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October 20, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 20, 2008 |

9. Sex Drive ($3.6 million): I realize that, at first blush, my insistence that Sex Drive may become one of this generation’s definitive teen comedies seems misguided after the first weekend’s box-office totals, but check out some of these total box-office numbers: Empire Records: $275,000; Can’t Hardly Wait: $25 million; Say Anything: $20 million; Heathers: $1.1 million; Pump up the Volume: $11 million; Sixteen Candles: $23 million; Jawbreaker: $3.1 million; Better off Dead: $10 million; Weird Science: $23 million. The point is: The influence of a teen comedy is rarely reflected in box-office performance; in fact, few ever even break the $100 million mark (Superbad and American Pie are the only ones that come to mind). The real test, folks, is how they do on TBS over the next five years.

5. Eagle Eye $7.3 million; $81 million): With $81 million, lookie here: Eagle Eye has officially become the 11th highest grossing PG-13 movie of 2008. That’s the power of Shia.

4. W. ($10.5 million): I was thinking about making a very complicated joke here, about how Josh Brolin got his start on Goonies and wouldn’t it be great if Obama became the President, then the black kid from Goonies could finally resurface career-wise, so to speak. And then it occurred to me there were no black kids in Goonies. And then I started thinking, and realized that, if you take out the cast of “Diff’rent Strokes” and Emmanuel Lewis, of course, then I can’t name a single black child actor from the 1980s. Surely, I’m just blanking, right? Can anyone name a significant black child actor who grew up in the ’80s? Was there ever a black character in any of John Hughes’ films? Anyway, the joke didn’t work, but if she was still alive, I bet Anne Ramsay would be awesome in a McCain biopic.

3. The Secret Life of Bees ($11 million): Holy Shit. Seriously? Never underestimate the power of … Sue Monk Kidd? What was the big draw here? Dakota Fanning? Bees? It’s not as though it was extremely well reviewed. The only thing I can figure is that the American public was under the impression The Secret Life of Bees was a sequel to Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie. Or maybe I really have underestimated the power of a bestselling novels. Surely not … I mean, a book? Who the hell reads those things?

We’ll have a review up tomorrow.

2. Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($11.2 million; $69 million): If you think $70 million (so far) is a ridiculous amount of money for a movie about a talking dog, feel this: Beverly Hills Chihuahua is still only the 9th biggest talking animals movie of all time, nearly $150 million behind the top entry: Alvin and the Chipmunks. Funny, though: In all of cinematic history, there have only been 22 live-action talking animal films. Number 21 on that list? Hot to Trot, the classic Bobcat Goldwaith talking horse movie. That horse’s voice? John Candy. And John Candy was in JFK with … Kevin Bacon. And I was an extra in The End of the Line with Bacon, which means I’m only three degrees from Bobcat Goldwaith. Jealous much?

1. Max Payne: ($18 million): Blah. Another video game adaptation. Another shitty movie. We’re 0-27, folks (that’s not a hyperbolic number. That’s really how many video-game adaptations there have been). Even the horrendous talking animal genre has a better success rate (see, e.g., Babe and Babe: Pig in the City). An $18 million opening will probably put Payne, ultimately, in the top ten, right between Hitman ($39 million) and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation ($35 million). And for an A-list actor, Mark Wahlberg does an awful lot of B-list movies: Four Brothers, We Own the Night, Shooter, Rock Star, Invincible. You know what’d be great, though? Combining a talking animals movie with a video game movie. Mark Wahlberg even could star. Max Payne Talks to Animals. Say hi to your mother.

The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | October 20, 2008 |

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

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