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October 14, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 14, 2008 |

10. City of Ember ($3.1 million): $3 million on a $38 million budget? That’s a bomb, brother. And you know what the problem was? Erratic message. I’ve seen several trailers and television adverts for City of Ember, and I couldn’t tell you what the hell it was about. A kid’s film? A sci-fi flick? Does Bill Murray have a cameo, or is he in it extensively? All questions that will be answered in an hour, when the review is posted.

6. The Express ($4.5 million): A most unusual line of comments broke out over the long weekend in The Express comment section (long for some of us, anyway. Sorry Stace). For a little while there, Pajibans were actually talking college running back greats. I thought I’d wandered onto the wrong site. But, while we’re briefly on the topic of college football, if there are any Auburn alums out there, allow me this: Hahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhahahahaha. And if you went to LSU, Missouri, or Oklahoma: Oooof, brother. Oooof.

/end sports talk.

5 Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist ($6.4 million; $20 million): I have little interesting to say about the box-office performance of Infinite Playlist so far except to note that Natalie Portman’s ex-boyfriend (ha!), Devendra Banhart, has both a cameo in it and contributes to the soundtrack. Not being cool to the hip myself, I have no idea who this dude is, beyond his associations with Portman. But since Nick and Norah will, inevitably, become a teen classic over the years (there are so few substantive or semi-substantive teen dramas, even the mediocre ones stick in their generation’s bones, see, e.g., 10 Things I Hate About You and Empire Records), the tweeners are stuck with him, cinematically, for the rest of their lives, an ever so brief reminder of that weird-looking fella who looks like he smells like a Trader Joes’ vitamin section. So, for the good of the under 18-set, I hope his music is decent.

4. Eagle Eye ($10 million; $70 million million): Fun Fact: During filming of Eagle Eye, director D.J. Caruso bumped his head on a protruding bolt, an injury that required stitches. Here’s a man who suffers for his art, folks. If by art, you mean a cinematic facepalm.

3. Body of Lies ($12.8 million): Eek. $10 million opening weekend on a $70 million budget? A lesson to Hollywood studios: Unless Bourne or Bond is in the title, international espionage flicks don’t do well in the current social climate. Piece of advice: Next time you think about making an espionage film, ask yourself, “Is there anywhere I can squeeze in a talking dog?”

2. Quarantine ($ 14 million): Woah? Who the hell watched this film? I saw maybe one trailer, weeks ago. And I go to the movies one to three times a week. How did anyone know to go? Oh, wait: Apparently, the marketing was primarily done on MySpace and Facebook, and I’m so unhip to the cool there. But, who says social networking advertising doesn’t work? I fucked up again, too, assigning the review to run later today, instead of last Friday. Sorry, folks. My box-office prognostication skills are deteriorating. The review will be along this afternoon.

1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($17.4 million): Speaking of horror films (see what I did there?), do you know what happens when a film with a small budget turns a huge profit? Remember the years after Pulp Fiction became a huge independently-financed success? Do you remember Two Days in the Valley? Yeah. And you know what’s worse than a bad Pulp Fiction rip-off? A bad Beverly Hills Chihuahua rip-off. But, about this time next year, you can bet your ass the cineplexes will be flooded with everything from live-action talking monkeys to … you heard it here, first: Talking LOLCats. It’s gonna happen, people. I Can Haz Cheezburger: The Movie is gonna rock your world’s foundation. And if you’re lucky, you’ll fall in the cracks.

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | October 14, 2008 |

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

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