Weekend Digits
Per Screen
Your Mama
The Bucket List $19,540,000 (+5,879.4%) $6,712 $20,964,000
First Sunday $19,000,000 $8,585 $19,000,000
Juno $14,000,000 (-11.7%) $5,718 $71,250,000
International Pleasure Reading $11,482,000 (-42.8%) $3,400 $187,295,000
Alvin and the Chipmunks $9,100,000 (-41.5%) $2,689 $187,740,000
I Am Legend $8,130,000 (-48.3%) $2,424 $240,234,000
One Missed Call $6,130,000 (-51.0%) $2,736 $20,642,000
P.S. I Love You $5,005,000 (-36.1%) $2,154 $47,008,000
The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything $4,419,000 $3,305 $4,419,000
Atonement $4,300,000 (-15.1%) $4,526 $25,208,000

This just in: Old people like shenanigans too.

On paper, The Bucket List looked to be the sort of film the Academy had a soft spot for in the 80’s. I’m looking at you, Awakenings (which came out in 1990, I know). Mike D’Angelo had a great line about BL, allow me to quote: “Braced myself for the worst film of the year, but in fact it’s perfectly mediocre, with a few good jokes.” Well, that obviously got an audience ready for some laughs, and maybe a couple of tears along the way. And lord knows you can’t predict the audience that went to see this, cause it ain’t the normal demographic.

I love Five Easy Pieces. I grew up on the Nicholson films of the 1970’s. Does the audience that goes to The Bucket List remember Jack as a disaffected young man, struggling to make sense of the world? Do they know that they have become the fathers, in some cases the exact thing that they were rebelling against? Does The Bucket List play as a sequel to The Last Detail? If the message of The Bucket List is that life is short and it should be savored, doesn’t it essentially advocate for not seeing such tripe?

Just curious.

Well, it and First Sunday proved to be successful off-season hits, and though their shelf life as top dogs will be quick, both should get to around $60 when all is said and done, though Sunday may only get to $50. Ice Cube continues to be a steady draw when doing Black-centric comedies, which makes him, what, the antithesis of Tyler Perry? The Paul McCartney to Perry’s Stevie Wonder? The Joe Piscopo to his Eddie Murphy? The Mick Jagger to his David Bowie? But if you say run, I’ll run with you. And tremble like a flower.

That’s also my lengthy preamble of saying that Juno will not, sadly, have a weekend to call itself the number one film in America. It had the weekdays, and may have them again, tomorrow even. But it’ll never be the belle of the ball of the weekend. I guess the makers will have to comfort themselves with a couple of academy award nominations (the polls closed at 5pm yesterday, we’re nine days from the announcements), and a nine figure gross. Yup, with $71 in the bank, getting another $29 million won’t cause a beaded brow. I think this week was the cresting of the Juno whatever, that’s why I wrote the column that I did, cause I was predicting backlash. Like a science fiction piece, partly to ward off the worst instincts of haters (if saying backlashing is a cliche before it happens, does a tree falling in the woods make a sound?), but that hard (or chubby) rain* is going to fall in force and soon. The question is: can the Juno crew stave off the backlash long enough for Hollywood to give them some golden loving? The polls close 2/19 for the actual awards and that’s a long time off. As Little Miss Sunshine showed (and the fucking nominations haven’t even been announced yet, so I know how absurd this is, but stay with me. For the love of God, stay with me. I can’t be alone right now) it’s super easy to go from being "the little film that could" to the film everyone hates for being precious. That’s the battle, and smart marketing can’t fight overexposure. But I’m not the problem, damn it. Cody Cody Cody Cody Cody Cody, Diablo Cody! I’m not part of the problem at all.

This just in: In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is tracking to be the Number ten movie in America this very Sunday. Yep, the good doctor’s film didn’t even open in the weekend top ten, unlike the Veggie Tales movie, though both of which got dumped in January and are DOA. Everyone involved is basically saying “if you’re going to make money, it’s on video.” Expect both to be out of theaters by the time Rambo gets to murderizing. Speaking of films out of the top ten, Charlie Wilson’s close to hitting $60, and Sweeney Todd’s at $45. Those are the missed Oscar hopefuls that may have to make due with technical nominations. While National Treasure 2 and Alvin and the Chimpmunks are at $187 (on an undercover cop). Yeah, and you don’t stop. They’ll get over $200, and then start to call it a day, while I am Legend should get over $250, and also start to sag. Studios like round numbers, so every dollar after those benchmarks is the gravy on their chicken and waffles.

One Missed Call hit $20, and if Warner did it right, they made the film for around that figure. If so, then they’re guaranteed a profit. P.S. I Love You never cracked the top five, but has managed to quietly perform in the top ten since release. I don’t know if you can say anything bad about that, and it should get to over fifty. I guess that counts as a word of mouth hit these days. Atonement better cross its fingers that it gets some academy love if it hopes to keep performing, cause it’ll need it.

Next week brings the Cloverfield monster. And some Dresses (27 to be exact). And Mad Money. For Cloverfield.

I’ve always been a fake purse ninja man myself.