Even though the movie was marred by terrible reviews (including one from yours truly), it was still thought that ‘The Tourist’ would top the box office this weekend. The combined draw of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, as well as the intriguing “sexy international thriller” vibe that the trailers and TV spots put out, should have been enough to get people flocking (FLOCKING) to the cinemas. Meanwhile, Fox released the third installment in the very-literally-preachy ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series after Disney backed out following the catastrophic box office of the second film, to tepid reviews and only so-so word of mouth. But it turns out that you just can’t keep a good Jesus Lion down!
That’s right, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader‘ (was there a marquee big enough to print that whole title?) was #1 this weekend with $25 million. That’s not exactly impressive, when you factor in how many of the theaters were showing the film in 3-D (which equals another few bucks per ticket). Also, even though the film’s budget was halved from the time it was set up at Disney, it still supposedly cost $150 million. Keep in mind that next weekend, ‘Tron: Legacy‘ – a glitzy $300 million video art piece that Disney is marketing as THE entertainment of the holiday season – will be gobbling up most of the 3-D screens that are currently showing the exploits of impressionable white children and their fantastical adventures with Christian allegories. So, what I’m trying to say, is that ‘Narnia’ better savor its current position, because it’s not going to be there for long.
Coming in at #2 was the terrible ‘The Tourist‘ with $17.5 million. The movie looked like it was hugely expensive, and this is a pretty “meh” opening for this size film. The word of mouth, once it gets out, should be toxic. (However, an old lady with terrible taste told me she “Loved it” and that it “introduced her to Johnny Depp” – Where has she been the past 30 years?) I hated this movie and I’m sure you did too.
At #3 was ‘Tangled‘, Disney’s pretty 3-D animated princess romp. In its third weekend, the film has eclipsed the $100 million mark. It’s the fastest Disney animated feature to do so since ‘The Lion King’. Could a third Disney renaissance be upon us? (The trailer for the new ‘Winnie the Pooh’ movie had me tearing up, no joke.)
Expanding to 90 theaters, Darren Aronofsky’s drop-dead brilliant ‘Black Swan‘ cracked the Top 10 with $3.5 million. That is beyond impressive considering that Tony Scott’s ‘Unstoppable‘, which played on nearly 3,000 screens, made just a few hundred thousand dollars more. It’s looking like ‘Black Swan’ may be something of an art house juggernaut, and easily the biggest hit of Aronofsky’s career. It will go to wide release on the 22nd, or so I’m told. This is all very exciting, because the movie is so damn good. A solid box office return could very much help its chances at Oscar gold.
Just one more note before I leave you with the list. I finally got around to seeing ‘Love and Other Drugs‘ this weekend (#8, $3 million). It’s far from a bad movie, but it doesn’t have that necessary “oomph” to take it into anybody’s top ten lists or to register with Academy voters. For all of Anne Hathaway’s (literally) naked ambition, you don’t learn all that much about her character. She has Parkinson’s… she’s a good lay… and…? She’s an artist and works at a coffee shop? She’s supposed to be this amazing female character, but the movie hopelessly fails the Bechdel Test, in sad and horrifying ways. Director Edward Zwick has made a career out of directing films that supposedly focus on a minority group but instead cast a white guy as the hero (like Tom Cruise as ‘The Last Samurai‘). This might be his most flagrant indiscretion. Without giving more of her, it’s just a movie about a dude selling Viagra. That’s kind of a, errm, hard sell.
The Top 10:
01 ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ (Fox) – $25 million
02 ‘The Tourist’ (Sony) – $17.5 million
03 ‘Tangled’ (Disney) – $15 million
04 ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1’ (Warner Bros) – $8.4 million
05 ‘Unstoppable’ (Fox) – $3.8 million
06 ‘Black Swan’ (Fox) – $3.5 million
07 ‘Burlesque’ (Sony) – $3.3 million
08 ‘Love and Other Drugs’ (Fox) – $3 million
09 ‘Megamind’ (Dream Works Animation/Paramount) – $2.7 million
10 ‘Due Date’ (Warner Bros) – $2.5 million