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Tron's Legacy To Always Disappoint - Week 7

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Tron: Legacy
True Grit
Little Fockers
Megamind
Yogi Bear 3D
Gulliver's Travels
TRON'S LEGACY TO ALWAYS DISAPPOINT

In 1982 Disney released a very hyped, promised-the-moon movie named Tron. What viewers got was a movie about getting zapped into a computer, that computer world being full of nothing but neon lights and black backgrounds, and something about these computer people competing in games for reasons I can't even remember. While many geeks loved the idea, critics and fans agreed the results were about as impressive as the Bee Gees singing Beatles songs in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Fast forward to 2010 and Disney releases a very hyped, promised-the-moon movie named Tron Legacy. What viewers got was a movie about getting zapped into a computer, that computer world being full of nothing but halogen lights and black backgrounds, and something about these computer people competing in games for reasons that they still never explain. While many geeks loved the idea, critics and fans agree the results are about as impressive as Wilson Phillips releasing a Christmas album 19 years after their last hit song.

Look, there aren't that many people that really know the first Tron backwards and forwards, and the mere fact that Disney tried to release a movie that did nothing to really even explain the basic premise of the computer world, what they're doing there and why they keep playing these random games, just goes to show that this movie isn't for anyone who wants more than a laserium show with Daft Punk orchestra music.

As a result, the film most thought would be the second biggest film of the season if not the first opened with a very un-electric $44 million. A one-note effects movie like 2012 took in $20 million more than that just last year, so when a "franchise" and tent-pole movie lands in this range, it's not what producers were hoping for.

The other attempt at starting a new movie "franchise" might have ended just as quickly as Tron. Yogi Bear may be adept at stealing pic-a-nic baskets, but not ticket money from families. Generating only $16.4 million in its first three days, I think the movie's villains are going to have their way and get Jellystone Park closed for good.

However, if Yogi and Tron failed to deliver the goods, that says nothing about How Do You Know. To play off the headline I saw last week, How Do You Know your movie sucks? When it only makes $7.5 million in its opening weekend, when it cost an inexplicable $100 million to make, when Black Swan makes more than you on 1,500 fewer screens, and when people seem as interested in this as a Betty White Playboy spread. Yes, people, it's true. How Do You Know, your movie sucks.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Tourist both dropped 48% in their second weekend to continue their run to mediocrity. Amazingly, there was no "Golden Globe" boost for The Tourist even after the Hollywood Foreign Press lauded it with multiple nominations. When critics from Liechtenstein can't get Americans pumped up to go see a movie, it's time to close up shop.

The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Harry Potter 7: Part 1 - $265.7 million
#2. MegaMind - $141.2 million
#3. Tangled - $127.9 million
#4. Due Date - $97.3 million
#5. Unstoppable - $77.4 million

This Week
The last films of the season… and what a forgettable season it's turned out to be!

Little Fockers comes along to try and offer the same laughs it's offered in its past two movies. Hey, who doesn't like to see Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in good movies? Sadly, this doesn't look like it's one of them.

It goes without saying that Jack Black is the big man in Gulliver's Travels. It'll take all the charm he can muster to pull audiences back to the island of Lilliput in a story that seems been there and done that… just not with giant robot wedgies.

Perhaps there is one more good film out there to send 2010 out on a high note. While the Cohen Brothers don't seem like a natural fit for remaking the classic western True Grit, the cast and reviews have been stellar. Maybe Christmas is the season where I can find a family who'll watch my kids during Gulliver's Travels so I can theater hop over to see True Grit. "It's Christmas, Theo. It's the time of miracles." -- Hans Gruber, 1988.

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/20/2010

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Gulliver's Travels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Little Fockers, Megamind, Tron: Legacy, True Grit, Yogi Bear 3D
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