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Geeks Lose. Again

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | August 15, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | August 15, 2010 |

If you are a man or a woman, congratulations! You were well represented in this weekend’s box-office numbers. If you are a geek, perhaps you can take solace in the fact that you’re also a man or a woman, cause I got nothing for you, except a paltry $10.5 million opening for Scott Pilgrim and a 5th place finish. That’s a little more than half of what Kick-Ass opened with in April, and we thought that was a disaster (Pilgrim, I believe, had twice the budget of Kick-Ass, to boot.)

Was it Michael Cera? Was it the super niche? Was it the marketing oversaturation backlash? Was it the subject material? I doubt very much it was the quality of the film: The very least you could say was that it was better than both The Expendables and Eat, Pray, Love. I saw it. My opinion mostly mirrors that of Dan, save for one other factor: As someone who doesn’t play video games or read comic-books, I felt like the lamest guy in the world during the screening. Fortunately, there were only seven other people in attendance to quietly judge me. Also, I don’t understand why we’re celebrating the lack of irony. I like irony, damnit.

All the same: I’m bummed for Edgar Wright. Not because I loved the movie — I’m really not the target demographic and I have no idea the Sex Bob-Omb reference is to — but because Scott Pilgrim was original, inventive, creative, and energetic. And movies like that should be rewarded at the box office. I’d probably feel a little worse, however, if not for the fact that a movie like The Kids Are All Right has only made $16 million after six weeks. Mainstream America doesn’t like good movies. Welcome to the club, geeks. Now, please stop making me feel like a loser. Just because I didn’t read comic books in high school doesn’t mean that I didn’t get beat up, too. We may not be on the same team, but we have common enemies. Namely: Idiots.

Upside: After the lackluster performances of Nick & Norah, Youth in Revolt and now Scott Pilgrim, plus the disaster that was Year One, Michael Cera has certainly run out of chances. With nothing confirmed in the works, that’s probably the last we’ll see of Cera, except as an occasional best-friend character, until he shows up in a bad sitcom 20 years from now. Welcome to Jon Cryer’s life, Michael Cera.

I think everyone who saw Scott Pilgrim can agree it would’ve been even better if it was Wallace Wells vs. the World.

Meanwhile, The Expendables put up $35 million to win the box office because that’s still the kind of film that wins weekends: Mediocre action movies with recognizable faces. Eat, Pray, Love came in second place with a very solid $24 million. And in the gender wars, men win again, but maybe a few of those men came back from The Expendables to find that their wives had left them after seeing Eat, Pray, Love. Think of it: All of that grief could’ve been prevented if only you’d gone to see Scott Pilgrim together. Or even better: The Kids Are All Right.

The Other Guys and Inception kept kicking along, too, scoring $18 million and $11 million, respectively.

Here’s a poll. Because I’m curious.

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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.