How do you know that the summer movie season is officially done? Check the box office and if it looks like this weekend, it’s over. The months of massive openings and long legs are over. Welcome to the doldrums that are late August and September.
We don’t do much (okay, any) soap opera coverage over here at ScreenCrush, but this is one of those interesting little stories that feels like a mere curiosity but actually sits upon a massive fount of questions about the entertainment industry and acting as a profession. The news is that Ronn Moss is leaving CBS’ ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ after starring in the show since its first episode 25 years ago, but the questions this raises are numerous and worth pondering.
After nearly a month at the top of the box office, Batman has fallen. In his place stand two new Hollywood champions: ‘The Bourne Legacy‘ and ‘The Campaign,’ both of which opened to strong numbers. Still, these solid openings won’t blow anyone’s socks off, mainly because we’ve seen the likes of these do so much better in the past.
Hey there, ‘Total Recall.’ You know how you were supposed to be pretty big movie? Well, hopefully you’re sitting down because, well…you’re not. You see, there’s this little thing called ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ that isn’t a remake of a much-beloved film and it doesn’t star Colin Farrell and people actually seem to generally kinda’ like it. Yeah, sorry buddy. You didn’t stand a chance.
Since the box office numbers from last week were not formally released until after the weekend passed, we need to play a quick game of catch-up with ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ The third and final of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies opened to $160 million, a number that is staggering, but not record breaking. Did it even stand a chance of breaking the $200 million mark and challenging ‘The Avengers‘ for highest opening weekend of all time? Did the tragic events in Aurora, Colorado have an adverse effect on the opening gross? To that second question: yes. To that first question: no.
With the exception of poor Katy Perry, everyone was a winner at the box office this week. Seriously. Of the top ten films, nine of them either opened well or held well, making this one of the most consistent weekends of the summer season. Filmmakers and studios: pat yourselves on the backs. You’ve earned this one.
When it comes to winning big at the box office, never bet against Pixar. ‘Brave‘ is not only the acclaimed animation studio’s thirteenth film, it is their thirteenth film to open at number one at the box office. It’s a track record that just about everyone else in Hollywood would kill for.
It’s difficult to imagine two more different films going head-to-head at the box office. However, by appealing to completely different audiences, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ and ‘Prometheus‘ both managed to emerge from the weekend as big winners, making this the first weekend in months where two new major releases opened strong.
It took four weeks for another film to dethrone ‘The Avengers‘ from the top of the box office, but that dethroning occurred with a whimper, not a battle cry. ‘Men in Black 3‘ arrived on the scene and proved that advance hype and high tracking are abstract concepts that don’t always reflect reality. $55 million isn’t an opening that’ll have executives committing seppuku, but for a film that was expected to open to north of $80 million, it’s a definitely a solid kick in the groin (metaphorically speaking, of course).
‘Battleship‘ was supposed to be the film that nudged ‘The Avengers‘ out of the number one spot at the box office, but instead you can just go ahead and insert your own “You sank my battleship!” joke here. ‘The Avengers’ didn’t cling to the top spot for the third week in a row, it dominated the top spot for the third week in a row, taking in another $55 million for a grand domestic total of $457 million.
Poor Barnabas Collins never stood a chance. Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows‘ found itself clobbered to death over the weekend courtesy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, who rode a perfect cocktail of hype and stellar word-of-mouth to an unprecedented second weekend. It’s no longer a question of whether or not ‘The Avengers‘ will be one of the biggest movies of all time, mainly because it already is one of the biggest movies of all time: after only nineteen days, it’s crossed the $1 billion mark. The question we should be pondering now is whether or not it will become the biggest movie of all time.
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