Ghostbusters Didn’t Answer; Star Trek Beyond is Be-Under; Bourne on Life Support - Weeks 11-12-13 | Finding Dory | Captain America: Civil War | The Secret Life of Pets

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Ghostbusters Didn’t Answer; Star Trek Beyond is Be-Under; Bourne on Life Support - Weeks 11-12-13

Finding Dory
Captain America: Civil War
The Secret Life of Pets
Jason Bourne
Star Trek Beyond
X-Men: Apocalypse
Central Intelligence
Ice Age: Collision Course
Remember how everything was going to pick up in July? Well, except for the now “not so” Secret Life of Pets, the only things picked up were to be taken out to the back alley.

Ghostbusters had every right to claim “Biggest Opening Ever for a Melissa McCarthy Movie” (or Kristin Wiig, or even Ed Begley Jr., for that matter) with its $46 million debut, but in the land of Summer Blockbusters, doing as well as Spy, The Heat, and Identity Theft isn’t going to get you in the Big Leagues. This was Ghostbusters: a 30-year old brand of nostalgia and dreams where reality doesn’t even come into play as to what people think of when people think of that film. This film needed to at least land in the Ant-Man zone of being something fun and near a $200 million gross for it to be perceived as a hit. Besides, all those other previous McCarthy hits cost $100 million less to make, so not a great investment to get the same return.

As to what went wrong, I’m not even sure. I thought the trailer seemed promising. I saw the movie and it’s… “ok.” What was most surprising was the decision to have two of the more successful women in comedy not actually be funny because they kept playing the (no pun intended in a female-led cast) “straight man” role. That’s why everyone keeps talking about Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones stealing the show because the leads could’ve been played by anyone and the film would’ve been the same. I mean, you’re McCarthy and Wiig, for crying out loud! Chris Hemsworth should not be out-funnying you. Being funny isn’t his day job… it’s yours!

This left a nice spotlight for Star Trek Beyond to steal as Ghostbusters didn’t live up to the hype… and then these commercials happened: “Critics are calling it not just a great Star Trek movie, but a great action movie.” Notice you’ve never heard Star Wars or Jurassic Park or Harry Potter commercials like this? Know why? Because they’re already making money hand-over-fist! Commercials trying to suck you into a film you wouldn’t normally be interested in aren’t needed for films people are already seeing. As soon as I heard this I knew Beyond was going to “be” under other Star Trek film grosses.

Star Trek Beyond’s $59 million start doesn’t sound so bad except it doesn’t start with a 7 like the other opening weekends did. Likewise, Star Trek Into Darkness opened with $5 million less than the first “new” Star Trek film and went on to make $30 million less. If I follow the math correctly, that would mean this film that opened almost $10 million less than Into Darkness will make $60 million less than that second film. That’s a lot more lesses than people normally want when they’re trying to make more.

Falling right into that Star Trek Beyond spot of “sorta but not a hit,” Jason Bourne. It debuts with $60 million, about $10 million less than the last Damon-staring Bourne film nine-years ago… when movie tickets probably cost 25% less. The good news is old-timers came out. The bad news is no new blood means no new money. Sure, you could argue this was a bigger opening than The Martian and that went on to make $228 million. Then again, you could also say Star Trek just tanked 60% in its second weekend and the “young bloods” seem to be going out of their minds about Suicide Squad which could become a Guardians of the Galaxy-type hit if played right and that opens in four days. Whoops.

Oddly enough, my youngest son asked me about what the Bourne films are even about. After the first one which was clearly the amnesia/origin story, I couldn’t differentiate any of them. Someone in the government wants him dead, he has to convince someone in the government he’s not bad while killing the people that are trying to kill him along the way, and stuff just keeps happening because… uh, stuff happens. I asked my wife, who saw the new one, if this had more of a plot and her response of “Um?” suggests that not much has changed in nine years.

However, let's take a moment to mention some good things in July. The Secret Life of Pets has become a gargantuan hit with $296.2 million so far and still rising. Bad Moms only cost $20 million to make and topped that in its first weekend (ya know, like Melissa McCarthy movies used to). Lights Out was made for $5 million and will cross $50 million in grosses by next weekend. And yet, there’s still one very special happy thing to mention that deserves it’s own special paragraph…

Ice Age: Collision Course tanked!!! It’s $21.3 million opening was the worst in the series and might not even make $61 million dollars which would be $100 million less than any of the other films have ever grossed. Could this, finally, actually, be the end of Scat and his acorn, grumpy Ray Ramano, completely bored Dennis Leary, and the “just kill me now” annoyingness of John Leguizamo’s sloth? Many years from now I’ll share with young parents the horrors I had to go through to raise kids in this generation and how they should be eternally grateful to have been spared ever having to deal with anything involving the Ice Age saga. I’m not sure there could be any other comparison except it was like the Police Academy series of animated features.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Finding Dory - $469 million
#2. Captain America: Civil War - $407 million
#3. The Secret Lives of Pets - $296.2 million
#4. X-Men: Apocalypse - $155.4 million
#5. Central Intelligence - $125.3 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 08/01/2016

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Captain America: Civil War, Central Intelligence, Finding Dory, Ghostbusters, Ice Age: Collision Course, Jason Bourne, Star Trek Beyond, The Secret Life of Pets, X-Men: Apocalypse
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