Now You See Me Makes After Earth Disappear - Week 5 | Iron Man 3 | Fast & Furious 6 | Star Trek Into Darkness

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Now You See Me Makes After Earth Disappear - Week 5

Iron Man 3
Fast & Furious 6
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Great Gatsby
Now You See Me
The Hangover Part III
Epic
After Earth
Magicians may have been passé this spring when they included the likes of Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but when you cast What's-His-Name and Who's-Her-Face, you've got a hit on your hands!

Yes, the movie with no superstars and a cast full of role-players just beat the movie with arguably the biggest player in the game. This is very foreboding heading into tonight's Game 7 match-up between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.

Now You See Me used its magical crime-caper hook and it's Battle of the Network Stars charm to make $28.1 million reappear in its first weekend. Folks looking for a fun summer diversion that reminded them of The Italian Job with rabbits in their hat certainly found their movie. While a high 20's debut for an intended mega-money maker would close in Vegas in a week, for smaller films hoping only to be a sleeper hit (a-la The Devil Wears Prada or Superbad) it's the right card to flip over.

Speaking of intended mega-money makers, where to start with After Earth except that "after" might be a synonym for "over." Just like in the movie, this big-budget flick starring Will Smith and his cloned son Jaden crashed on Earth. Debuting with $27 million, at best about half of what every other "contending" film has started with this season, this was no Summertime for the Fresh Prince. It was more like a Nightmare on My Street.

Where did it all go wrong? Will Smith led a post-apocalyptic, survival film all by himself in I Am Legend to almost $200 million. This is almost the same thing except instead of talking to inanimate objects in I Am Legend, here he's talking to his son... and while I'm not the mean-spirited person who would call that the same thing, I'm mean enough to still mention it.

Two other issues that almost went unreported whenever this film was being advertised. One, the story was by... Will Smith? Does coming up with "Let's do Castaway as a father/son thing and set it in the future" count as a story? Did he come up with it while watching the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody on Deck with Willow and Jaden and then jumping to something on the SyFy channel? Most importantly, if this was your story, wouldn't that be part of the P.R.? Like, "I've made a lot of movies, but this is a story I felt hadn't been told and needed to be done." Don't you pump that up and make it part of the event? If Wesley Snipes and Jamie Lee Curtis could do that for Blade and Halloween: 20 Years Later, Will could've helped Sony out a little more.

The other, almost never mentioned factor: this was a M. Night Shyamalan film. Three years after his 6% Rotten Tomatoes score (and that's being generous) with The Last Airbender, there was nothing in any trailer or ad that paid any notice to this being M. Night's film. Why hire a guy to make your movie if you can't in any way use him to help sell it (let alone, make it). They release kids books all the time with an anonymous pseudonym as the author. Why not do that here? Either that or you go in the other direction with total irrational confidence. "Yeah, it says 'Title Song sung by Paris Hilton,' so what? This film's so good it'll be a smash anyway!"

Due to the heavy volume over Memorial Day Weekend, most of the returning films suffered some severe dips this time around. Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover Part III both careened off a 60%-plus drop. Fast 6 secured a $34.5 million finish and a $170.4 million grand prize so far, while The Hangover got hung on $15.9 million and a $88.1 million gross.

Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 fell in the mid 50% range. The Enterprise kept its lead over Fast's car thieves with a $16.4 million weekend and a $181.1 million total, yet it might be only time before one multi-racial crew overtakes the other one... unless Kirk beams some tribbles into their gas tank, of course. Iron Man found another $8 million as apparently some other people still hadn't seen the movie yet. Sitting pretty with a $384 million total, it'll be a challenge for any other movie to rust away at this sum.

Epic and The Great Gatsby declined about 50%. Epic's 10-day total of $65.2 million means it should cross the $100 million plateau, though fail to play a factor in the Top Five outcome. Perhaps Gatsby's $128.3 million haul shows that Hollywood should've split it into three movies and made it into a trilogy. All it needed was some little people with hairy feet... and no, I don't mean Toby Maguire.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Iron Man 3 - $384.8 million
#2. Star Trek Into Darkness - $181.1 million
#3. Fast & Furious 6 - $170.4 million
#4. The Great Gatsby - $128.3 million
#5. The Hangover Part III - $88.1 million



by Matt Neuenburg on 06/03/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: After Earth, Epic, Fast & Furious 6, Iron Man 3, Now You See Me, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III
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