I feel a little bad for all of those people, which is probably the majority of you, who don’t watch “Lost,” have never watched “Lost,” and never care to watch “Lost.” Poor bastards. It’s been a rough week. It’s like Super Bowl week for those who hate football. The good news, at least, is that no one has paid any attention to the “American Idol” finale this year. Small blessings, I suppose. One more day, and we’ll all shut up about it.
Anyway, I’m dedicating this weekend’s box-office report to all of you who have had to suffer through the last week and, to a lesser extent, the last six years. On your behalf I say: Fuck the Losties. Shut up about that goddamn show already (for the rest of you, both Seth and Dan have reviews of the finale up.)
Anyway, the big news at the box office over the weekend was that Shrek 4 only managed a $71 million opening, which was the fourth biggest opening for an animated film all time and the fourth biggest opening for a fourth film in a series all time. And yet, the big story is what a disappointment $71 million was for a franchise whose last two films opened with $108 and $121 million (and they didn’t have the benefit of 3D ticket prices). It feels kind of ridiculous to call a $71 million opening a huge disappointment, but given the $165 million price tag on the film and the expectations for it, I can see the reasoning. Here’s a strange stat about the movie: 54 percent of those who saw Shrek Forever After were over the age of 25. Even accounting for all the parents in attendance, that’s an awful lot of adults for a kiddie flick. Right? Or is that normal?
Nevertheless, there’s not another major 3D movie until Toy Story 3 on June 18th, so look for Shrek Forever After to hold fairly well over the next month (family films, on the whole, have better legs than other genres anyway). (And as per custom, we hold our non-Pixar animated film reviews until Monday. The Shrek 4 review will publish this afternoon).
The other big story was the spectacular dud that was MacGruber, which only opened in sixth place with $4.1 million, or less than what both Ladies Man and Blues Brother 2000 made in their debut weekends (and less than half what Night at the Roxbury opened with). The shame of it is this: MacGruber was a much better movie than any other SNL movie not named Wayne’s World or Blues Brothers (everything’s relative in the “SNL” movie world). Part of the problem here was the lack of advanced press screenings; it was held until from critics until late Thursday night (despite solid reviews out of SXSW), which turned out to be a mistake, as critics — by and large — didn’t hate it. Moreover, the hard-R language was not played up in marketing so most probably thought it was another tame “SNL” offering. Alas, Will Forte and his tiny penis posing nude for Playgirl failed to generate much interest for MacGruber.
Meanwhile, Iron Man 2 added another $26 million to bring its three-week total to $251 million; Robin Hood added another $18 million to bring its total to $66 million (crash and burn); and Letters to Juliet held well, dropping only 32 percent, to add another $9 million to bring it’s two-week total to $27 million.
Here’s your top ten.
1. “Shrek Forever After,” $71.3 million
2. “Iron Man 2,” $26.6 million ($251 million)
3. “Robin Hood,” $18.7 million ($66 million)
4. “Letters to Juliet,” $9.1 million ($27 million)
5. “Just Wright,” $4.2 million ($14 million)
6. “MacGruber,” $4.1 million
7. “Date Night,” $2.8 million ($90 million)
8. “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” $2.3 million ($59 million)
9. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $1.9 million ($210 million)
10. “Kites,” $1 million