|2||Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who||$17,425,000 (-29.1%)||$4,554||$117,274,000|
|4||Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns||$7,760,000 (-61.4%)||$3,849||$32,828,000|
|5||Drillbit Taylor||$5,800,000 (-43.7%)||$1,894||$20,574,000|
|7||10,000 B.C.||$4,875,000 (-45.4%)||$1,595||$84,920,000|
|9||College Road Trip||$3,505,000 (-25.4%)||$1,544||$38,370,000|
|10||The Bank Job||$2,800,000 (-33.2%)||$1,744||$24,104,000|
This just in: Nine out of ten Pharmacists.
Poker films have never been the rage, and it strikes me the last one to do well before the arthouse success of Croupier was likely The Cincinnati Kid. Texas Hold Them – the Prius of poker – seems to have gone through the same Renaissance that cigars went through about ten years back, and we’re likely at the tail end of Hold ‘em’s reign. So perhaps that’s why 21 - which one figures is based on blackjack instead- could take the top spot. Benefiting from some savvy marketing, it at least wasn’t trying to be too hip for the room while still being a “Vegas” movie, which is a sub-genre unto itself. What this also means is where a film like Rounders has done nothing but age well, 21 will likely evaporate quicker than a two AM lucky streak. Still, Sony did a great job of selling a picture starring the guy from Across the Universe, and half the cast of Superman Returns.
Speaking of Super-duds… Witnessing the last couple months of The Weinstein Company is akin to watching Muhammad Ali box these days. You know there was a champ there, but the man is past his prime and riddled with Parkinson’s. He is no longer in fighting shape, and seeing TWC not able to get ten million out of Superhero Movie is like watching Ali get back in the ring only to prove the effects of his disease. When 20th Century Fox can get Meet the Spartans to open to $18 million on a weak weekend, that TWC is doing half that business with a comparable cast (that is to say – no one) and premise means that the losing streak continues. There is no joy in watching the Weinstein’s go down. It’s like watching Kong getting roped down in any version of the film. Yes, Harvey could be a destructive force, but not like this. Not like this. If the film gets near $30 it would take some pushin’, though it likely cost very little, and may save itself some embarrassment when it hits DVD.
Horton is holding on strong, but faces direct competition next week with Nim’s Island. Since both pictures are the ward of Fox, it’ll be interesting to see who they shank. Horton could conceivably get to $150, and Nim’s may be a throwaway, but it’ll be interesting to see who gets favored nation status. At least Horton took a light drop, and is nearing $120.
Last week Shutter trumped Drillbit Taylor, but this weekend their fortunes are reversed. Since Drillbit plays younger, it’s likely it will have a little more ooph in the end, but the differences in box office gross will be negligible. In DVD sales, much larger.
Simon Pegg is enough of a name to get a film to 2.5 million on 1,000 screens. Will Star Trek raise his stock or lower it? Who cares? Run Fatboy, Run cost $10 Million, and already made its money in England, so there’s a sense of “eh” wen it case to the American release. What theatrical does here is offer a chance for exposure prior to the DVD release. Since Pegg has a following, the DVD sales will likely reflect that interest, while the domestic take won’t be much, with the limited screen count, it’s possible it will play a little bit longer, and perhaps even get close to Ten Million. But if you’re going to fail at the BO, fail small. This, though, isn’t much of a blip for anyone.
But the big story of the week (I’m a lede-burying motherfucker, I’ve got lime in my trunk and everything) is the continued failure of Iraq-based films at the box office. Stop Loss had its marketing re jiggered so the focus was on hot boys running around shirtless, and was sold as an MTV picture. But no amount of nudging could hide the fact that it was a serious of intention movie. That it took Kimberly Pierce nine years to return to the big screen is something of a loss as well, and that this film didn’t do well is no surprise, but a blow nonetheless. Alas, this picture may also be marked as the film that ruined Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon’s marriage, which is also another stigma against the film. Whereas people were into the idea of Brad Pitt trading up for Angelia Jolie, there isn’t that base level of carnality to Phillipe and Abbie Cornish to make this that sort of curio. Alas.
The rest of the top ten suggests the off season we’re in. The Bank Job is holding on fairly well for what it is, while it’ll be fun to see Warner’s try and limp 10,000 B.C. to nine digits. Next week offers Jodie Foster, George Clooney, some killer weed(s), and new films from Martin Scorsese and Wong Kar-Wai. Since there’s a region three release of My Blueberry Nights, the most interesting part of seeing My Blueberry Nights on the big screen will be seeing if Harvey Weinstein put his weight on it.