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The Gross Movie Pool: Fall 2013

Anchorman Is Only Kind of A Big Deal; American Hustles; Banks Needs Saving - Week 8

In the movie Babe when Ferdinand the Duck screams out "Christmas means carnage... Christmas means carnage!" it's pretty clear he's talking about the onslaught of films released within the small window around Christmas Day. We had four wide releases this weekend and five more set for Wednesday. While a lot of folks flock to the theater, they're not seeing all nine films. It's a theatrical blood bath where few win and the others will be left as a bloody pulp in the bargain DVD bin. Christmas means carnage.

The Hobbit Desolates Madea - Week 7

When Tolkienites get together to sing Elvish songs or blow smoke rings with their pipe-weed, it's usually to honor the celebrated literary trilogy The Lord of The Rings. The Hobbit is generally thought of a footnote or the spinach artichoke dip before the main feast. Given the fact that more Tolkienites would rather see a new LoTR movie about Tom Bombadil (a bizarre character from The Fellowship of the Ring that was left out of the movie version who's like the big, goofy Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol) than three movies about Bilbo Baggins, Warner Bros. should be thrilled with how well The Hobbit films are doing. It's not Lord of the Rings numbers, but it's no AfterMASH either.

Frozen Sets Fire To Thor's Reign - Week 6

With only one new hors d'oeuvre offered the week, theatergoers ate up the leftovers and scarfed down second helpings of their favorite Thanksgiving goodies. While some may think Christian Bale should take it personally that people rejected his violent action drama Out of the Furnace the first days of December, the same peeps put up a No Soliciting sign for Brad Pitt's similarly-veined Killing Them Softly in the very same weekend last year and just never took it down.

Catching Fire Catches Fire; Frozen Thaws Thanksgiving Record - Weeks 4 & 5

The Hunger Games rolled doubles three times in a row and still didn't have to go to jail as Catching Fire set a November opening record (which basically means it beat three Twilight films) with a $158.1 million debut. Though only a minor bump up from the $152 million start for The Hunger Games in March of 2012, this clearly cements the series as one for the long haul and Lionsgate accountants are counting the days until they can count all the money from Mockingjay Parts One and Two. It almost goes without saying that this was also Lenny Kravitz's biggest opening since Are You Gonna Go My Way.

Best Man Tugs On Thor's Cape - Week 3

Week 3 of the 2013 Holiday Movie Pool is the one week this season Hollywood forgot to plan. Most of the time, the fourth weekend of November is Thanksgiving Weekend. School is out, the stores are packed, relatives show-up with celery in Jell-O molds, and people just want to get away for a couple hours in a movie theater after they've woken up from turkey induced comas.

Thor's Dark World Lights Up The Box-Office - Week 2

The dirty little secret around The Avengers movie is the idea that it was the "huge" success of all the solo movies which made the collaboration that much bigger. Yes, the Iron Man films, thanks in no small part to Robert Downey Jr. suddenly becoming America's favorite actor, have been smashes, yet both Captain America and Thor were in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine realm of solo hits: not too shabby, but no one's making a theme park ride to go along with it. Face it, The Incredible Hulk was so incredibly mediocre Marvel immediately jettisoned any plans of making a sequel. So, if The Avengers is Charlie's Angels and Iron Man is Farrah Fawcett, are audiences going to turn out for another Kate Jackson movie?

Ender's Game May Already Be Over; Last Vegas Is For The Birds - Week 1

The 2013 Holiday Movie Season started with three films trying to win gold medals in the first weekend and the best they could come up with was a pewter thimble and two aluminum bottle caps. The two opening films last year (Wreck-It Ralph and Flight) combined to make almost $75 million. This year three films barely made $60 million. You can almost hear the spin doctors now (and no, I don't mean Little Miss Can't Be Wrong or Two Princes): "The 2013 Holiday Movie Season: It's 80% as good as last year as long as we release more movies to underperform!"
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