a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weekend Boxoffice #16

This weekend's boxoffice is about as generic as it gets, and pretty much exemplifies the kinds of movies that Hollywood is determined to keep making and making, even if most don't turn out to be very good.

There's the romantic comedy, the spoof comedy, the horror film, and the Tarantinoesque actioner; all look rather derivative, and there isn't a lot of real wanna-see factor to any of them.

Add that to the holdover "urban" film (Stomp the Yard), the holdover family film (Night at the Museum) and all the Oscar bait, and pretty much all audiences are covered.

New films this weekend:

EPIC MOVIE (2801 screens). When they are funny (like Airplane, or Scary Movie 1, 3 and 4) these films work. But there is nothing in the commercials for this movie that make me think that this approaches those films on any level. Still, people will probably see it. $14.8 million.

SMOKIN' ACES (2204 screens). Tarantinoesque-type dark comic action/violence tales were out for a while; let's see if this can resurrect the genre. They got a lot of interesting actors in it, and at least director Joe Carnahan (Narc) has something of a track record. $11.2 million.

CATCH AND RELEASE (1622 screens). I guess women have to see something, but there doesn't seem to be any real hook to this tale. The fact that Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant wrote and directed this is interesting, while Jennifer Garner is likable, but I don't think most guys will want to go near it, and date night might turn into an Epic Movie compromise. Call it $7.8 million.

BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE (1200 screens). Dumb title, very generic looking tale, and a dozen films just like it at Blockbuster. I think Smokin' Aces will kick its butt. $4.4 million.

The interesting thing is that if any of these films break big -- or fail big -- it'll be an interesting sign of how these genres are holding up.

Thoughts? Predictions?


At 6:34 PM, Anonymous humble reader said...

Did you really think Scary Movie 4 was funny? Really? I mean... really???

I've been enjoying your thoughts for a very long time and I find this hard to believe, my friend.

I know that Craig Mazin is a very talented individual, but that was one of the worst slap-stick things I've ever seen.

It certainly barely qualified as a "movie."

And knowing that you have a high regard for film whether comedy, or whatever genre, I'm surprised you would say "Scary Movie 4" was funny.

Certainly no.1 was. Even 2 to a degree. 3, less so. 4 made 1 look like "Citizen Kane."

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Okay, I didn't see 3 or 4. I was going on rumor.

2 was awful, though.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I can't believe they stuck with a title like Blood & Chocolate. Even if you thought the movie looked half decent, and were watching the trailer and said "Not bad," that goes out the window as soon as the title is mentioned. Completely stupid. Anyway:

Epic Movie - 12.5 Million
Night At The Museum 9 million
Smokin Aces - 8.5 million
Catch & Release - 8 million
Stomp the Yard - 7.5 Million
Dreamgirls - 7 Million
Blood & Cocoa Pebbles - 4.5 Million

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I normally hate the Tarantino style movies, although I love Tarantino himself. However, Narc is one of my favorite movies of the last five years. The cast for Smokin Aces is nothing if not interesting and a bit absurd.
I could care less about the reviews or the box office. This looks like a fun time at the cinema.

At 3:44 AM, Blogger S. A. Petrich said...

I wouldn't underestimate Blood & Chocolate if I were you. The book it's based on has a pretty large fanbase, so it might get a decent opening just from that.

I think either Smokin' Aces or Epic Movie will be #1 for the weekend, though.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

The fact that they have Borat in the previews makes me think Epic Movie was slapped together very quickly. At least some of the scenes, anyway.

Catch and Release might have been good. I love Timothy Olyphant. I love Jennifer Garner. And the preview gave away the entire film so I have no desire to see it now.

They have a copy of Blood and Chocolate in our school library. I don't know if that means anything.

Smokin' Aces is going to be the big winner this weekend for sure. Ben Affleck can't open a movie anymore, but Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds and Jeremy Piven can. This is exactly the kind of movie I love and with plenty of hot dudes in it. If I wasn't so busy this weekend I'd make time to see it. Looks like fun.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Formerly, The Dude Spoke said...

Estimates have pointed your predictions to be fairly spot on. But Epic Movie seems to be making even more, with $17 million. A friend of mine saw it and said it was god awful, like these guy's previous "Date Movie", where every joke is just the actor's replicating scenes from famous movies, not really doing anything funny, though.

Smokin Aces is interesting, but it's not the movie the trailer makes it seem to be. It's more akin to a cross between Snatch and Way Of the gun, which doesn't work well for the movie, but the acting in it is worth the ticket. In fact, Jason Bateman's performance alone is worth the price of admission.

Scott, I will back you up on your Scary Movie 1, 3 & 4 claim. Although 4 is weak, it's still light years better than Date Movie, and has moments of wit that work, and at least they tried to have a reason for their movie parodies. Epic Movie seems to just pick and choose, because a movie was popular.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

The official estimated Friday numbers are in:

Epic Movie $6.6 million
Smokin' Aces $4.9 million
Catch and Release $2.6 million
Blood and Chocolate $690,000

Blood and Chocolate didn't even finish in the top ten...

