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Horror Porn for Black Women?

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 26, 2009 |


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The last week of April is another one of those proverbial dumping grounds for studios, as they know whatever opens is going to get crushed the following week, when Wolverine ominously opens the summer blockbuster season. So it was a bit of a surprise this weekend that Obsessed not only landed at number one, but that it racked up $28 million is receipts. $28 million for a Fatal Attraction rip-off?! That's the power of Beyonce Knowles, people. And a PG-13 rating. Because God knows it wasn't Idris Elba, because he didn't do much for The Unborn or Prom Night or RocknRolla and Ali Larter couldn't sell a hobo stick to a vagabond. So, what's the real reason behind the success of Obsessed? It probably wasn't her acting talent; Steven remarked that it may have been pleasantly surprising, but socalledonlycousins appropriately remarked, it was only surprising because "it didn't melt your face and make you sterile while reaching back in time to kill all your kinsmen."

No, I think khia13 probably hit the nail into Beyonce's head:

Nobody seems to get that this is horror porn for black women. A black woman hasn't won a fight in a movie since Tina Turner beat Ike with her shoe in "What's Love got to do with it?" In a world where being blonde trumps everybody else, having Beyonce whip Ali Larter for her man, is like Christmas, the lotto and a seat at Oprah's favorite things show!

We know it's not good, but that won't stop me and the girls from buying a super colossal belly buster popcorn and enough Twizzlers to stage a prison break and laughing our butts off at this one.

Well said, khia13. Well said.

The rest of the top five were bunched up around the $10 million range. At number two, 17 Again fell a modest 50 percent from last weekend, nearly reaching the $40 million mark overall and further validating THR's notion that Efron is the next Tom Cruise (God, I hope he's as batshit). Fighting, at $11.4 million, came in just $200,000 from 17 Again, and it's about half what Channing Tatum's Step Up opened with -- that was Tatum's last hit, three years ago. But worry not, Tatum fans -- he's got seven films on tap, including G.I. Joe (as Duke) and Public Enemies (as Pretty Boy Floyd). Funny, I haven't seen him in any of the Public Enemies' trailers. We'll have that review up Monday afternoon.

The Soloist landed at number four with a thud, racking up $9.7 million, which is pre-Iron Man numbers for Downey (even Zodiac opened with $13 million, and it was widely considered a box-office failure). Nobody is blaming it on the the adult-oriented film genre this week (even though 85 percent of those who saw The Soloist were over 25). The problem, perhaps, is that the very people The Soloist was targeting (the affluent, white NPR crowd) may have felt offended by their perception of the movie. Meg's comment was particularly salient:

This whole movie had "Crash 2: White Guilt Boogaloo" written all over it. It's giving me the fear that my cousin, who told me that people don't understand racism but they would if they saw "Crash" (she called it one of the best movies of our time), will whip this one out when I next sees her. "People are so ignorant about homelessness and mental illness, they should see 'The Soloist'!"

The other thing that The Soloist had going against it was clearly a growing dislike of Jamie Foxx. You win one unwarranted Oscar and everybody hates you.

Finally, rounding out the top five was Earth, the Disney nature documentary narrated by James Earl Jones, which finished with $8.6 million; $14 million since it's Wednesday opening. We won't be reviewing Earth because we really just don't give a shit. If you want to know whether you'd like it, watch Planet Earth for two hours.

A couple of other minor notes: State of Play fell quickly from second to 7th, bringing in less than $7 million. It'll be lucky to make $40 million domestically (though, it should fare well on DVD). Also notable: Crank High Voltage had the biggest drop of any movie, falling 65 percent from its opening frame to number 10, with only $2.4 million in its second week. Among independent films, Mickey Rourke's The Informers performed atrociously -- $300,000 on 484 screens, which was good for less than $625 per screen (Prisco will have a review later this week). The Mike Tyson documentary, Tyson, meanwhile, had a fairly strong opening -- it had a nearly $8,000 per screen average, which was the second best on the charts behind only Obsessed. However, it only opened in 11 theaters and tallied $86,000. God willing, it won't do as well when/if it expands.


5. Earth ($8.4 million; $14 million)

4. The Soloist ($9.7 million)

3. Fighting ($11.4 million)

2. 17 Again ($11.6 million; $39 million)

1. Obsessed ($28 million)


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