Robin Hood Misses The Target - Week 2 | Iron Man 2 | Robin Hood | Letters to Juliet

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Robin Hood Misses The Target - Week 2

Iron Man 2
Robin Hood
Letters to Juliet
"Re-tellings" are always a tricky thing. You need to keep a few of the iconic elements or your built-in audience will be dissatisfied. When my wife saw the "new" Mary Poppins musical on Broadway a few years ago, she was dismayed. "It's like they removed everything you liked about the movie and put in new things." Well, that about sums up a Robin Hood movie that doesn't feature an archery tournament scene, a Robin/Little John duel, any of the merry men actually being merry, or a Bryan Adams song. I mean, com'on, now, it's not like he was busy and I'm sure he still cuts like a knife (na na nah na na nah na nah).

While it was not as flop-tastic as Speed Racer or Land of the Lost, Robin Hood failed to fill the tights Universal was hoping with a $36.1 million debut. While this would be a "great" weekend for many films, when your movie cost $200 million to make, it's a long road back to profitability. Russell Crowe might need to start stealing from the rich for real as the poor masses have stopped giving him their money.

If some people were skittish when Iron Man 2 didn't set any records in its first weekend, they had a little more to be worried about when he dropped 59% in its second weekend. While "mega" openings often have bigger drops, something closer to 50% would've made the 38 poolers who picked it as their #1 film a whole lot better. I know if we'd gotten more of the Whiplash's pet bird subplot I'd have felt better. 10 minutes was not nearly enough. That deserved 30-40 minutes easily!

[For those new to the pool, a film normally drops about 40% from weekend to weekend. So, when a film drops by less than that (usually due to positive word-of-mouth), it's seen as a good thing and if a film drops by more (usually due to negative word-of-mouth), it's seen as not so good. The caveat for "blockbuster" films is that they tend to frontload and get so many people in the first weekend that they naturally have larger drop-offs. With this is mind, a 50% fall would still be grand, but anything more is a sign that the film will be coming to DVD sooner than you might think.]

In the "Thanks For Playing" corner…

Letters to Juliet was not a fan campaign to get the character from Lost back for the season finale, but I still have high hopes for this happening. Instead, the movie staring the only person who was the right age for her character in Mamma Mia, Amanda Seyfried, opened to $13.8 million and might make an "ok" $40-$45 million total. See, that's alright when your production budget is not $200 million.

Meanwhile, Just Wright showed that the world is not quite ready to believe that a handsome, eligible, filthy rich NBA player is going to settle down with the woman who got busy with Eugene Levy in Bringing Down the House as it debuted to a paltry $8.5 million. Still, that's almost $2.5 million more than Eugene Levy pulled off co-starring with the Olsen Twins in New York Minute.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:

#1. Iron Man 2 - $128 million
#2. Robin Hood - $36.1 million
#3. Letters to Juliet - $13.8 million
#4. Just Wright - $8.5 million
#5. n/a

This Week
Shrek returns for his fourth and (thankfully) final time. Do you realize these films have been going on so long that Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy used to be "big names" doing a cartoon movie? Now Shrek movies are only time people go out to see them, err, hear them.

Shrek the Third opened with a massive $121 million three years ago. With the added IMAX screens and 3D glasses surcharge, Shrek IV could pull of that same feat even if it sells 25% less tickets. I honestly can't tell if there's Shrek fatigue or if he's a familiar friend people are glad to have around. I do know it's the only clear-cut kids movie until Toy Story 3 in a month, so there's a lot of time for it to do some damage.

Speaking of a film where I have no idea how it'll do, though I do have a hunch, we have MacGruber. As a non-SNL guy, what little I've seen of the clips seems to be all the same shtick about how he gets distracted from de-activating a bomb before it blows up. I'm not sure exactly how that plays out for 90 minutes. Also, really surprised by the R-Rating factor. Has there been another SNL-branded moving that was actually R? Doesn't that go against the 13 year-old fan base that can't drive and thus actually sits around and watches SNL on Saturday nights? I'm suspecting a better outlook than It's Pat, yet I'm not seeing a Wayne's World here either. This party time won't be excellent.

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/17/2010

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Iron Man 2, Letters to Juliet, Robin Hood
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