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June 9, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | June 9, 2008 |

5. The Strangers ( $9 million; $37 million): Based on Agent Bedhead’s review, I was all about running out and seeing The Strangers this weekend myself until I learned just how loosely the movie’s tag “inspired by true events” was. According to Wikipedia, the true events concerned a memory from the director’s childhood about several empty homes in his neighborhood being burgled, as well as the Charles Manson Keddie murders. So the opening voiceover is incredibly misleading:

“The film you are about to see is inspired by true events. According to the F.B.I. there are an estimated 1.4 million violent crimes in America each year. On the night of February 11, 2005 Kristen McKay and James Hoyt went to a friend’s wedding reception and returned to the Hoyt family’s summer home. The brutal events that took place there are still not entirely known.”

While the film is allegedly inspired by a true event (the Keddie murders), that true event has nothing to do with brutal events concerning anyone named or resembling Kristen McKay or James Hoyt or any murders in February 2005. The first sentence of the voiceover has zero relation to the third and fourth sentence of the voiceover. That’s bullshit. And now I don’t care how good the movie is; I refuse to see it. I liked it better when it was supposedly a rip-off of Funny Games.

4. Sex and the City ( $21 million; $99 million): Two weeks in, most people who are going to see SaTC have already seen it, so can we talk about the ridiculousness of the major subplot? Spoilers ahead

This is what happens, OK: Big and Carrie, who have had an off-and-on relationship for 10 years, finally decide to get married, basically because he buys her an amazing apartment and builds her a closet the size of Queens. All is going well, for the most part anyway, until the night before the wedding when Miranda — who just had an argument with Steve the Adulterer — turns to Big and says, “You two are crazy to get married; marriage ruins everything.” And that, folks, is why Big — the love of Carrie’s life — stands her up at the altar the next day. Ridiculous, right? Well, it gets worse; Carrie falls into a depressed funk and for days can’t get out of bed. You wanna know what finally snaps her out of it? Charlotte literally shits her pants. But, worse still: A year later, Carrie nearly dumps Miranda as her best friend because she only then found out that Miranda — simply by stating, “Marriage ruins everything” — actually ruined her wedding, and she’s so achy to get Big back — even though he didn’t show up at their wedding for something as meaningless as Miranda’s flip statement — that all he has to do is send her a series of emails with other men’s poems in them (as well as a line he stole from Carrie) to get back in her good graces. Soon thereafter, they are married.

Preposterous. Weak. Flimsy. Fail!

End Spoilers

3. Indy IV ( $23 million; $253 million): I’d really like to know what was in Frank Darabount’s Indy IV script that was more unacceptable to George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford than the vomitous spew earped up by David Keopp.

Oh wait now! Glory be the Internet: Apparently, in 1992, Lucas came up with the infamous alien angle, and both Ford and Spielberg refused. So, during the 16-year interim, the original concept never changed — all the subsequent screenwriters who worked on it (including M. Night Shyamalan) were instructed to set it in the 1950s, make it an homage to B-movies, and include the alien angle; I guess Ford and Spielberg just eventually caved in to Lucas’ idea. Horseshit! So, if Lucas had come up with something less preposterous in 1992, we’d already been on our 10th Indy sequel, and I’m guessing they’d all be better than The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

2. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan ( $40 million): After racking up $40 million in its opening weekend, Zohan looks about on track to recoup the initial $90 million budget during its theatrical run.

Wait. What? $90 million for a bunch of hummus jokes? What the fuck? Where did they spend the $90 million? Adam Sandler’s hairstylist? Rob Schneider’s make-up effects? There was only one superstar in the film (Sandler), and minimal special effects. Surely it didn’t cost millions to make the bulge in Sandler’s pants do twirls, or to render the effects for the sequence in which Sandler catches a fish in between his ass cheeks. The only thing I can figure is that either Kevin Nealon or Charlotte Rae raised the asking price to $50 million. Or maybe Sandler had to pay the Coen Brothers several million dollars to borrow what must have been the inspiration for the movie’s title: “Nobody fucks with the Jesus.”

1. Kung Fu Panda ( $60 million): To properly capture the look and feel of Kung Fu Panda, the production designer and art director did significant research of Chinese sculpture, painting, and architecture, while the film’s composer, Hans Zimmer, visited China to absorb the culture, before composing the score. Meanwhile, in order to prepare for his role as the voice of the Panda, Jack Black ate a donut.

I Would Have F*cked You in the Ass Saturday; I F*ck You in the Ass Next Wednesday Instead.

The Weekly Box Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | June 9, 2008 |

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

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