Tonight, much of America will watch the results of a bunch of stuffy, old, pretentious shadow people known as the “Academy” pick the “best” from the crop of last year’s films. Somehow, many will endure a condescending four hour ceremony that discusses fashion more than it discusses film. I’m speaking, of course, of the Academy Awards AKA The Oscars, an awards show for which I have not one shred of respect, nor any patience for. My night will be spent watching The Amazing Race and The Walking Dead. That said, there are movies to discuss, as this weekend, a former number one rises back up to claim the crown once again.
After finishing second last week, Identity Thief meanders back into the top spot, mostly because everything else either fell hard or failed to open impressively. The McCarthy/Bateman flick dropped 41% to just over $14 million, lifting its gross to an impressive $94 million. This film has clearly resonated much more strongly with audiences than it did with critics. It’s by far 2013’s highest grossing film and will likely remain so until Oz: The Great and Powerful comes along, although I could see that one flopping.
Opening in second, Snitch pulled in a decent $13 million. This is significantly better than the debuts of The Last Stand, Parker and Bullet to the Head, proving that The Rock is a bigger box office draw than his older action hero compatriots. It had a solid venue average of $5,177, which was the best in the top ten.
Escape from Planet Earth slipped just 31% to $11 million. With $35 million in the bank, this is turning into a surprise hit. I guess kids really have been so starved for entertainment lately that even a film this bad could break out. In fourth, Safe Haven dropped 51% to $10.6 million. Its $48 million total so far seems to indicate it shouldn’t have much trouble beating The Lucky One, but it will fall short of Dear John.
Plummeting 60% and crashing all the way from first to first to fifth is A Good Day to Die Hard. When a Nicholas Sparks movie has better legs than you, you know you’re in trouble. Anyway, McClane pulled in $10 million even, bringing the gross to $52 million. $100 million is totally out of the question. This might be enough of a disappointment to effectively kill the franchise. It’s a sad note to go out on.
Dark Skies opened to just $8.9 million, which makes me happy, since even among horror films, it looked atrocious. In contrast, a good movie, Silver Linings Playbook, followed in seventh place. Playbook continued its fantastic legs, slipping a miniscule 3% to $6.05 million. It’s got $107.5 million in the bank now, and if Jennifer Lawrence takes away Best Actress tonight (which, as much as I love her, she really shouldn’t; Jessica Chastain deserves it more), its already fantastic stamina will get boosted even more.
Down 46%, Warm Bodies grossed $4.75 million. Its $58 million total puts it sixth among zombie movies, although the top of that chart is crowed and Warm Bodies should easily leapfrog a few films to finish third for the genre. Although, I’m a bit confused as to why BoxOfficeMojo counts Hotel Transylvania as a zombie movie. I’m happy to see this one do so well; I’ll have to catch it on Netflix in a few months.
Side Effects dropped 44% to $3.5 million, lifting its total to $25.3 million. And, finally, in tenth, the disappointment that was Beautiful Creatures crumbled 55% to $3.4 million, increasing its weak gross to $16.4 million. By next weekend, the Oscars will thankfully be behind us, but the aftereffects might persist for a few weeks, especially for Silver Linings Playbook. Next weekend heralds the beginning of March (and meteorological spring), so the box office should start to pick up.
The Last Exorcism Part II: Of all the inexplicable sequels ever made, this one is definitely near the top of the list. The first one somehow opened to $20 million, but I don’t see that happening again. Exorcism films seem to generally open a little above the normal standard for horror films, so I’ll say….$14 million? Sounds about right.
21 and Over: Well, this is basically Project X 2. And it looks as stupid, even not more so. Glamorizing rampant drunkenness and partying. Gotta love it. I’ll say an opened weekend of $12 million.
Jack the Giant Slayer: Add another film to the list of movies that take classic stories and make them more “adult” or “gritty” but definitely more action-packed. From the trailers, it doesn’t look like this has the self-awareness to justify the concept, but whatever. I say give it $22 million for its opening weekend. Well, that about wraps it up. Good luck if you’re going to try to endure the Oscars tonight. Until we meet again.