Well, my Steelers went out yesterday and played like CHUMPS, The Fountain crashed before takeoff, and most of America seems to have aligned themselves cinematically with those demonic penguins. So what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
In an effort to pull myself out of this holiday funk, lets look at the five day figures and see what good came out of it, shall we? First and foremost, Bobby added 1,665 theatres and pulled in $6 million to come in at number nine. A per screen average of $3,600 is only so-so, but it still looks to do better than Men at Work (Emilio sets the bar pretty low…). My single favorite figure this week has to be the percentage jump for Bobby: 8,707%. Of course, it was only in two theatres last week, but still, it’s fun to see a movie’s box office climb by eight thousand percent.
At the risk of drawing the uni-bomber out of retirement, I’m going to state right out that I am not a Tenacious D fan. I have friends who put it on every time I come over, and no matter how many times I see it in varying states of sobriety, it’s always made me cringe more than laugh. Nothing against Jack Black, but it brought a smile to my face when I saw that The Pick of Destiny only did $5 million for a $2,700 average to land at number eleven on the list (worse, even, than The Fountain, despite having 500 more theatres).
I’m reaching for this little tidbit of good news, but Deck the Halls opened with $16.8 million in the number four spot. I only mention it because I caught some of The Big Kahuna on IFC a few weeks ago and was reminded what a terrific and subtle actor Danny DeVito can be when he’s given the chance. Halls is almost certainly not that chance, but it’s still good to see him open a feature with so-so numbers. Here’s hoping it brings him some better work.
So that’s the good news. In the category of ‘eh…’ news, Happy Feet took the long weekend with $51.5 million, putting its total at $100 million even. I just can’t help but wonder, if Feet swapped release dates with Flushed Away or Barnyard, would they swap box office totals, too?
Casino Royale came in at number two with $45 million and a $94 million total. It looks to have bailed out the Bond franchise and given Daniel Craig’s career a jumpstart, but Box Office Mojo is reporting the budget at $150 million dollars. With no stars. Wasn’t this supposed to be the pared-down, gadget-less Bond? Where did all that money go? My personal conjecture is that, like Superman, Sony blew a ton of money on development, but it seems to have paid off. With the foreign totals, it’s at $222 million, well into the black with lots of weeks left in the top ten.
Deck the Halls came in at number four, followed by Borat with $15.4 million and a total of $109. Sacha Baron Cohen is officially a movie star. That’s the power of box office, folks. A few weeks ago, he did a fairly obscure show for a pay cable network. Now he’s joined the ranks of Will Ferrell and Steve Carell as the hottest comic properties in Hollywood. As long as he doesn’t screw up too badly, he’ll never have to work again.
Just like that.
The Santa Clause 3 finished sixth with $13.8 million and a $67 million cume. Stranger Than Fiction was seventh with $8.4 million and a $32 million total, just over it’s $30 million dollar budget. Flushed Away was next with $7.6 million, followed by Bobby’s $6 million.
Finally, in the ten spot, The Fountain opened to just $5.4 million from 1400 theatres for a $3,600 average. Guess those guys at Fox are glad they made Darren trim the budget down. Numbers aside, though, I’d like to buy Richard Corliss at Time a beer for giving it a good review as well, although for slightly different reasons, I think (I was less enamored with the love story than with the thematic complexities).
He also points out an interesting coincidence. It’s mostly well known that The Fountain was set to go a few years ago with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchette, until Pitt dropped out to do Troy. Pitt and Blanchette did wind up together in Babel, playing roles very similar to the ones they would have had in The Fountain. I wonder if there wasn’t a twinge of artistic guilt in Pitt after the Fountain fiasco that led him to take another part in a low-budget indie, or if some aspect of that never-let-go-of-the-one-you-love role just appeals to him.
I had a chance to check out Babel this weekend, and it’s a terrific, devastating film. I like Inarritu a lot, and this is his best film by far. It’s paltry $15 million cume is a travesty, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. I know all the talk is about Pitt in all his scruffiness , but the real standouts in this one are Adriana Barraza as an illegal immigrant working as Pitt’s nanny, and Rinko Kikuchi as an a deaf Japanese girl. That’s not to dismiss Brad; he’s very good here, but any time a movie star sheds their good looks, it seems to spell Oscar better than some genuinely deserving performances from lesser known actors.
That’s it for today. Join us next Monday when Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj proves just how far National Lampoon’s is from being relevant anymore, The Nativity Story proves that Passion of the Christ was a fluke, and Turistas proves that Hostel was as well.