There was only one major release this weekend, and that was Wolverine, the critically well received follow-up to the maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And though the people that saw Wolverine liked it far better than its predecessor, there were far few people who actually saw Wolverine. The opening weekend’s $55 million was well off the $89 million of the previous entry, and that is in large part because of the damage to the franchise’s reputation inflicted by Origins. But don’t worry: These X-Men movies always manage to survive. Last Stand was terrible, but made a ton of money, and X-Men: First Class managed to keep the franchise alive, despite a downtick at the box office. I would not, however, bet on a Deadpool movie anytime soon. At best, Wolverine will end up a minor hit, and given Ryan Reynold’s status as Hollywood’s leading box-office poison, Fox is unlikely to entrust a struggling spin-off with R-Squared.
Meanwhile, in their expansions this weekend, both Fruitvale Station ($4.6 million) and The Way Way Back ($3.3 million) fared well given their screen counts, and look to be the indie hits of the summer, at least until Short Term 12 come along (I’d say that The Way Way Back is my second favorite movie of the year, but it’s well behind Short Term 12).
Alas, Aubrey Plaza’s The To Do List did not make much of a splash, bringing in a disappointing $1.5 million. Given that the film’s budget was also only $1.5 million, it may seem like a hit, but the studio spent a ton in publicizing the movie, all to little avail. Plaza should probably stick to supporting roles in features, like her turn in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Speaking of Scott Pilgrim, I stumbled across that movie again this weekend, and I’d actually kind of forgotten just how many great people are in in, most of whom were in the formative years of their career. In fact, the wealth of up-and-coming stars in Scott Pilgrim reminded me of Dazed and Confused, the Linklater movie that also cast a lot of future stars, semi-stars, has-beens, and almost weres. Indeed, there is even some symmetry in the casts, which I’ve laid out below.
The Leading Man Turned Fading Memory
Joey Lauren Adams
The B-Star Hottie
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
He’s In Everything! But I Never Remember Him in Anything!
The A-List Success Story
The Guy That’s Been Around a Few Years But Now He’s Finally Going Places
The Indie Queen of the Future
30 Years of Steady, Under-the-Radar Work
Oh Yeah! I Forgot She Was In That!
The Nice Guy with the Unremarkable Television and Film Career
The One with the More Popular Brother
She’ll Be Great in an Ensemble!
Christine Harnos (“E.R.”)
Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”)
The B-Movie Dude That Was Nearly Somebody