Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch opened with a hugely disappointing (at least from the studio’s perspective) $19 million over the weekend, falling $5 million short of the top film, Diary of the Wimpy Kid 2, which earned back its budget in the first weekend. Sucker Punch, much like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last year, is turning into that movie that everyone wants to talk about that, relatively speaking, no one has actually seen. It has been fun to read, though: For a film that opened with the same box-office that No Strings Attached opened with, people feel awfully strong about their opinions. In the movie-blog Twitterverse, it’s turned into a pissing match — there’s a lot of name-calling, and everyone insists that their opinion is the right one, to the detriment of everyone else. (Obviously, only one opinion can be right, and it’s TK’s, of course).
Seriously, though: It’s opened up a lot of debate about fanboys and feminism, which is refreshing, even if that debate clearly goes over Zack Snyder’s own head. Snyder thinks that fanboys hate it because his “feminist” angle is an “indictment of fan boys,” while I get the feeling that the fanboys who do hate it hate it because it’s not a very good film. From some of the interviews I’ve read, I’m also not entirely sure that Zack Snyder knows what a “metaphor” is or why dressing a woman in a school-girl outfit, calling her Babydoll, and dropping her in a brothel might not be perceived the way in which he wanted it to be perceived.
In either respect, it’s been interesting gauging opinion around the Internet on Sucker Punch, from Angie Han’s piece (Why Ass-Kicking and Empowering Aren’t Always the Same Thing) to Cole Abaius’ Empowerment and Exploitation of ‘Sucker Punch’ Are in the Gaze of the Beholder, as well as a few — what I thought were misguided — defenses of the film. And some have to be wondering, as Christopher Campbell does, Why Men Are Co-Opting the Feminist Debate? I think this piece, posted before the movie came out, seems to capture the argument fairly well.
In either respect, from a box-office standpoint, after the poor performance of Sucker Punch, on the heels of the disappointing showings of Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Warner Brothers has to be concerned with their Superman reboot. Snyder’s name is becoming perilously close in reputation as that of M. Night Shyamalan, the kind of name that might elicit boos in crowded theaters. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s kicked to the curb, officially or unofficially, in favor of Jonathan Nolan.
Elsewhere in the box-office, both Limitless (-19.5%) and The Lincoln Lawyer (-16.7%) had very small drops from last week, holding well as adult-oriented fare continues its rebound at the box office. Rango, meanwhile, landed at number five with another $10 million, pushing it over $100 million.