A Total Eclipse Of The Box-Office - Week 9 | Toy Story 3 | Iron Man 2 | The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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A Total Eclipse Of The Box-Office - Week 9

Toy Story 3
Iron Man 2
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Shrek Forever After
Grown Ups
The Last Airbender
Knight and Day
I've been trying to stay away from 80's references for awhile (I mean, why date myself… I know I'm not going to put out), but this summer has repeatedly put me in that position with endless reboots, remakes, and throwback movies. Hopefully, when Men in Black 3 and Bad Boys 3 come out in the next couple years, I'll be ready with my 90's zingers. Until then, please bear with me and if you leave, don't leave now. Please don't take my heart away.

Alright, so while Twilight 3 might be only #3 movie of a series that won't be in 3D this decade, there was nothing hairy outside of Jacob about its opening. Starting with a gothic $68.5 million first day, Eclipse made back its entire production costs during the first 24 hours. That was good enough for the second biggest opening day of all-time, behind only last November's New Moon $72.7 million debut.

Eclipse didn't stop there, though, as it still covered screens through the holiday weekend for a monster $176.4 million in just six days. Yes, that's still a couple million short of New Moon's $178.9 million six day blood bath, but Summit isn't going to be splitting wolf hairs over that difference. It's merely just another hugely successful effort from a film series Hollywood never saw coming before Twilight actually hit theaters just 18 short months ago. Hollywood, however, does see a few CW TV shows in the future for Kristen and Robert as their non-Twilight films are about as successful as Pauly Shore dramatic turns.

In the good news/bad news for M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender didn't get blocked out by the Eclipse and had his best 5-day opening since Signs with $69.3 million. The bad part is that the film garnered literally the worst collective reviews of his career… and this is the guy who brought us both Lady in the Water and The Happening, a.k.a. The Evil Wind. All I can say is that it's proof that there is a value to this franchise and if Paramount does greenlight a sequel please get anyone (seriously, anyone… we'll even take a Mc G with a side of Brett Ratner) else to direct the rest of these movies.

Personally, I lost track of how many terrible things were going on with The Last Airbender while watching it. Was it the decision to change the pronunciation of three of the main characters' names? I mean, we have over 60 episodes airing everyday on Nickelodeon where we call the last airbender "ang" as in boomerang. What on earth makes the movie crew decide to call him "ong"?! Was it the decision to literally try and fast-forward through 20 episodes in 100 minutes without giving anyone any reason to care or explain what was actually happening? Was it the decision to have every character talk like they were reciting Shakespeare even when their lines more resembled stage directions?

Last week, I feared that this film could strip away all the character and charm of the series and turn it into CGI nonsense. It turns out that that would actually be an insult to both CGI and nonsense.

As for the rest of the films, because of the extra-revenue during the holiday weekend they all fell around a paltry 28%. The odd exception was Grown-Ups which fell 35%. That doesn't bode too well for the long term prospects of the ensemble comedy, yet this was never a film intended to make $200 million and it should still make it to $130 million easy. I guess the even odder exception was Jonah Hex which dropped 89% as theater owners couldn't drop the film quick enough after its mandatory two-week window. Now, if only theaters would drop airing Coca-Cola ads before the movie starts. We're not idiots who are suddenly going to go, "Wait, I forgot to buy 44 ounces of soda before a two and a half hour movie!" We're the idiots who buy two 44 ounces of soda before a two and half hour movie so we won't have to run out in the middle of the movie.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:

#1. Iron Man 2 - $308.5 million
#2. Toy Story 3 - $301.9 million
#3. Shrek 4 - $232.6 million
#4. Eclipse - $176.4 million
#5. Karate Kid - $154.6 million

This Week
After trying to merge the Alien and Predator franchises together, the divorce is official as Predators opens this weekend and the upcoming Alien prequel will be released next year. I wonder who got custody of Lance Henriksen after the separation.

Predators borrows liberally from the original Aliens sequel by moving from the original with one predator versus a group of humans to having a bunch of predators versus a group of humans. Why Predators would want to hunt humans when we've proved to be so lame in all of the other Predator movies is beyond me. Let's just say I won't be shocked if I see Adrian Brody suiting-up into a mechanical exoskeleton for a big finale with the mother predator.

Steve Carell continues his takeover of the universe as the first of his two summer movies comes out. It's only been five years since The 40 Year-Old Virgin launched his "leading man" career and he's been impregnating movies and television ever since. This time he's voicing the main character in Despicable Me, the animated version of Mel Gibson's Payback movie. Well, that was the first time we were supposed to be rooting for the bad guy, right? This time we're cheering for Carell's character to overcome a pompous good guy and raise three adorable kids all at the same time. Wait, didn't I already see that with Dan in Real Life?

by Matt Neuenburg on 07/05/2010

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Grown Ups, Iron Man 2, Knight and Day, Shrek Forever After, The Last Airbender, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Toy Story 3
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