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Redneck America Verbally Bitch Slapped by a Gay Man. Fabulous!

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | July 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | July 13, 2009 |

Bruno, unsurprisingly, debuted at number one over the weekend, although it does appear that, for a $30 million opening, it’s a soft one. It grossed nearly half of that on Friday ($14.4 million), and had a precipitous drop on Saturday ($8 million), not only suggesting that word of mouth was bad, but that the extended box-office outlook for Bruno (and the idea of these Gotcha! Squirm films) is bleak — my guess is that Bruno won’t make it past the $60 million mark. which should be just enough to cover the legal expenses for all the lawsuits that will be filed against the movie.

Personally, I am a little disappointed. I agreed with Dan’s review on the comedic merits of the film, but there was one aspect of Bruno that absolutely thrilled me. For all the gay stereotypes and the over-the-top, often stupid, flamboyant humor in Bruno, it wasn’t a movie that was mocking gays, it was one that vilified homophobes. And as a guy who grew up with a gay father in backwoods Arkansas (among many of the same people, no doubt, who were actually at the cage wrestling match at the end of Bruno hurling gay slurs), it was really satisfying to see a film that made homophobic America look like the evil, redneck twits they are. And while Bruno is a character, those assholes aren’t. So, despite the fact that Bruno was drinking champagne out of some guy’s ass, it was those hateful, bigoted fuckers that looked like the sorry sons of bitches they are and who were being laughed at in much the same way as they’ve been laughing at gays for decades. In a very small way, they got a little spiritual comeuppance. Bruno tore redneck homophobes a new assholes, and then he fucked them in it. Bravo.

Anyway, enough about Bruno, although it should be noted that it opened with $4 million more than Borat, but the $128 million that Borat made is way out of the reach of Bruno, especially up against Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week.

Meanwhile, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs had a fairly small drop-off from its opening weekend (31 percent), to put up another $28.5 million (also of note, after the official numbers came in from last weekend, it had edged out Revenge of the Fallen for the top spot. Initial tallies had them tied). Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has piled up $120 million after 10 days, while, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — which came in at third with $24.5 million — has now made $340 million. I hope you’re happy, America. It is now not only the top grossing film of the year, but the top grossing film adapted from a TV show and the number one robot film of all time. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Rounding out the top five, Public Enemies had a 44 percent drop from its opening weekend; it put up $14 million to land at number four (it has totaled $66 million now), and The Proposal clung, for another week, to the top five, putting up another $10 million to bring its total to $113 million, threatening also to steal away the incorrectly applied term “sleeper hit” from The Hangover.

Noteworthy, also, was the tepid debut of I Love You, Beth Cooper, which opened at number 7, with a meager $5 million, which makes it the 4,226th biggest money-maker of all time. It hardly deserves the position. Chris Columbus hasn’t had a stinker this big since Hearbreak Hotel in 1988.

Here’s your top five:

1. Bruno ($30 million)

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($28.5 million; $120 million)

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($24.5 million; $339 million)

4. Public Enemies ($14 million; $66 million)

5. The Proposal ($10 million; $113 million)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.