Brave Opens Bold; Vampire Hunter Has No Bite - Week 8 | The Avengers | Brave | Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

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Brave Opens Bold; Vampire Hunter Has No Bite - Week 8

The Avengers
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Men in Black 3
Snow White and the Huntsman
Rock of Ages
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
That's My Boy
Curly locks, arrows, and Scottish accents dominated the weekend as Pixar's Brave carried it's "if you could change your fate, would you" message to theater owners. A fearless $66.3 million opening is valiant enough to be the 5th largest Pixar debut, just behind Up's $68.1 million which continued to soar up and up all the way to $293 million. Not too shabby. Sounds fantastic! Looking a little closer though, you'll notice the film now at 6th place on the opening list was last year's Cars 2 with $66.1 million.

Wait, what?! Brave is supposed to be Pixar getting back on track. Breaking the chains of just churning out sequels because they can turn out sequels. That's DreamWorks job! Yet for all of Brave's attempts to be as non-Cars 2 as a film could be, it opens with a mere $200,000 more than last year's clunker. What on Earth does this mean?! Is Brave a return to Up and making original films that matter or a sign that Pixar's moved into that open big and drop fast pit stop that Cars 2 pulled in to? Just like the main character, Merida, wonders during the movie, what is Brave's fate?

P.S. Poolers who picked it probably shouldn't be too scared about Brave. Cars 2 ranks 12 out of 13 Pixar films in domestic box-office and it still rolled into the Top 5 even if after running out of gas early on. That said, this isn't last summer. Making Cars 2 $190 million this year may not be enough climb Mount Top Five.

One thing on which we can all agree, adding Abraham Lincoln to the Scottish Highlands wouldn't have helped Brave's chances in the slightest. It certainly was no boon for a movie about 18th Century vampire hunters. All those years of topping "Favorite President" lists didn't help a lick as the Gettysburg Address was returned to sender when the mailer dabbled in Buffy the Vampire Slaying.

The $16.3 million start for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter should not be over-criticized, however, when you realize that's still $6 million more than Jonah Hex ever made. (Seriously, that film opened with $5.3 million in 2010 and finished with $10.5 million. The only thing that film ranks high in is in Biggest Theater Drops where it's second behind Meet Dave!) So, take comfort, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. You are no Jonah Hex. You're probably more like Halloween 2. No, not the first one, the second one directed by Rob Zombie. Congratulations. You did our nation proud.

I love the idea of all these historical sci-fi/horror mash-ups, like last year's Cowboys & Aliens or this year's John Carter, yet why can't these filmmakers find a way to include any of the fun it seems these films should have? It's like they have an idea worthy of a Weird Al song and they decide to turn it into something by Creed. People's arms haven't been wide open for that since 2000.

Despite a direct assault on the family audience this week, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted remained under investigation. Slipping only 42%, the Afro Circus kept all three rings of its Big Top busy and being a suitable substitute for saturated Brave screens probably didn't hurt either. Zoo keeping $157.1 million so far, Casey Junior might be able to get this DreamWorks production down to the $200 million track.

Last weekend's features might as well start playing as a double-bill if they hope to attract any kind of audience. Of course, that would only help if they each cost half as much to make. Rock of Ages dropped more (47%) than That's My Boy (43%), so in the long run Boy will likely top Ages' final tally. Probably about as fascinating as The Wanted beating One Direction in Google searches in 2032. Oh, I know, you can't see it now, but it's happening. Oh yes, it's happening!

Prometheus couldn't shake its chains to halt its swift decent. Falling another 52%, Prometheus seems bound to be that nether world movie. Not enough money to be a hit, not enough money to be a flop. I guess it's just a movie.

Snow White & The Huntsman has avoided any poison apples at the end and still looks likely to surpass a $150 million total. If Charlize Theron could combine this with Prometheus, she'd be making the Top Five for sure! On the other hand, Jeremy Renner could combine his not even released yet The Bourne Legacy with The Avengers and he'd also be in the Top Five too. Oh wait, he already did. Nevermind.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. The Avengers - $598.4 million
#2. Men in Black 3 - $163.5 million
#3. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - $157.1 million
#4. Snow White & The Huntsman - $137.1 million
#5. Prometheus - $108.4 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 06/26/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Brave, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Men in Black 3, Prometheus, Rock of Ages, Snow White and the Huntsman, That's My Boy, The Avengers
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