Monday, September 7, 2009

The year's most boring weekend box office review (I hope)

What exactly is there worth discussing about the four-day weekend box office? Lionsgate's Gamer ($11.1 million) opened like War and Crank, give or take a million bucks (so it'll end up with the same around-$25 million final gross). All About Steve ($13.9 million or about what The Proposal made on its first day) opened at the low-end of the normal Sandra Bullock rom-coms, but it won't have the usual Sandra Bullock legs. Halloween II sank like a stone, meaning that Weinstein Company can have it out on DVD by Halloween if they so choose. The Final Destination topped the box office again with $15.4 million. At $50 million, it will pass the previous three films by next week, meaning we'll get another one of these in two years time. Inglourious Basterds and District 9 are still doing nearly identical business, on a week-to-week basis (District 9 crossed $100 million, while Inglourious Basterds had the same 21-day total of $91 million that District 9 had last weekend). Extract bombed per usual for Mike Judge comedies ($5.3 million), and it will again likely be an eventual cult classic on DVD.

In would-be milestones, Julie & Julia crossed $80 million, The Proposal crossed $160 million, Up crossed $290 million, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra crossed $140 million. But the major milestone of note belongs to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. On its 74th day, the Michael Bay rock-em sock-em robots sequel crossed the $400 million mark. It is the ninth film in history to do so, and the seventh to do so without a rerelease (Star Wars: A New Hope and ET: The Extra Terrestrial did it with the help of rereleases). It is also, for what its worth, the slowest of the seven films to cross said number in their first release. Expect the film to lose pretty much all of its first-run screens next weekend, as Paramount now has the bragging rights and needs to divert money to the DVD/Blu Ray release.

And that's all I have for this weekend. I'll try to care a little more next weekend, when Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (otherwise known as "Madea Begins") tries to prove that Madea Goes to Jail and its $40 million opening weekend was not a fluke. It probably was, so anything over $20 million should be considered a big win for Lionsgate. A bigger question mark is the dark, PG-13 animated fable 9, which opens on Wednesday (09/09/09, natch). Oh, and Sorority Row also opens, a girl-friendly horror remake that shockingly didn't come from Screen Gems. Oddly enough, Summit Entertainment went for the R-rating this time. My wife wants to see it so, should I succumb, Margo Harshman (Even Stevens, From Within, Simon Says) had best not be the first one to die.

Scott Mendelson

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