I’m not telling you anything you didn’t know the day that a sequel to Transformers was announced — it was the number one film at the box office, largely for reasons explicated by Dan over on his blog, namely: “It doesn’t look that good, but I’ll see it anyway.” That’s the sentiment that swept the nation over the last five days, and in the end, Revenge of the Fallen managed a whopping $201 million over that period, second to only last year’s The Dark Knight for a five-day period. On Wednesday, it also put up the second largest one-day tally of all time, again behind only last year’s The Dark Knight; and, over the weekend, with $112 million, it easily outdistanced X-Men: Wolverine for the biggest opening weekend of the year.
“It doesn’t look good, but I’ll see it anyway,” apparently was worth about $385 million worldwide since Wednesday, and it’s likely that sentiment that will not only make Revenge of the Fallen the biggest movie of the year (it should surpass Up’s $250 milllion by next week), but push it eventually over the $400 million mark in America and $700 million worldwide. $1.1 billion for “It doesn’t look that good.”
It’s just a goddamn shame that “It doesn’t look good, but I’ll see it anyway,” is worth so much more in box-office dollars than: “That looks amazing, and I’ve heard great things. Maybe I’ll see it on DVD.” What the hell is wrong with this country’s mindset? There are a couple million folks who only venture out of their house once a year to see a movie, and they’ve decided that Revenge of the Fallen was the one movie worth seeing. And my guess is that 1/3 of those people walked out incredibly disappointed; another 1/3 hated it but their pride refused to allow them to admit they spent $10 on an exploding turkey; and the other 1/3 genuinely loved it, proclaiming, “It’s got slo-mo boobs and slo-mo booms! What else can you ask for?” How about a little quality, a storyline, some credible acting, and an idea of what the hell was going on onscreen?
“Michael Bay knows how to build the perfect summer box-office beast,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “He squarely aimed right at the demographic, right at what summer movie-goers want, and he put it on the screen. And audiences can’t seem to get enough of it.”
I fucking hate that he’s right. And I fucking hate that Michael Bay is handsomely rewarded for giving dumbasses exactly what they want.
Meanwhile, the good news is that The Hurt Locker, an infinitely better, more intense, and more compelling thinking-man’s summer movie did manage to put up $10,000 more per screen than did Revenge of the Fallen. The bad news, unfortunately, is that it only played on 4 screens, while Transformers II played on 4,000. Dan’s going to have the review up this afternoon; do yourselves a favor and read it. And, in a few weeks, when The Hurt Locker comes to your town during the same weekend that G.I. Joe opens, think about it a little before saying, “It doesn’t look very good, but I’ll see it anyway.” Honestly, it’s like eating a turd out of the sewer because everyone else is doing it when, for the exact same price, you can eat fajitas. The Hurt Locker is the short line at the DMV, folks.
Elsewhere in box-office news, The Proposal — a decent film, but in no way better than another option in most decent-sized cities this weekend, The Brothers Bloom — put up another $18 million to push it close to $70 million, essentially guaranteeing that it’ll eventually cross the $100 million mark. You know what the best thing about that is? Ryan Reynolds will be a better box-office draw when his next movie, a small independent film, is released. I like that trade-off.
The only other major release over the weekend was the cretinous weeper, My Sister’s Keeper, which debuted at number five, with a respectable $12 million. A couple of years ago, counterprogramming worked a little better because moviegoers would see something else when the movie they wanted to see was sold out. Now, Revenge of the Fallen is on half the screens at any given multiplex, so instead of going to see another film, they just wait five minutes for the next screening. I guess that’s progress.
Here’s your top five:
1. Revenge of the Fallen ($112 million; $201 million)
2. The Proposal ($18 million; $69 million)
3. The Hangover ($17 million; $185 million)
4. Up ($13 million; $250 million)
5. My Sister’s Keeper ($12 million)