Weekend Box Office: ‘Nightmare’ at #1, People Continue to Love/Hate Terrible Movies


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


  1. Dick Ward

    I haven’t seen it yet – I have a firm stance about contributing to the opening weekend gross of remakes, and bad movies in general – but I’ll be shelling out the cash for Nightmare. I know I shouldn’t, but I feel like I need to see Jackie Earle Haley as Freddie.

    What’s your expectation for Iron Man 2? It’ll be hard to top the first, even with that awful ending fight sequence.

  2. Rob

    I know people, friends and critics alike, who loved the new Elm Street, and while I don’t go to theaters anymore, I will be netflixing this on blu-ray in four months, whereas I will not be netflixing that kiddie dragon junk.

    The key to Nightmare, and Iron Man 2, is the game of Expectation Management. I consider Iron Man 1 a good B-movie. If Iron Man 2 is an average, or good, or great B-movie, then I’ll be delighted. But everyone has to adjust their own levels of hope for themselves.

    In the history of film, the only B-movies I consider great are X-Men 2, The Dark Knight, and Lord Of The Rings. So I’m hoping to add Iron Man 2 to the list, but it won’t kill me if I only find it average.

    Anything with Robert Downey Jr I’ll watch at least once, even junk he phones in for the money.

  3. nightmare was actually fairly decent…

    even if it showcases mediocre acting and the overused already out dated fast scares, it was an enjoyable flick.

    the changes made to the story actually made it more appealing (though they still are 20+ actors trying to play teenagers.), freddy is brutal and a genuine psychopathic being, with the humor spewed from his vile mouth amazingly dark.

    i had a good time watching it, jumped quite a few times, and had plenty of wtf moments. though fans and critics are all split down the millde, its a love or hate it film.


  4. Drew Taylor

    My expectations for “Iron Man 2” are firmly in the “I hope it to be a fun ride” category, and if it’s something more (which I’m extremely doubtful it will be), then I’ll be happily surprised.

    Re: Rob – I’m not sure what your categorization of a “B-movie” is. (First and foremost, the hyphen should be gone – goodbye hyphen!) B movies, traditionally, are lower budget movies designed purely for cheap thrills and are thought of as redheaded stepchildren of their bigger budget studio counterparts. (Like, say, “Piranha” being the B movie version of “Jaws.”)

    Today, movies like “Iron Man” are prestige, event pictures that the studio tries to wrangle for both box office gold and Academy Award consideration. Hell, they bumped the Best Picture nominees to tend because people were so upset about “The Dark Knight’s” exclusion from the race.

    Also, Rob, it’s telling for you to dismiss “How to Train Your Dragon” as “kiddie junk” when it’s one of the best reviewed movies of the year (and also one of the most hands-down enjoyable). Abre los ojos, partner.

    “Nightmare” was not fairly decent, in this or any other dimension. It’s unimaginative trash that was brought about with the minimum aount of talent, precision, or care. Skip it now and skip it on home video. The end.

    • Rob


      A is for Art Movie. B is for Badass Movie. C is for Crap Movie. W is for Wife Movie. I understand the classic definition of B Movie (though I was unsure of the hyphen-ing).

      Every entertainment has an audience. The question is its size. I know that many audiences and critics love the kiddie dragon film. I knew that months ago from test screening reviews at AICN. Doesn’t mean I care. I’m not watching the film. I’m not reading the book. I have limited time, and know my tastes.

      I don’t netflix “kiddie junk” unless my wife requests it. She saw the trailer, and has no interest, so dragon training gets a pass. The last B Movie my wife requested was ‘Vampyres’ on blu-ray, which we liked.

      The critic I respect the most is Harry at AICN. I’ve been checking out his recomendations for ten years, and find our tastes are similar. I stopped using Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic a long time ago.

      I’ve only been checking High-Def Digest since HD-DVD launched. This and AICN are the only two movie sites I check every day. To be honest, I mostly check HDD for the video quality reviews, but I add to my Q based on those opinions. So if ‘Nightmare’ gets three stars or below for its video quality, I will skip it. If the HD transfer is solid, I’m going to take a whack at it, because Harry praised the hell out of it.

      I’m glad you added The Bonus View. I enjoy the kinds of writing you guys have been publishing.