The three big movies that opened this weekend couldn’t be more different: a spooky haunted house thriller, a high concept kids film about the mythical inner life of the Easter Bunny, and a trippy sci-fi film about time travel, alternate universes and the power of true love (Awww…). What’s amazing is that all of these movies found their audiences this weekend, while Zack Snyder’s atrocious ‘Sucker Punch’ continues to be overlooked. Yay!
Shocking to precisely no one, Universal’s kiddie flick ‘Hop‘, which I found more or less reprehensible and creatively void, won the weekend blood bath by taking in $38 million for the #1 spot. Even though this weekend’s total box office receipts were down 30% from the same time last year, this is still a pretty impressive haul for a movie that doesn’t really have any big names, just a cuddly bunny. It’s sad that a film so dull and uninteresting can capture the collective imagination like this. But hey, they can’t all be ‘Rango‘, can they?
I was pleasantly surprised that the #2 movie was the thinking-person’s sci-fi flick ‘Source Code‘, which raked in $14.8 million. It’s rare for a film this smart to connect like it has, but people seemed to be looking for a little challenge this weekend. (The movie’s seemingly never-ending marketing and promotional blitz certainly didn’t hurt either.) Hopefully, between this and ‘Inception‘, studios will realize that an audience doesn’t just need to sit there and watch stuff transform; a little texture, a little thematic and intellectual gristle, can go a long way. I can see this eking out a fair little profit by the time things are all said and done. It might not be a blockbuster, but it’ll certainly qualify as a sleeper hit, especially when it hits home video, where people can discover it at their leisure. The film benefits from multiple viewings, for sure.
Another new entry, James Wan’s ‘Insidious‘, opened at #3 with $13.2 million. The marketing for this one sure was savvy, with its ‘Paranormal Activity’-type sales pitch. I really hated this movie and hope it dies a quick and violent box office death…
Which brings us to ‘Sucker Punch‘, my favorite punching bag! The $150 million disaster about pretty young girls who escape to a fantasy world when they’re getting raped (Huzzah!), dropped like a rock to #7 with a meager $6 million. That’s down a whopping 67% from last weekend, which wasn’t all that spectacular a debut. The movie has still made more than ‘Mars Needs Moms’, but this is going to be a colossal money loser for Warner Bros. And rightfully so – it’s an ugly, unerringly stupid and sexist movie. I’m so thrilled that audiences everywhere are giving it the cold shoulder it so rightfully deserves. Don’t look for the new ‘Superman’ movie posters to proclaim: “From the visionary director of Sucker Punch!”
I’m heartened that ‘Limitless‘, a movie I enjoyed far more than I should have, has some staying power. It hung in there for the #5 position with another $9.3 million. That has brought its total haul to $55.7 million, more than doubling its production budget already. The movie is really, really cool and fun.
The Top 10:
01 ‘Hop’ (Universal) – $38 million
02 ‘Source Code’ (Summit) – $14.8 million
03 ‘Insidious’ (Film District) – $13.2 million
04 ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2’ (Fox) – $10.2 million
05 ‘Limitless’ (Relativity) – $9.3 million
06 ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ (Lionsgate) – $7 million
07 ‘Sucker Punch’ (Warner Bros) – $6 million
08 ‘Rango’ (Paramount) – $5 million
09 ‘Paul’ (Universal) – $4 million
10 ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ (Sony) – $3.5 million