tag, at least domestically. We probably could have all seen those failures coming a mile away but then again, when the calendar was set, I don’t think anyone in Hollywood quite understood the gold mine that The Hunger Games would turn out to be. Otherwise, we might not have seen many films attempt competition this early in its theatrical run.
1. The Hunger Games - $61.1M ($251M)
2. Wrath of the Titans - $34.2M
3. Mirror Mirror - $19M
4. 21 Jump Street - $15M ($93.1M)
5. Dr. Suess’ The Lorax - $8M ($189.6M)
6. John Carter - $2M ($66.21M)
7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - $1.27M ($3.17M)
8. Act of Valor - $1M ($67.76M)
9. A Thousand Words - $915K ($16.52M)
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - $835K ($98.48M)
What I’ve Seen and Wasn’t Totally Sold On
War Horse – Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson
We Bought a Zoo – Matt Damon, Scarlett Johannson, Thomas Haden Church
To be quite honest with you, I’d really rather not see either of these movies again and that makes me sad. Of all the great directors in the world, Steven Spielberg and Cameron Crowe are two of my very favorites and I generally look forward to whatever project these two put their minds to. Both, however, did much better work in 2011. Spielberg’s War Horse is a decent enough movie that I had trouble relating to and investing in while I absolutely loved The Adventures of Tintin. Likewise, We Bought a Zoo represents Crowe’s most disjointed effort, a family film for which he was not equipped to make, while I found his documentary Pearl Jam 20 to be superb. Both of these movies are probably worth a viewing if you are so inclined but neither was all that impressive in my book.
Torchwood: Miracle Day – John Barrowman, Eve Myles
Being Elmo – Kevin Clash (Also available on Netflix Instant)
Tyrannosaur – Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
The Big C: Season 2 – Laura Linney, Oliver Platt
New to Blu
Chinatown (1974) – Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) – Sarah Jessica Parker, Lee Montgomery, Helen Hunt
Coming to a Theater Near You
I had a much better week predicting the critical reception of last week’s films than any of them actually had at the box office. Mirror Mirror had me scared for a while as some of the early reviews were shockingly positive but by the end of the weekend it wound down to a nice 41%, not far off from my 49% prediction. And Wrath of the Titans was by all accounts just as bad as expected, dropping in at 24% (equal to its predecessor) while my prediction was 25%. Goon surprised me, though, finishing with a robust 79% Certified Fresh rating. I’ll get a chance to see Goon later this week and I’m more excited about it than I would have thought.
American Reunion – Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein
The title is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? The old gang from American Pie gets back together for their high school reunion and crazy things happen. I’m not interested in this movie (especially considering the previous two installments were worthless) but I’m not convinced it’s going to be completely horrible. If nothing else, I will say that if you’re going to do a reunion-type movie like this, you better get every single member of the cast from the original film and that’s exactly what they did here. Not that most of these actors have anything else to do anyway but still, it’s something. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 51%
Titanic 3D – Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winsley, Billy Zane
The second highest-grossing film of all-time gets yet another theatrical run, this one in full 3D. I hate this movie. I really, REALLY hate this movie. Titanic ruined my childhood obsession with what actually happened that fateful night with its overwrought romance, its mediocre dialogue, and its wretched, wretched song. I’m sorry, I’m just never going to get over this. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 80%
Also new: Morgan Spurlock’s newest documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope takes a look at the inside world of Comic-Con…and The Hunter features Willem Dafoe tracking the last of the Tasmanian tigers.