When Hollywood Offers Scraps, Filmgoers Prefer Leftovers - Week 5 | Twilight | Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa | Quantum of Solace

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When Hollywood Offers Scraps, Filmgoers Prefer Leftovers - Week 5

Twilight
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Quantum of Solace
Four Christmases
Bolt
Ya know, there used to be two "dead" weekends in each Blockbuster season. It was always the weekend right after Memorial Day and the weekend after Thanksgiving Weekend. These were the dates that studios would release films like the Danny Glover/Joe Pesci classic Goin' Fishin' or the Jeff Daniels/Michael Richards hullabaloo Trial & Error. Studios would make the excuse that the big holiday weekend films were so hot that it was a losing battle to try and compete with them just 7 days removed. The reality is that when you offer crap, people tend to stay away. Neither Finding Nemo or Sex and the City had a problem opening the weekend after Memorial Day.

So, did the Studios offer us something tasty to stick around and watch after we bought out theater gift certificates? No, they offered us Punisher: War Zone. And, just like last year when all they offered was Awake (the Jessica Alba's husband is awake during his surgery movie), audiences stayed away.

Opening with a ghastly $4.3 million, Punisher: War Zone came over about as well to viewers as the abysmal 80's version of The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren. Not to be confused with the abysmal Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren or the abysmal I Come in Peace with Dolph Lundgren.

And since there's no other new movies to talk about, I can go onto a tangent for a paragraph. The trailer for that 80's Punisher left a much stronger impression on me than the actual horribleness of the movie. It has the classic deep voice over going "Dolph Lundgren is… The Punisher" at least three times in it. This led me and my buddy to use that as our go-to line for about the next year. We'd just sit around and go "Dolph Lundgren is… My Grandma" or "Dolph Lundgren is… The Ball Boy" and bust ourselves up (we were an easy audience). You could just say "Dolph Lundgren is…" anything and it was pretty much comic gold. It pretty much still is.

Ok, so with nothing new in sight, Four Christmases kept bringing the funny. Its 12-day total is $69.4 million. Though that's not really at a blockbuster level, I'm still guessing that's about $69 million more than Marley & Me will over the Christmas weekend.

Twilight made $13 million, Bond made $6.8 million, and Madagascar made $5 million. With Madagascar's $14 million edge over Bond at this point, Quantum of Solace looks to have no chance of catching the animals at that zoo. Twilight is about $13 million beyond Bond, yet since it's still making almost twice as much money per week, it's got a shot at taking a bite out of 007.

Meanwhile, Bolt lost his charge in his third weekend dropping 64.1%. The 3D gimmick (and higher ticket prices) should still help it cross the $100 million mark, but it won't go much north of there.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day:

#1. Madagascar 2 - $165.7 million
#3. Quantum of Solace - $151.7 million
#3. Twilight - $138.4 million
#4. Bolt - $79.4 million
#5. Four Christmases - $69.4 million

This Week
The continuation of Hollywood remakes continues as The Day The Earth Stood Still lands in theaters. Of course, "remake" seems to be a loose term as I can't really tell what this film has to do with the original other that there's a robot named Gort and there's a similarly monotone, stiff actor in the lead.

Even my wife's confused, as she saw the original film (if "seeing" counts as being in the same room working on her lap tap while I'm watching it… of course, it better, since that's how most people see anything these days) and said, "Hey, isn't the whole title about the alien guy just making all machines, cars, and everything come to a stop one day? Why is he blowing everything up in this new movie?" Great point, and one that isn't lost on fans of the first film. Then again, the 2% of the population they may have actually seen the first film and liked it aren't exactly a strong demographic to be going after when it comes to marketing a new film. "Come see our movie, things blow up" is a much clearer message.

Also this week in a smaller release is Nothing Like the Holidays. The holiday fare movies centered around African-American casts have been hit and miss. This Christmas cleared almost $50 million last year while The Perfect Holiday only could gather a less-than-perfect $5 million. Where this holiday film centered around a Latino-American cast will land is probably somewhere inbetween.

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/08/2008

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Bolt, Four Christmases, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Quantum of Solace, Twilight
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