I am filled with turkey goodness. And regret. Mostly turkey though.
FOUR PICTURE WEEKEND
Well, as is readily apparent, none of the competition to Harry Potter made much of an impression on Wednesday. This is what amounts to a counter-programming weekend. The main picture hurt by this onslaught of new is Megamind, in the sense that it now has direct competition for 3-D animation, and it looks like Tangled is on its way to being a $100+ hit for Disney.
But even at nine digits, Tangled looks like a modest success. Cel animation has been on the wind down for quite some time, and though it may come back at a certain point, it may also become antiquated. And at this point – if they’re both in house – cel animation is the best reason to use the Disney label. It’s expensive, and becomes about toys and other ephemera. It looks like Jon Lasseter has expressed interest in keeping cel animation alive, though – to be fair – the business model for Disney animation was corrupted by their successes in the 1990’s, which led to diminishing returns in trying to churn out a title a year. Pixar kept quality control higher, and became a go to, Disney was just churning out whatever. Now that they’re also doing CG animation, they’re the off brand. The Princess and the Frog was a modest success last year, and this looks to improve on that. They’ve been talking about this being the last in a cycle, but nothing changes minds faster than money. That said, I don’t think the film will get to $200 or over, which would be an out of the box, runaway situation. This strikes me as something that gets over $150, which is great money, but not enough to turn tides.
Faster opened to less than $2 Million on Wednesday. Dwayne Johnson is a supposed movie star, but a star without real successes. It’s easy to poo-poo his kids films, but The Game Plan is his most successful starring vehicle that isn’t The Scorpion King, and the latter had a lot to do with the franchise it came from. Faster is also part of the CBS films slate of the year, which has been filled with underperformers. As the film was done on the reasonable cheap, it may yet eke out a profit. I would like to see Johnson get in a position of being a star, as he looks like a guy who could beat the shit out of someone, which is a nice change from the Tobey Maguire or Matt Damon types, guys who can pack on muscle, but don’t look like they could handle a good old fashioned bar fight. Faster should pick up during the weekend, but eh.
Burlesque is the Christina Aguilera vehicle to launch her into film star status. Yeah, that’s not happening. This may be the second highest grosser of the newcomers, but it was probably way too expensive for what it is. It’s also a film that suggests camp, and films like that often have a longer shelf life – but they have to be entertaining. I hear good things about this, re: camp value, and it already sounds better than Crossroads or Glitter. But then so does getting crabs. I heard the film cost way more than it should have, so even if the film does a healthy $50-$60 it may not make money, though in this case the soundtrack might outsell ticket sales. Much like Xanadu.
Love and Other Drugs is the latest from Edward Zwick, who makes a lot of “thank god for white people” movies. This doesn’t seem to have an ethnic supporting cast that white people help, but the word early was this was about Anne Hathaway’s brave (read: exceptionally naked) performance. And though I’m sure clips of it will last long into the future, and be visible on all sorts of perv websites, the film didn’t pick up any traction. Sandra Bullock won in a weak year with a hit film. Hathaway’s got Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman to deal with, and possibly Annette Bening. She’s got little in her corner if the movie’s being dissed as formula fare. The middlebrow high profile critic is a dying species, as is audience enthusiasm for those sorts of pictures. Portman may get into trouble if Your Highness comes out anywhere near award season. Get Norbit on the ass. I would. HOMINA. Anyway, this didn’t work, and it’s going to disappear quick, unless academy screeners change the tide.
HAVE A HEART, I HAVE A HEART, SIXTEEN SIX, SIX SIX, LIKE THE PREDICTION
Harry Potter reigns supreme. I still think the film is going to have problems getting over $300, but it should have healthy numbers end of weekend. There’s that.
1. HP7.1 – $48.5 Million
2. Tangled – $42 Million
3. BurlIvesesque - $14.5 Million
4. Megamind – $12.8 Million
5. Faster – $11 Million
And then Sunday I’ll talk about sanctions on North Korea.