Why is it that only guys like Seth Rogen like to talk about their penis incessantly? Eric Bana doesn’t refer to his penis all the time; I’ve never heard Ryan Reynolds or Nathan Fillion or Viggo Mortenson or Tom Hanks talk obsessively about their members. But Rogen can’t seem to stop; everything the man says seems to pertain to his dick.
Funny People fell flat over the weekend, pulling in only $23.5 million at the box office, which was more than $6 million behind Knocked Up’s opening weekend (and the latter had a lot more legs than Funny People seems to be displaying). It was another instance, like Bruno, where the numbers actually fell off from Friday to Saturday, which suggests poor word of mouth. That’s also the raw power of a Daniel Carlson review; he can single handedly destroy a movie’s box-office numbers. (I also liked Josh Tyler’s description of Funny People: It’s “Entourage” with cancer.). Two summers ago, it was Apatow’s world. Unfortunately, he lent his name to too many underwhelming projects and diluted the Apatow brand. But that wasn’t really the problem with Funny People, was it? The problem was: It was full of funny people, but they weren’t saying anything particularly funny. Unless you like to hear about Seth Rogen’s schlong. Seriously, the guy’s dick should’ve gotten top billing.
I miss bearded, portly, Jewfro Rogen.
It was a fairly modest weekend at the box-office overall. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince reclaimed second place, barely edging out G-Force, which held the top spot last week. Half-Blood Prince has now made $255 million ($659 million worldwide), and talk of it crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide has died down. G-Force added another $17 million to push it’s tally to $66 million, But with no formidable kiddie flicks due to arrive in theaters until Shorts on the 21st, it should eventually score $100 million, thus guaranteeing a sequel. Maybe they can do a crossover movie with Beverly Hills Chihuahua and the rodents can slowly gnaw themselves to death.
Speaking of kiddie flicks, Aliens in the Attic debuted at number five, with a tepid $7.8 million, which doesn’t speak well for Ashley Tisdale’s future career. Katherine Heigl’s The Ugly Truth, meanwhile, slipped over 50 percent, to gross another $13 million, pushing it’s total to $54 million. It should end up somewhere in the same vicinity as the $75 million of 27 Dresses. And with The Proposal approaching $150 million now, nothing looks to unseat it as the biggest romantic comedy in years. In fact, get this: Five million more dollars, and it will supplant Sex and the City for sixth biggest romantic comedy of all time.
Also of note: Nobody bothered with The Collector. It landed at number 11 in its opening weekend, scoring a measly $3.5 million, barely edging out (500) Days of Summer despite having five times more theaters (and the site was also number one all weekend on Google for “The Collector Review,” so I got to enjoy criticism from old and new readers alike!).
Now that it’s playing in 266 theaters, it’s more fair to compare (500) Days of Summer’s per theater averages with wider releases, and iwth $10,000 per screen, it had the best per theater average among the top 30 movies of the week. There were three other modest indie hits this week, too: Adam, The Cove and Thirst. Prisco will have reviews of all three over the next few days, starting today with Adam.
Overall, the summer box-office season — which began with so much promise (Star Trek and The Hangover) has now fallen behind last summer’s total take, though year over year, it’s now competing with The Dark Knight’s massive 2008. It’s hardly fair, and don’t expect G.I. Joe to reverse the trend.
And speaking of G.I. Joe, a few early reviews surfaced last week, and most of them have been positive. However, there is a caveat. Obviously, I don’t want to say that the movie blows before we judge it for ourselves, but do note that only a select few critics were invited to early screenings and it looks as though they were largely cherry-picked from review sites with a fanboy reputation (many of which had also given Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen positive reviews). It’s not to say that the reviews are not accurate, but you have to question the studio’s motives for selecting the critics they did. It also provides another reminder of why we don’t play the advanced screening game — there is a certain amount of politics involved. Plus, when you’re paying for a movie ticket yourself, I really feel like reviews are a little more honest than when they come from critics who not only get to see the movie for free, but are usually seated with more receptive audiences (people who received tickets from the studio, won them from radio shows, etc.) Devin Faraci, over on CHUD — who gave the movie a positive review — also noted, “People who didn’t get invited to early GI JOE screenings will likely give it bad reviews,” as though suggesting they might feel bitter for not having been invited. But wouldn’t the opposite reaction be in play, as well? Critics who were invited might have felt flattered by the selection, and that flattery might have worked itself into the review.
In either respect, I’m reminded again of why we don’t do advanced screenings.
Here are your top five movies for the weekend:
1. Funny People ($23.5 million)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($17.7 million; $255 million)
3. G-Force ($17 million; $66 million)
4. The Ugly Truth ($13 million; $54 million)
5. Aliens in the Attic ($7.8 million)