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January 5, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 5, 2009 |

5. Valkyrie ($14 million; $60 million): You know what? The haters can go screw. I don’t care if Tom Cruise worships alien pedophiles and sleeps with Tom Brady, Valkyrie is the best movie among this weekend’s top five grossers. And that’s not even a dig at the other four (though, the other four are pretty awful). And by the by, why do people keep insisting that Valkyrie represents Cruise’s comeback? He had one minor flop (and it’s not like Lions for Lambs had a decent shot, with or without him), and before that, he had eight straight $100 million flicks and no real duds since 1992’s Far and Away. His reputation may have taken a hit, but the man still has a helluva talent for picking scripts.

4. Yes Man ($14 million; $79 million): It’s a shame that Jim Carrey — a better actor than Cruise — doesn’t have the same knack for choosing quality scripts. And hey! It looks like Yes Man will cross $100 million, but no one is talking about this being his comeback movie, even though his last movie, The Number 23, was not only a bomb, but one fucking terrible movie and maybe the worst script choice that Carrey has ever made. He’s made some terrible movies, but at least they’re consistent with his reputation. The Number 23? Not so much.

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ($18.4 million; $79 million): This has got to be the worst movie among all the major awards contenders this year. Terrible. But Ted’s right, it’s probably gonna pull a Crash and win Best Picture. It’s too long, too boring, and too obvious not to. Hell, it’s Titanic, The English Patient and Forrest Gump all rolled into one. And for cultural relevancy, Eric Roth threw in Hurricane Katrina for absolutely no fucking reason. It can’t miss! Gah! What a miserable three hours. And has anyone not noticed that, besides the name and the reverse-aging premise, the movie has nothing to do with the F. Scott Fitzgerald short-story. In fact, it’s a lot more similar to Andrew Sean Greer’s 2004 novel, The Confessions of Max Tivioli, which I read in a shorter period of time than it took to watch the Brad Pitt movie.

2. Bedtime Stories ($20.3 million; $85 million): Bedtime Stories was pretty awful, but I’ll give it this: At least it wasn’t The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In fact, for the next month, any movie that’s not The Curious Case of Benjamin Button automatically wins the benefit of the doubt. Seriously: I don’t care how talented David Fincher is, or how great Brad Pitt is, that movie blew soil.

1. Marley and Me ($24 million; $106 million): For those of you who think you know how Marley and Me ends, well: You’re right. The dog does die. But what’s nice about Marley and Me is that it doesn’t take three hours before the dog dies, and when the dog does die, you’re not so bored by indifference that you could not possibly care less. Compare that to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is falsely titled — halfway through, your curiosity dries up, shrivels into a corner, and self-immolates. They should’ve called it The Curious Case of Utter and Complete Indifference. Seriously, if you’re considering going to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, do yourself a favor: Take a $10 bill, throw it in a sewer grate, and then spend the next three hours with your face down on the wet pavement sticking your arm through that grate trying to retrieve the $10 bill. You’ll have a much better time.

… and, completely unrelated, The Other Boo steered me toward a painting called, Blessed Saint Architeuthi, details of which can be found here. I think he may be Godtopus’ Deity cousin. Check him out:


The Weekly Box-Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | January 5, 2009 |

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

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