Weekend Recap: There May be Hope After All
This weekend’s box office numbers can best be described as a blood bath, but maybe that’s exactly what we need. All three of the big tickets opening this weekend (Conan the Barbarian, Spy Kids 4d, and Fright Night) had disastrous releases, earning $12MM, $10.5MM, and $8.3MM, respectively. This is probably due to the fact that Conan and Spy Kids were rehashed versions of already sh*tty movies and while Fright Night was generally well received, the publicity was pretty weak. Maybe we’re finally getting tired of re-booted franchises? Maybe we do want some semblance of story?
The absolute demolition of two movies which were entirely about the spectacle couldn’t have come at a better time. After all, it was just last week that Disney exec Andy Hendrickson claimed (to paraphrase), “Story doesn’t matter when you’re making tentpoles.” (Vince Mancini of Filmdrunk wrote an excellent rebuttal) They handed out scratch and sniff cards before Spy Kids, which is basically admitting that you have nothing to offer in terms of story and instead going for an entirely idiotic spectacle. How’d that one work out? As for Conan apparently it was 2 hours of Jason Momoa running around with a sword, saving big-titted slaves, set to a soundtrack by Disturbed (I’m just guessing on the last one), doesn’t sound like much story was involved. Of course, it’s likely that the studios will take the wrong message from this and just go stupider, but a man is allowed to hope for better right?
As for movies that actually did do well, The Help earned the top spot again with $20.5MM, because white people rule! Rise of the Planet of the Apes also stayed strong, earning $16.3MM. In case you were wondering, The Smurfs earned $8MM to take the 6th spot and has earned a worldwide cumulative gross of $329MM. All that optimism I had a paragraph ago? It’s completely gone. Expect to see five Smurfs movies in the next eight years.