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Summer's Dead, Baby. Summer's Dead.

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | August 30, 2009 |

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | August 30, 2009 |

“And I looked and behold: a dead horse.
And his name, that beat on him, was Death.
And sequels followed with him…”

Dylan Thomas might’ve once said that death shall have no dominion, but if he’d seen this weekend’s numbers, he might’ve changed that tune right quick, because if it wasn’t a killing spree against either vapid teens or vicious Nazis, it wasn’t raking in the beaucoup bucks at the box office.

The Final Destination used the pricier gimmick of 3-D to lure in fans to the amount of $28.3 million and the first place spot, despite the fact that the franchise has clearly run out of juice when it comes to the inherent fun of elaborate executions (yes, I’m saying that this one is markedly lazier than its virtually identical predecessors, and no, that particular hair could not be split any further).

The gimmick of 3-D also seemed to get the better of Rob Zombie, as his second stab at rebooting the Halloween franchise was met with a third-place finish at $17.4 million. And what kept that number two from landing at number two? The Weinsteins’ own Inglourious Basterds, upon which they tagged trailers for H2 like it was nobody’s business (well, besides their own) before word of mouth likely convinced people that A) they’d rather not be subjected to laughable visions of Michael Myers’ mommy and her white horse, and that B) they’d rather witness for themselves Mike Myers’ jolly-good cameo and the overall elimination of the Third Reich. If that’s not worth another $20 million, I don’t know what is.

Keeping the R-rated flag flying in fourth place was District 9, with $10.7 million, while fifth went to the PG-13 G.I. Joe with about $8 million (most of which I suspect was purchased for the sake of sneaking into one of those R-rated bad boys; I know I would). Julie & Julia ($7.4 million) continued to hold a bit better on less screens than The Time Traveler’s Wife ($6.7 million), coming in at sixth and seventh place, respectively. The kids divvied up their dollars between number eight, Shorts ($4.8 million), and number ten, G-Force ($2.8 million, losing its 3-D screens and therefore its grip on the movie-going public), and as this week’s token Post Grad, the wide release of Taking Woodstock resulted in a mere $3.7 million and a ninth-place slot (our review will post Monday afternoon).

Then again, who can blame ‘em for thinking that hippies even had the money to go to the movies anymore? Maybe they should’ve played up the white horse …

Halloween II Review | Storm Front and Fool Moon by Jim Butcher