The following are the weekend box office results including the biggest winners and losers for the week ending November 13, 2011:
WINNERS: “Immortals,” “Puss in Boots”
Well, this was… unexpected! While I didn’t expect it to bomb, I certainly didn’t think Tarsem’s razzle dazzle sizzle fest “Immortals,” featuring bronze Gods, their oily eight-packs and future Superman Henry Cavill (who’ll appear in 2013’s “Man of Steel”) to have the muscle to open with a terrific $32 million over both, two time box office titan “Puss in Boots” and Adam Sandler in drag! Looks like all those “From the producers whose brother-in-laws brought you ‘300’” commercials with guys screaming about Sparta or some nonsense like that actually paid off! While it definitely didn’t have the opening weekend of the similar “300” ($70.9 million) or “Clash of the Titans” ($61.2 million), those two movies had the backing of Warner Brothers, arguably the best studio in Hollywood, behind them. In comparison, “Immortals’” parent studio Relativity Media has had only eight movies on their resume – with this spring’s “Limitless” being the only title worth mentioning. With a production budget reported to be $75 million, “Immortals” still has a while to go before becoming a profitable entity for Relativity but considering the severe lack of action alternatives for young males in the market currently, I don’t think this one’s disappearing anytime soon seeing how next week’s two releases (“Breaking Dawn,” “Happy Feet 2”) are strictly focusing on young females and family respectively. But more on those two films later. Not surprisingly, critics were tough on the flick (Rotten Tomatoes: 37%), who lambasted the film for showcasing style over substance. However, Cinemascore voters were far more lenient, rewarding the film with a commendable “B” grade (and a very good “B+” among those under 25) signaling word-of-mouth will largely be positive.
The swashbuckling cat continued his tango as “Puss in Boots” continued its fantastic run at the box office, slipping by just 25% this weekend for a $24.7 weekend haul. With that impressive weekend take, el Gato’s stash now holds a terrific $108 million and change. Looks like a final tally of $150 million is going to be in the cards for this kitty as the onslaught of four (or five if you count “Breaking Dawn”) family movies (“Happy Feet 2,” “Arthur Christmas,” “The Muppets” and “Hugo”) over the next two weekends are sure to make a sizable dent in its pockets. If it weren’t for those, I’d have said a $180 million final would have been likely. My Review.
JURY’S OUT: “Jack and Jill,” “Tower Heist”
Normally, I’d automatically dump “Jack and Jill” in the Losers category on principal alone but seeing how Adam Sandler’s loyal fanbase follows him even into the fires of hell (which is what “Jack and Jill” is for people with taste), we’ll have to wait and see. Sandler’s critically mauled “comedy” which scored a hilarious 3% on Rotten Tomatoes (a career low for the comedian) may have tallied up the second worst opening for a Sandler comedy in the last 10 years (Only the drama skewing “Funny People” opened lower) but it still managed to pull in $25 million worth of change from Sandler’s fanbase who apparently will see ANYTHING this guy churns out? Seriously, who are these people? According to Cinemascore, 52 percent of the audience who wasted their money on “Jack and Jill” were families and they graded the film an alarming “B” grade (a shocking “A-” among audiences under 18) proving how low standards have fallen these days.
Looks like the boys from “Tower Heist” managed to survive the onslaught of Sandler and Sandler after all! Dropping an understandable 47% this weekend, the con job comedy swiped another $12.8 million to take its total up to $43.5 million. Thankfully audiences were able to separate business from gossip this weekend seeing how much trouble the film’s filmmakers Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy were getting into this past week. While a $100 million final gross seems impossible at this point, the least Stiller and company can hope for is to match up the $75 million budget of the flick. Additionally, international receipts are bound to be better. My Review.
LOSERS: “J. Edgar”
It hasn’t been a good week for Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio. The duo’s latest attempt at Oscar glory were significantly dashed this weekend by most of the nation’s critics who panned the pair’s latest film, “J. Edgar” for its lethargic pace, bad makeup and lazy storytelling even though DiCaprio received praise for his work. To make matters worse, the film failed to catch on with audiences too as it opened all the way in fifth place with a piss poor $12 million which was lower than his last film “Hereafter” but still higher than his last biopic “Invictus” which opened with $9 million. But at least that film benefitted from better reviews. If DiCaprio hopes to score an Oscar nomination in January, he has to hope many of his competitors fall to the wayside – which is unlikely since most of their films have already opened to critical acclaim (“Moneyball”) or have received sensational buzz and reviews on the festival circuit (“The Descendants,” “The Artist,” “Shame”). Better luck next time Leo. My Review.
