Don’t let me interupt your Oscar hangover (and dresses are up with the next post), but there were movies that opened over the weekend, and some of them actually made money. Specfically, the Navy Seals Feature-length training video, Act of Valor, did a nice job of counter-programming the Oscars to take the top spot at the box office by a wide margin. Its $24 million (on a $12 million budget, not including the $16 million they spent on Super Bowl ads alone), it’s Cinemascore of an A, and it’s 71 percent male audience might just ensure that each branch of the armed forces comes up with their own feature films. Moviegoers were feeling a lot of Hoo and Ra this weekend.
Not so for Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, as the Madea-less Perry flick fizzled with a meager $16 million opening, the second worst opening for Perry all-time behind Daddy’s Little Girls, which I believe was also without Madea. I would not count Tyler Perry out, all the same (and we’ll have a review up tomorrow just as soon as the arrow on which Pajiba critic will get stuck with a Perry movie this time stops spinning. Owp. There it is: Joanna is the lucky winner. Good luck with Pookie!).
Journey 2, The Vow and Safe House all continue to play well in their third weekends. Safe House is approaching $100 million ($98 million so far), The Vow just crossed the mark, and Journey 2 is holding very well against no kid competition and has now racked up $76 million. The Ghost Rider sequel and This Means War, on the other hand, have bowed out of the top five in only their second week, and both look to end in the red.
However, the weekend’s big disappointment was Wanderlust, a decent but not great comedy that failed to connect. I don’t know who to blame, Jennifer Aniston or Paul Rudd, as both of them are fairly hit and miss box-office wise. But I choose to blame Aniston because people expect more from her, although, her track record doesn’t give any reason for those expectations. I know, I know: People love to say that she plays the same character in every movie, but that’s true of a lot of actors, and as long as you find the actor appealing (Clooney, Pitt, Hanks, Cruise) I’m genuinely OK with that. That’s what leading actors do: They play versions of themselves, and leave the “acting” to the character actors. The problem with Aniston is not that she plays herself in every movie, it’s that people don’t really love her.
So it goes. Here are her 10 biggest failures, which only includes movies that opened on 600 or more screens and heavily featured Aniston (The Good Girl and Friends with Money both made less than $20 million, but because of their situations in the marketplace, they were considered hits).
10. Rumor Has It ($43 million)
9. Derailed ($36 million)
8. Picture Perfect ($31 million)
7. The Object of My Affection ($29 million)
6. The Switch ($27 million)
5. Love Happens ($22 million)
4. Wanderlust (Est. $18 million)
3. Rock Star ($17 million)
2. Office Space ($10 million)
1. Leprechaun ($8.5 million)
I should also note the placement of Gone, Amanda Seyfried’s new film, which opened at number nine with $5 milllion. It was also the worst movie I’ve seen this year and yes, while the year is only two months old, it’s generally the two months with the worst cinematic offerings. At least Seyfried agrees that it’s horrible.