I was really hoping that Dean DuBois and Chris Sanders’ charming ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ would pull ahead for another weekend. Sadly, this did not happen. Instead, some crummy remake stole the top stop while the rest of the top ten looked pretty much the same. One debut movie made a very weak impact, despite it being chock full of cute and cuddly critters.
So, the weekend’s biggest (and lousiest) movie was New Line’s glossy, imagination-free remake of Wes Craven’s 1984 horror classic ‘Nightmare on Elm Street.’ It brought in an impressive $32.2 million dollars. Who knows if this is because the only other big release this week was the Brendan Fraser kiddie comedy ‘Furry Vengeance,’ or because teenagers were buying tickets just looking for a dark place to make out? Whatever the reason, this is a BIG weekend for Freddy (with greater attendance than Rob Zombie’s smash ‘Halloween’ remake back in 2007). According to Nikki Finke, New Line has already engaged the pre-production mechanisms for a sequel shot, of course, in 3-D. Hopefully they’ll spring for a few more dollars and maybe a quality director? May I take the time to suggest Andre Bustillo and Julien Maury, co-directors of outstanding French horror flick ‘Inside’?
The weekend’s other big opening was ‘Furry Vengeance,’ the movie where Brendan Fraser gets harassed by a bunch of woodland animals who are offended by the aggressive nature of his weird toupee. (The last part of that plot synopsis is pure speculation. I haven’t seen the movie nor do I know if Fraser’s weird coif is a hair piece.) The movie debuted in the abysmal fifth spot. So, yes, it was beaten not only by ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ which, in its sixth week, maintained a solid second spot, but the four-week-old lame duck Tina Fey/Steve Carell rom com ‘Date Night’ (which has made almost $75 million) and the Jennifer Lopez pregnancy comedy ‘The Back Up Plan.’ Yes, really.
Somehow, I think a 3-D sequel to ‘Furry Vengeance’ just isn’t going to happen.
Rounding out the top ten was not-terrible comic adaptation ‘The Losers’ at #6, which brought in another $6 million. At #7 was the truly awful ‘Clash of the Titans’ redo, which brought its cumulative box office past the $150 million mark, which makes the announcement last week that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures were moving forward with a sequel make a little bit more sense. ‘Kick-Ass’ is dipping out of the Top 10 fast, at #8 with less than $5 million. (I saw it again this weekend and liked it even more the second time.) The rest of the top ten are also movies that seem to deflating quicker than the studios would appreciate, with Sony’s ‘Death at a Funeral’ at #9 and Disney’s ‘Oceans’ at #10.
Speaking of Disney, Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ 3-D fantasia finally dropped out of the Top 10 this week, coming in at #12 (just behind another Disney flick – the Miley Cyrus drama ‘The Last Song‘). ‘Alice’ has racked up nearly $320 million since its release in March and it now seems doubtful that it’ll cross that $400 million mark before its debut on home video the first week of June.
The U.S. box office should get a nice shot in the arm this weekend when the first big summer movie, Paramount and Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 2,’ opens wide. (We’ll be seeing it on Tuesday night and have a review for you gremlins on Wednesday morning.) The hugely budgeted sequel, again directed by Jon Favreau, opened in many territories on April 29th (to give it more time to make an impact before the World Cup starts in early June) and has already grossed more than $100 million overseas. Most box office prognosticators are predicting ‘Iron Man 2’ could easily make $150 million this weekend, setting the stage for an eventual third movie as well as Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ movie, which would reunite a half dozen of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (as it’s now known), including the stars of next summer’s ‘Captain America’ and ‘Thor.’
The full top 10 below:
01 ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ (New Line Cinema) – $32.2 million
02 ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (DreamWorks Animation) – $10.8 million
03 ‘Date Night’ (Fox) – $7.6 million
04 ‘The Back Up Plan’ (CBS Films) – $7.2 million
05 ‘Furry Vengeance’ (Summit) – $6.5 million
06 ‘The Losers’ (Warner Bros.) – $6 million
07 ‘Clash of the Titans’ (Warner Bros.) – $5.9 million
08 ‘Kick-Ass’ (Lionsgate) – $4.4 million
09 ‘Death at a Funeral’ (Sony) – $4 million
10 ‘Oceans’ (Disneynature) – $2.6 million