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February 16, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | February 16, 2009 |

Happy Presidents’ Day! Let us soar majestically along the amber waves of our weekend box office, like a bald eagle glimmering in the breezes coming from purple mountains majesty, and we appreciate the freedom we don’t deserve to watch film. The rest of the world looks to America to get its entertainment, and our answer seems to be either bland commercialist romantic comedy or hyperviolence. It’s why Lincoln freed the slaves! SoTyler Perry could dress up like a woman and go to jail next week.

5. Coraline ($15.3 million; $35.6 million total): Coraline is a children’s movie that even Thomas Jefferson would bring his kid, or seventy of his kids, to go see. Especially since the world’s finally realizing the glory of Keith David’s sultry voice. Sure, it’s a little weird to see Spawn talking through a black cat, but James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman can’t be everywhere, dammit. It also managed to finally shove the morbidly bloated Blart out of the top 5. Small victories win the war, people.

4. Confessions of a Shopaholic ($15.4 million; new): Despite the posters, Isla Fisher Borat Cohen proves that she’s not Amy Adams. I don’t think it was worrying about the Great Depression II: In My Pants Pockets that kept people from the theaters, just that nobody gives a shit about Prada/shoe jokes anymore. F.D.R.’s popping wheelies in heaven.

3. Taken ($19.2 million; $77.9 million): Another Luc Besson-penned script, but America’s used to getting help from the French, whether it was Lafayette during the Revolution or cheap goods from their Targets or the scrumptious fries that keep America that fattest country per capita. Our fattest president was Taft, who tipped the scales of justice at well over 300 pounds! (Paul Blart: President? Get on it, tankful of manatees!) I just take satisfaction in knowing that audiences would much rather watch Qui Gon stab knitting needles into the legs of sex-ring operatives for the second week in a row than support shopaholics. If only we could get on the chocoholism that started with Willy Wonka.

2. He’s Just Not That Into You ($19.6 million; $55.1 million): Here’s where Rex Reed would have made some sort of lame-ass pun about America not being into this movie anymore. But you come to Pajiba for intellectual pursuits and to get some sort of masturbatory thrill over telling your sexual habits to a lonely middle-aged man from West Virginia. Not even the middling Continental Congress assembly of star power could keep this parboiled Sex and the City plot afloat. If only they had asked President Clinton to slick willie his way into a cameo involving a cigar and Paul Blart, well then … they would be The Pink Panther 2.

1. Friday the 13th ($42.2 million; new): And like Thomas E. Dewey or Al Gore, here’s where America let me down. Believe me when I can say I appreciate watching a maniac in a hockey mask chop up nubile half-clothed teenagers; it’s not just a personal fantasy of mine but also how I spent my 4th-grade summer vacation. However, this just encourages Michael Bay to reheat old horror films. If Jason Eleventy had tanked, he might not decide to go forward with his remake of The Birds. Because, you know, Hitchcock’s all right as a director, but really, the guy who brought you Bad Boys II can do better. Gus Van Sant remade Psycho, everyone hated it, and you know what he’s doing now? NOTHING! Nobody cares what Gus Van Sant is making anymore! (Just kidding; I know he made Milk, and the forthcoming sequel Round The Back’s Where Fudge Is Made). Bay is preventing anyone from making decent horror films. The only horror getting wide release anymore is either a remake or a reboot. If you want original concepts, welcome to straight-to-DVD, where it’s either Dimension Extreme or Fangoria that’s going to front you money, and that’s only if you arbitrarily show cans and intestines. Congratulations, America. Welcome to your New New Nightmare.

And the ho-o-o-ome of the br-a-a-a-a-ve!

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Brian Prisco

Box Office Round-Ups | February 16, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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