Hooray! Audiences once again reward Russell Brand on his non-stop, Yelling-Across-America tour — it’s funny because he’s British! And British people are cheeky! Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Ad infinitum. And what child wouldn’t find jelly-bean defecate an entertaining treat? What happens when the Easter Bunny gets the runs, anyway? You get some kind of rainbow river of sludge?
Anyway, Hop now holds the highest-grossing opening weekend of 2011. Thanks, America. Keep encouraging ‘em! That’s the spirit! Next up? Animated, talking turds and their thrilling and dangerous journey through the NYC sewer system.
Meanwhile, Source Code quietly put up a respectable $15 million, good for second place, and enough to keep Duncan Jones’ name bouncing around better sci-fi projects for a few years (not that Source Code is bad — just very conservative). And for anyone that paid to see Source Code, the voice cameo was nearly worth the price of admission itself. Right? Right? Don’t leave me hanging here. And while that gross is good for Duncan Jones, it’s probably not that great for Jake Gyllenhaal, as he’s proven again that he’s not yet capable of carrying his own film. Look at this guy’s box-office record. People really just don’t care about Gyllenhaal.
Elsewhere, Insidious managed an OK $13.5 million, despite one of the worst marketing campaigns in recent memory. “Insidious is … ” Oh, Jump Up My Ass. Feedback in our own comments section was poor, indicating that it didn’t even a get much jump-scare comedic value in theaters that weren’t packed to the rafters with drunks. Audience means everything for this kind of horror movie, and if you can’t pack the theater with squealers, it’s hardly worth the effort unless the movie stands up on its own (and Insidious decidedly does not). If only Patrick Wilson had lost another testicle in this one, it might have squeezed out another $1 million.
Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, meanwhile, continue to have impressive box-office legs, landing in 5th and 6th with cumulative grosses of $55 million and $40 million, respectively. Not bad for films that rely more on story than special effects.
Oh, and Sucker Punch? That dropped a whopping 68 percent, fetching only $6 million in its second weekend, well on its way to around a $45 million overall box office (on an $82 million production budget, and probably $50 million in marketing). So far, even foreign grosses have been lackluster, so expect Sucker Punch to land in the red, an ominous launching pad into the Superman reboot for Zack Snyder.
In great news, the re-release of the edited The King’s Speech as a PG-13 film failed spectacularly, managing only $1.1 million. How dumb was the Weinstein move there? How many more 13-17 year old did they really expect to attract with a prestige movie about a a stuttering monarch? You see a lot of Twilight and Fast and Furious pouting because they couldn’t get into The King’s Speech without their parents. Jesus, if you are 13-17 years old and want to see The King’s Speech, most parents I’d imagine would be happy to take you to see the R-rated version. Good parents, anyway.
In sadder news, the limited release of James Gunn’s Super, with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, barely made a blip in 11 theaters, managing just $4,800 per screen, enough to get it into a few more theaters, but not likely to merit a wider platform release.