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March 2, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | March 2, 2009 |

There’s hardly a weekend that goes by where there’s not a movie I’m at least morbidly curious about seeing — good, bad, or ugly, the studios usually manage to unload something that’s at least aimed in the general vicinity of our demographic. Not true this weekend. This weekend, there was nothing. In fact, I’m not even sure how any of the movies below managed to make any money at all. What were the people thinking when they decided to go see them?

For this week’s box-office round-up, I stood in front of a movie theater for a couple of hours and eavesdropped on theatergoers, aiming to get behind the motivations they had for choosing the movie they did. Here are snippets of conversation I picked up:

8. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li ($4.6 million): Description of theatergoer: White, male. Mid-20s. Overweight. Wispy moustache, ill-fitting jeans, and a comic-book character on his T-shirt. “I think my buzz is starting to wear off. (To friend) I think we better go back to the car and take another hit. There’s no way we’re going to make it through. Nah, fuck it. Let’s just get some M&Ms. Maybe Lana Lane will take off her clothes. Chun Li gives me wood (Beavis chuckle).”

5. He’s Just Not That Into You ($5.8 million; $78 million): Description of theatergoer: Female, late 20s/early 30s, accompanied by a group of females. Heavy on the cosmetics. Pony-tail, hooded sweatshirt. “I can’t wait! One of my girlfriends read the book, and she said it was AWESOME. Everything that was in the book, her boyfriend was doing. For reals! The people in it are amazing, also! Guys just don’t understand. If you want some of this, you gotta put a ring on it. You know, you gotta drop everything. If you’re too slow, another man gonna come along. See what Brad did for Angie? That’s what I’m talking about. ‘It’s Friday, I’m in LOVE!” I love that SONG!”

4. Taken ($10 million; $107 million): Description of theatergoer: Male, late 30s. Bored expression. Decked out in LL Bean attire. Checks phone constantly. “I don’t care, what do you want to see? (turns to friend). OK. Whatever. There’s nothing else out. Do you know what it’s about? … Me neither. I think that guy from the English Patient is in it. He beats up people, or something. I think he’s a cop. You think we’ll have to wait long for a table at Chilis? I’m starving. I could really go for a Bloomin’ Onion … oh, right. Whatever. Maybe some onion rings, then.”

3. Slumdog Millionaire ($12 million; $115 million): Description of theatergoer: Female. Asian. Early 30s. Short. Cheery. “Yeah, can you believe they gave the Oscar to a musical? I know! I hate musicals, too. But this one is supposed to be really good. I can’t believe they got Regis to sing! They deserve the Oscar for that, right!”

2. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience ($12.7 million): Description of theatergoer: Teenage girl. A little chubby. Braces. Chews bubblegum. OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD! I saw it last night, and it was AWESOME. I LOVE Joe. Do you know how awesome this is? And Kevin is gorgeous. I hate that some people are so mean to him for no reason at all. This is by far the best movie I’ve ever … It gave me chills!”

1. Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail ($16.5 million; $64 million): Description of theatergoer: Thin, African-American woman. Late teens, early 20s. Attending with another female friend, of the same description: Female #1: “I talked to some people and they think that Madea is like Eddie Murphy in Big Momma’s House. Or that he’s like a modern-day Mammy. I thought that was a really interesting correlation.” Friend #2: “Who’s Mammy?”Friend #1: “It’s, like, a guy who dresses up as a big woman, you know? And he’s like a symbol of Jesus. You know what I’m saying. I heard about it at church.”

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | March 2, 2009 |

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

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