Another week, another horrible movie flocked to by mass audiences. In this case, it’s the frenetic, charmless, outrageously unfunny DreamWorks Animation trifle ‘Megamind,’ which brought in a staggering amount of money (nearly $50 million). If there’s any consolation to my gloom-and-doom outlook, there was a little movie on a limited number of screens that reported lines out the door and sell-out attendance. But we’ll get to that in a minute. For now, let’s shed a big, blue, oversized tear for the travesty that is ‘Megamind’ and all those audiences who probably felt ripped off afterwards (especially if they paid extra for the wholly unnecessary 3-D version).
‘Megamind‘ netted a whopping $46.7 million over the weekend, easily claiming the #1 spot. For a while there, it looked like it might be under-performing, but this was chalked up to a computing error within the AMC movie theater chain’s systems, and not an actual indication of the film’s box office. Like most DreamWorks Animation movies, this is a really lousy flick. Also like most DreamWorks Animation movies, it will probably make a boatload of money and spawn more, even less exciting sequels. Sigh.
The #2 slot belonged to Todd Phillps’ middling road movie ‘Due Date‘, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifoanaraskanaiakis. It racked up an impressively sizable $33.5 million, which is pretty good for a non-sequel R-rated comedy. Even more formulaic and strained than Phillips’ previous blockbuster, ‘The Hangover‘, ‘Due Date’ is like a dumbed-down ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, without any of the heart or cutting humor of that film. But hey! It has a masturbating dog! So America ate it up with a plastic spoon.
In third place was Tyler Perry’s drama ‘For Colored Girls‘, which a friend of mine described as “the movie where Janet Jackson gets AIDS.” Sounds lovely. It earned $20.1 million. Even though its Oscar buzz has dissipated significantly, mostly due to unfavorable critical notices, the film clearly has a chance to drum up some decent box office.
It was pretty much business-as-usual for the rest of the box office. ‘Saw 3D‘ took the expected fall (-66%), while everything else held tight. ‘Jackass 3D‘ was the #7 movie of the week with $5 million. (I’m sure it’s fighting for the remaining 3-D screens after ‘Megamind’ and ‘Saw 3D’ showed up.) I finally saw it this week and was actually fairly impressed with the movie. It’s silly and vile, but the 3-D effect (which isn’t used throughout the whole movie – buyer beware) adds a certain degree of artistic oomph to the project. Ditto the use of the Phantom digital camera, which records images at 1,000 frames-per-second and provides those great slow-motion shots.
This will probably be the last weekend that my beloved ‘The Social Network‘ will remain in the Top 10. It will leave with around $90 million. Depending on its Oscar chances, it could easily make another $10-$20 million before its theatrical run is up. Or Sony could rush this thing out to DVD/Blu-ray in a guaranteed bid for Oscar gold. (It’s a cost cutting measure that ‘Inglourious Basterds‘ used last year to big results.)
On the positive side of things, ‘127 Hours‘ – Danny Boyle’s masterpiece about survival, hope, and boulders – reported great success in the four theaters where it played in New York and Los Angeles. Supposedly there were sell-out crowds and lines around the block, with each theater averaging almost $70,000. Not too shabby. Look for things to improve greatly as the movie gains more and more screens each week. It should be everywhere by the beginning of December.
The Top 10:
01 ‘Megamind’ (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) – $47.6 million
02 ‘Due Date’ (Warner Bros) – $33.5 million
03 ‘For Colored Girls’ (Lionsgate) – $20.1 million
04 ‘RED’ (Summit) – $8.9 million
05 ‘Saw 3D’ (Lionsgate) – $8.2 million
06 ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ (Paramount) – $7.2 million
07 ‘Jackass 3D’ (Paramount) – $5 million
08 ‘Secretariat’ (Disney) – $4 million
09 ‘Hereafter’ (Warner Bros) – $4 million
10 ‘The Social Network (Sony) – $3.6 million