Here’s a rarity: The weekend box-office ended in a tie. After a massive $982 gabillion opening weekend, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen fell 61 percent from its opening frame to $42.5 million, which was the same take as the opening weekend for the third movie in the Ice Age franchise, Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Of course, until Tuesday, weekend box-office results are estimated, so a likely victor will probably reveal itself then. In either respect, I couldn’t possibly give any less of a crap.
More tidbits I couldn’t possibly care less about: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, after only two weekends, is the top earner of the year so far, and my guess is that it will hang on to that title, as it surges toward $400 million. Despite opening narrowly behind The Dark Knight’s record-breaking five-day opening weekend, it doesn’t have the legs to approach The Dark Knight’s $533 million total. It still smarts a little to see such a spectacularly awful film make so much goddamn money, and it will only guarantee that more films will be based on 80s cartoons, board games, and other flimsy source material. It also further proves that Hollywood doesn’t have to give us what we want, it only has to give us what we’ll settle for.
Meanwhile, over its opening five days, Dawn of the Dinosaurs put up $67 million, which is a million less than its predecessor put up in three days, in March. Still, Ice Age 3 should have little problem reaching $150 million and guaranteeing a fourth in the series. These Ice Age films has to be the most benign family-oriented franchise of all time. It’s the Taken of family films, a movie you see because there’s nothing else in that genre to see (assuming you’ve already seen Up).
Public Enemies had a fairly strong opening, as well, landing in third place with $26 million over the weekend and $41 million since it opened. It’s also good for Michael Mann’s biggest opener yet, scoring $1 million more than Miami Vice opened with, although the latter only managed to make $63 million overall. Look for Public Enemies to fare similarly to Mann’s Collateral, which eked out $100 million in 2004.
Rounding out the top five, The Proposal has been hanging on well, putting up another $12 million to push it closer to the $100 million mark, while The Hangover, at number five, scored another $10 million to make it the fourth movie of 2009 to gross over $200 million, hardly expected for an R-rated comedy starring Bradley Cooper. By this time next week, it will also have surpassed Wedding Crashers to become the top grossing R-rated comedy of all time.
In limited release, Away We Go expanded to 500 theaters over the weekend and actually lost its momentum, heading southward. At $6 million, it’s unlikely it will make back its $17 million production budget unless it gets some late-year awards consideration. The Hurt Locker, which added screens, also lost ground on its opening week total. And even The Brothers Bloom has now barely crossed the $3 million mark, all of which means: Great independent films are, per usual, being ignored in favor of massive, over-hyped, corporate manufactured, cinematic dung heaps. Yay America! Have we even had a significant indie breakthrough hit since Juno?