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November 24, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | November 24, 2008 |

5. Role Models ($7.2 million; $48 million): Before Role Models had come along, I had feared that David Wain, like too many of his colleagues on “The State,” might’ve been relegated permanently to VH1 panelist status, where pop-culture allusions go to die. And you know what? It’s not as lucrative, but it’s still better than the fates of two of his cast members, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, who are now responsible for writing some of the absolute worst movies on the big screen: Balls of Fury, Let’s Go to Prison, Herbie Fully Loaded and The Pacifer.

4. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa ($16 million; $137 million): What? After three weeks, Madagascar 2 is approaching $150 million, which was its production budget. Really? $150 million?! I didn’t realize it, actually, but that’s par for the course. Wall-E cost $180 million to make. Shrek the Third cost $160 million. Kung-Fu Panda, $130 million. The Polar Express, $165 million. CGI ain’t cheap. Here’s a piece of advice: Use clay. Wallace and Gromit only cost $30 million. Kids don’t care. As long as it looks animated, and you pimp your shit on Nick, Jr. and put some toys in a Happy Meal, your movie is gonna make $100 million. Kids have few choices and an inability to discriminate.

3. Bolt ($27 million ): See what I mean?

(TK will have the review up next hour).

2. Quantum Solace ($27.4 million; $109 million): Fairly dull fact: Marc Forster is the first Bond director not from Britain or any of its former colonies. Fascinating. However, he reasoned that, because he’s Swiss, and because Bond’s mother is Swiss, there is enough of a connection to make him appropriate. Paul Haggis, the Canadian screenwriter, meanwhile, traces his personal connection to Bond to the minced animal innards that James Bond makes of the face of his foes. Also, Bond’s bowel movements. Get it? Because Paul Haggis is a turd.

1. Twilight ($70.5 million ): Twilight, with that opening, has the biggest box-office weekend this year since The Dark Knight. Yeah. For reals. And it also becomes the biggest opening all time for a female director. I’d almost argue that it’s a Palin-esque achievement, except that — Twilight notwithstanding — Catherine Hardwick is a pretty good director. Oh, and that also represents the biggest opening for a vampire film, all time. Even more than Van Helsing (perhaps the only vampire movie that’s worse than Twilight). And yes: You can bet your ass the sequel has already been greenlit. You can expect at least three more of these, while Stephenie Meyer will probably crap out another four or five of the novels to take advantage. That should take her about three weeks. Hell: We may see a Twilight movie every year for the next decade. Thanks a lot, teenage girls. The good news, I understand, is that Edward Cullen is largely absent from New Moon.

Here’s a quote I found amusing:

The film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, said she attended a screening on Saturday afternoon where a thirty-something woman told her that she had already seen the film eight times. But the audience also included “a ton of men … some pretty old dudes,” Hardwicke said.

Some woman had already seen it 8 times? By Saturday? And she’s bragging about that? Goddayum. That suggest that she’d basically not left the theater since the movie opened. That’s pathetic. Also, I’m not sure that announcing that “a ton of men … some pretty old dudes” is a particularly good way to sell your movie. I mean: A packed theater of 16 year olds. It ain’t the movie they’re going to see, lady. Note to tweeners: Take your pepper spray.

(Note: Today’s headline came compliments of Joe, who commented that the line was written on Twilight movie posters at a small indie theater near him. That sounds like the greatest movie theater ever.)

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | November 24, 2008 |

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

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