There used to be something so cool about the fact that it took Johnny Depp 15 years, starting with Nightmare on Elm Street, to finally land a $100 million movie. He was celebrated, in part, because he turned down franchises and opted, instead, for riskier, oddball movies. He chose projects based upon the cast, on the directors, and on the merits of the scripts. His first $100 million movie, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, didn’t really alter his project choices. He had a great run between 1999 and 2003, starring in From Hell, Chocolat, Blow and Before Night Falls. His second $100 million movie, in 2003 (Pirates of the Caribbean ) was really the tipping point from cool flicks to blockbusters. Not that his big movie choices have been all bad, and he has managed to mostly maintain that cool-guy image, even as he rakes in the cash. I guess after a certain point Depp was like, “Screw it. I’m way behind in the one-for-me, one-for-money game, and I have some catching up to do.”
The bad news is Alice in Wonderland. The good news is Rango, which easily topped the box-office this weekend with a slightly underwhelming $38 million, although I expect the movie will have legs. Parents were holding out to find out whether it was appropriate for kids (in fact, our traffic logs indicate several Google searches for, “Is Rango good for kids?”), and I think it’ll hold well, even against the slate of family films arriving in the next two weeks (Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, Mars Needs Moms).
In second place this weekend, Matt Damon’s Adjustment Bureau debuted with a better-than-expected $21 million, which breaks Matt Damon’s bust streak (and the guy was charming as all hell in The Adjustment Bureau. He and Affleck should do a Sorkin-scripted political movie).
Beastly, on the other hand, bombed, and after two miserable showings in three weeks (the other being I Am Number 4, the burgeoning career of Alex Pettyfer has stalled. You can probably scratch him off of the list of the next generation of action heroes; he was an outlier, anyway. It looks like Steven Lloyd Wilson is the only one on staff who will ever know his work. RIP, Alex Pettyfer.
There was a fourth opener this weekend, too. Topher Grace’s Take Me Home Tonight (“Just like Ronnie said”) bombed hugely, putting up only $3.5 million. It didn’t even crack the top ten, so I guess, along with Alex Pettyfer, we can bury Dan Fogler’s career, too. Rest in Hell, fat man.
Oh, and Drive Angry 3D also continued its plummet into oblivion, adding only $2 million this weekend. My guess is that much of that can be attributed to people who read TK’s review. It prompted me to check it out. TK was right: It was frog-balls ridiculous, and fun as hell.
The rest of the top ten are mostly comprised of movies you will have forgotten ever existed by this time next year: Hall Pass, Unknown, Just Go With It, I Am Number 4, Gnomeo and Juliet.
For kicks and shits, here are Johnny Depp’s ten biggest grossing films of all time, and I expect Rango will eventually crack into it. With the exception of Scissorhands and Chocolat, this is not how I want to remember Johnny Depp’s career.
10. Edward Scissorhands — $56 million
9. The Tourist — $67 million
8. Chocolat — $71 million
7. Public Enemies — $97 million
6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow — $101 million
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — $206 million
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — $305 million
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End — $309 million
2. Alice in Wonderland — $334 million
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — $423 million