- Among the audiences that flocked to see the “Immortals” in action this weekend, a large 60% ratio were not-surprisingly male while 3D screens accounted for 66% of the film’s grosses. Not bad! Overall, it was the second largest R-rated 3D opening after 2010’s “Jackass 3D” which remains a watermark for R-rated 3D spectaculars (I can’t believe I just wrote that).
- According to studio date, Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill” cost set back studio Sony/Colombia Pictures a cool $75 million. That’s about even with the budget for “Tower Heist” which features a ton of star names. How is that even possible? There’s nothing in “Jack and Jill” that warrants a budget of that nature! Did they pay Sandler twice for his nasal cackling?
- Though “Puss in Boots” continues to be a fierce competitor at the box office, it’s chances to overthrow “Kung Fu Panda 2” as Dreamworks Animation’s top film will be dashed with the arrival of the four family flicks in the next two weeks. It still is on par to trump the studio’s previous fall offering “Megamind” though. My Review.
- “Tower Heist’s” weekend grosses allowed studio Universal Studios to finally hit the 1 billion mark this year for the first time since 2008. It’s a sigh of relief for the studio that has been perpetually plagued with bad business decisions. My Review.
- 90% of the audience who watched Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” this weekend were over the age of 25 which must be a record of some type! Seeing how this group usually looks to reviews before watching their movies, I’m going to go ahead and predict that Eastwood’s biopic about the legendary FBI director’s will not be going down smoothly in studio Warner Brother’s book as a profitable entity (not that Eaastwood’s movies are expensive to begin with). My Review.
- “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas” dropped by 53% from its tepid opening weekend last week and down three spots to sixth this weekend, taking its total to $23.2 million. While it’s nothing to be embarrassed about seeing how this movie cost the studio a dime to produce and a penny to market, it’s proof that the franchise is finally showing its weary legs. To be fair, the film did have a better hold than its predecessor. My Review.
- Andrew Niccol’s “In Time” keeps holding up well for a science fiction thriller as it once again had a less than 50% decline to take its cumulative gross up to $30 million. Matching its production budget of $40 million should be possible, provided it doesn’t get devoured next week. My Review.
- “Paranormal Activity 3” finally crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, a mighty long time for a film that opened north of $50 million three weekends ago.
- “Footloose” spun its way into ninth place to notch up a total of $48 million. A final gross of $53 million seems likely.
- Hugh Jackman’s crowd-pleasing science fiction family flick “Real Steel” rounded off the top ten in its sixth week of release with $1.8 million, taking its total up to $81 million. A solid life on DVD seems likely. My Review.
The third weekend of November will see the release of one of the most anticipated movies of 2011 and a sequel to an Oscar-winning animated hit.
- Yes, it’s that time again! Edward, Bella and Jacob storm into theaters with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” once again infecting theaters across North America with their angst and horny teenage melodrama. Expect a record-breaking box office weekend and terrible reviews.
- The tap-dancing penguins of “Happy Feet” return to annoy the hell out of everyone besides little kids and dimwits in “Happy Feet 2.” Expect the flick to ring up a good chunk of change.
WEEKEND TOP 10
- Immortals – $32.2 million (NEW)
- Jack and Jill – $25 million (NEW)
- Puss in Boots – $24.7 Million ($108 m) (My Review)
- Tower Heist – $12.7 Million ($43.4 m) (My Review)
- J. Edgar – $11.2 Million (NEW) (My Review)
- A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas – $5.9 Million ($23.2 m) (My Review)
- In Time – $4 Million ($30.5 m) (My Review)
- Paranormal Activity 3 – $3.6 Million ($100.8 m)
- Footloose – $2.7 Million ($48.7 m)
- Real Steel – $1.8 Million ($81.6 m) (My Review)