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Why in hell did anybody go see Epic Movie?

This is perplexing. Ryan Reynolds is hot. That was enough for Blade Trinity. Why isn't it enough for Smokin' Aces?

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

There's a war on. Mindless fun (or at least the expectation of mindless fun) is in.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger S. A. Petrich said...

I guess I was wrong about Blood and Chocolate. Why do I always have to be wrong!?

I was right about Epic Movie, though. When will the bastards realise that they are not funny?

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I hear Catch & Release has a twist ending. After Olyphant professes his love for Garner she slashes his throat and drinks his blood. Maybe I heard wrong. Maybe I need help.

Epic should make 17-19 (Damn, I under-estiamted that one). We should have another installment next year spoofing Spiderman 3, Transformers, etc.

Aces is at 13-15 million - I'm glad. Didn't see it yet but I think it looks cool and worth the time.

Catch & Release - 8 million, just as I figured. I like Garner and wish her to have a long & healthy career, but this looked like buffalo ass.

Dreamgirls - 6 million.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Chris Soth said...

Well just saw Aces...did a post over chez le blog moi. I think there was a movie there...but it got missed.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Brett said...


i saw it last night with a buddy while on a road trip. College town, 9:45 showing, packed theater... meh.

It starts interestingly enough, and thyere was a point 20 minuts in where I was laughing so hard I couldn;t breathe, but then the movie just gets... confused.

Taratino meets USUAL SUSPECTS, and not in the bst way. Too long, too loud, too contrived and silly while sstill trying to be too serious and smart for its own good... I give it a 4 out of 10, and wish I'd seen something else.

But yeah, Batemen steals his scenes. ;-)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Dave Olden said...

According to IMDBPro this morning, CATCH & RELEASE did $8M. Good call :)

BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE made, well, $2,103,000. (That from The Numbers. I couldn't see it in the top 12 at IMDBPro.)


At 8:36 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Yeah, Epic Movie and Smokin' Aces did well. Which means all of those bad Tarantino knockoff scripts (and wow were there a lot of them in the wake of Pulp Fiction) will be getting dusted off again.

And I love the fact that Blood and Chocolate made less than Notes on a Scandal. Teen audience my ass.

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Brett N said...

I dunno-- I'lll be curious to see what SMOKIN' ACES does in week two. I have a hunch that the movie has already shot its wad and grabbed the bulk of what viewers it can expect-- those that like that sort of thing were likely already lined up during teh first week.

I can tell you this much-- as we were leaving the packed theater, there was nobody talking up the movie. I heard some sniggering, but nobody was reffing back to fave scenes or repeating fun lines of dialog. I counted at least a dozen people who left and never returned during the long blody third act.

Carnahan brought the movie in cheap, so it will at least break even and make a few bucks, but I really don't get the feeling that the movie will have legs or become any sort of breakout hit.



At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Box office means nothing. Night at the Museum, Stomp the Yard...both total crap. Narc didn't make a lot of money either. Everyone I know that has seen Smokin' ACes is talking up the dialogue, and the acting, and the action. I can't wait to see it. Who cares what the masses go to see? So we can come up with more formulas on how to write a hit movie? A hit can never be predicted. Nobody expected Pulp Fiction to make a fortune, and nobody expected A Good Year to flop so badly.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Box office means nothing. Except, of course, it means everything, because that's why most movies are made. It's not for the art, unfortunately.

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. But it means nothing in terms of quality, which was what I felt the previous poster was getting at.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger B said...

No, the previous poster (that would be me) was getting at the fact that SMOKIN' ACES had opened fairly strong, but he (I) felt its BO performance would slide badly in the second week.

Given that the the topic of the discussion was (remains) box office performance, I figured I would be on-topic if I chose to, you know, actually discuss the subject at hand-- especially as someone who'd seen one of the movies specifically cited. ;-)

I don't care what the masses go see, either. I do care what I go see. I went to see this, saw it in a packed theater, saw more than a few folks leaving before the movie was done, heard many people commenting that the movie was not as good as they'd hoped and expected, and felt that the bits you claim are drawing specific praise [dialog, acting, and action] were good—sometimes very good—but ultimately lost in an overlong overbloody tonally confused movie that was never quite sure what it was really trying to be.

Parts of SMOKIN ACES I enjoyed a lot, but overall I'd give it a 4 out of 10.

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chill dude. Chill.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Brett said...

I was never anything but.

Drop me an email-- I'm curious to discuss something.

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. Where would I find your email address? I checked on your blog, but didn't see it. I am going blind in my old age so I take full responsibility.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Brett said...

Huh. I was sure I had some sort of email contact on that profile. Oh well.

If one were of a mind, one might be able to get word to me at

b r e t t m a n
a t
c o n s o l i d a t e d

n e t


At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I emailed you. Maybe I didn't. Only one way to find out.


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