5. The American: Last week’s number one movie benefited by a major lack of competition (Machete, which dropped 63 percent this week, and Going the Distance, which held on to the 5 spot for the second week in a row) and a little marketing misdirection: Most people expected a cool George Clooney hit man movie. What it was, as Dan’s review suggested, was an art film. It was basically the hit man version of Solaris, and knowing the tone, you knew exactly how the movie would end before the opening credits had finished.
4. Nightmare on Elm Street: Another movie that had little competition (Furry Vengeance was the only other wide opener that weekend), Elm Street put up $32 million, mostly from apathetic horror fans who wanted to see how badly they screwed it up. Fortunately, the Elm Street was so forgettable, it wasn’t able to displace our memories of the original.
3. Dear John: The first non-Avatar number one film of the year, it’s only competition was From Paris with Love, a movie somehow even more forgettable than Dear John. Quick: Which 2010 movie starred Amanda Seyfried? Letters to Juliet or Dear John? Trick question: They both did. Which starred Charming Potato? I’ve already forgotten the question.
2. Takers: This one was the armored truck movie starring Matt Dillon that wasn’t called Armored. That’s the only residual memory of the movie I have, though I reviewed it only three weeks ago.
1. Resident Evil: Afterlife: Afterlife managed $27 million this weekend, thanks to three factors: 1) there were no other wide releases, and even the holdovers (like The American) weren’t compelling; 2) it had the benefit of 3D ticket prices; and 3) there are a few people, like TK (who will have the review tomorrow), who continue to stick with the franchise out of some sort of guilty pleasure loyalty.