Zathura Stays Grounded; Derailed Off-Track; Get Rich Gets Upper-Middle-Class - Week 2 | Chicken Little | Jarhead | Derailed

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Zathura Stays Grounded; Derailed Off-Track; Get Rich Gets Upper-Middle-Class - Week 2

Chicken Little
As the wannabes of the Holiday Season flooded the multiplexes before a true giant like Harry Potter arrived, the result, as always, is that none of them were a real winner.

Zathura wasn't Elfish with its $13.7 million opening. It wasn't Looney Tunes: Back in Action either, though with Potter looming this family film will best be served on DVD.

Derailed won't end the attempts to make Jennifer Aniston a "movie star" (I'm guessing upcoming Rumor Has It will be the end of that experiment), but it should curtail people who wanted the James Bond producers to go with a "star" like Clive Owen to be the next Bond. Outside of Ain't It Cool News fan boys, Clive Owen is about as well known as the actor who played Dudley on Diff'rent Strokes. The downbound train movie's $12.2 million opening was enough to not be an embarrassment, though still enough to know that this trip doesn't stop in the final Top Five.

Get Rich or Die Tryin' wasn't quite 8 Mile (which opened with over $50 million), however somewhere Prince is still crying that 50 Cent's $17.7 million total in five days made more in its first weekend than Under A Cherry Moon ever did.

While mediocre films did mediocrely, Chicken Little stood tall. Dipping just 21% from its opening weekend with $31.7 mill, the sky is no longer falling after clucking $80.4 million in 10 days.

[FYI to new Poolers: The percentage a normal film declines from weekend to weekend is 40%. Anything less than that (i.e. 30%) is considered good and is usually attributed to good word-of-mouth and critical praise. Anything more than that (i.e. 50%) is considered bad and is usually attributed to poor word-of-mouth and a critical drubbing. The only caveat to a large decline is that huge opening weekends (i.e. $50 million or more) might naturally have a bigger decline than normal in the second weekend as there was a lot of interest in the film and everyone went to go see it on opening weekend.]

For an example of a bad second weekend decline, look no further than Jarhead which fell a whopping 58% with $11.7 million. Consider this film to be Missing In Action when the final Top Five is determined.

The Top Five flicks if today was Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance…

#1. Chicken Little - $80.4 million
#2. Jarhead - $46.5 million
#3. Get Rich or Die Tryin' - $17.7 million
#4. Zathura - $13.7 million
#5. Derailed - $12.2 million

This Week
For someone who's spent the better part of the last six months working on websites for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I still have no clue what this movie's about. There's a dragon, a Tri-Wizard Tournament, a high-school dance called the Yule Ball, new teachers, new bad guys, and a new rating. That's about all I know.

I also hear it's great, though oddly the film returns have been going down while arguably the films have been getting better. Have we reached the HP zenith and now everyone's going to see it opening weekend and then have the film drop 60% the next like Prisoner of Azkaban did? More importantly, is there anyone who's never seen an HP film and is going to make this one their first? Ah, sometimes questions are even better than actually having answers.

Walk The Line fills that spot where as you're getting older you're tired of going to rock shows that don't even get started until 10pm. Here's a movie about rock that will more or less hit its 7:30pm start time (after some Nike commercials, the Fanta girls, and 17 trailers that are about 14 trailers too many). I'm not sure I'm buying the hype that CBS was laying down this week for their Johnny Cash tribute show ("Come see the stars salute the musician who changed the world" -- Really? Did he invent chlora-flora-carbons or something?), but I'm sure this is a film I'll enjoy again and again as a double-feature with Honeymoon In Vegas when it shows up on TNT ('cause heaven knows, they know drama) in two years.

by Matt Neuenburg on 11/14/2005

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Chicken Little, Derailed, Jarhead, Zathura
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