Friday, August 22, 2008

Box Office Boo-Boo

MY MENTAL POWERS ARE COMPLETELY UNRELIABLE. That's what this recurring entry has always been about. And it is what drives the wife so crazy. I would have been better off with my Tropic Thunder prediction had I simply copied the actual weekend box office numbers for Pineapple Express and called them my prediction. As for The Clone Wars, I guess the excitement of the kids did not outweigh the apathy of the adults. My 44.2% accuracy on Clone is pretty much in line with the wife's estimation of my mental powers. And when I first saw the box office numbers for the weekend, I thought my other predictions would be in about the same neighborhood of accuracy -- barely over 50% for each of the films. Once I crunched the numbers, though, it didn't look so bad. Don't get me wrong, it was bad. Just not as bad as I had thought. Take a look.

Tropic Thunder
My prediction: $35 million ($55 million)
Actual opening weekend: $25.8 million ($36.8 million)
Accuracy: 73.7% (66.9%)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
My prediction: $33 million
Actual opening weekend: $14.6 million
Accuracy: 44.2%

My prediction: $9 million
Actual opening weekend: $11.1 million
Accuracy: 81%

Death Race
The opening of Death Race signals the end of the blockbuster portion of the summer. Unlike the original which was directed by oddball moviemaker Paul Bartel (most notably of Eating Raoul fame), this Race comes from Resident Evil trilogy director Paul W.S. Anderson. If the Resident Evil films were his Lord of the Rings, then this movie is certainly his King Kong. Oh snap! No, I didn't! Yes, I did! Wait! What do I mean by that? Do I have to mean anything? Isn't it enough that I just made a clever comparison? I thought that's what film criticism was all about. That and hilarious puns and wordplay. Like saying "Tropic Thunder is a lightning fast comedy." or "Mamma Mia! has the ability to transform even the grumpiest non-musical fan into a 'Dancing Queen.'” See? It's fun! Now, what was I talking about? Death Race? Really? Hmm. Oh, okay. "I don't think that many people will 'race' to the theater, as this film officially marks the 'death' of the summer blockbuster season." Zing! Try coming back from that one, Death Race!
Opening weekend: $13 million
Total take: $60 million

The House Bunny
The fact that industry insiders are talking about how The House Bunny and Death Race will duke it out for the top spot at the box office this weekend, and that they're predicting about $15 million for the winner, shows you how low the box office draw actually is for both films. Whereas Death Race has the reclusive Jason Statham, who only appears in about 13 films a year, Bunny has Anna Faris, who only appears as a ditzy female lead in about a dozen films a year. If the ads for a film are any indication of a film's overall quality, then The House Bunny is in trouble. The "jokes" in the trailers aren't really jokes. Or at least they don't produce laughs. But maybe they're the kind of jokes you're not supposed to laugh about. Maybe the movie is a thinking man's comedy. The kind where you just grin and nod and then feel good about yourself as you walk out of the theater. And then, a day later, you completely forget you've even seen the movie. Sadly, I think that last sentence might be accurate about this film. In fact, I've already forgotten the film, and I haven't even seen it. Or did I?
Opening weekend: $11 million
Total take: $41 million

The Longshots
Hard-core rapper Ice-T and fantastic douchebag Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit fame) combine for a gritty, gripping psychological look at...a girl who plays football for a high school team? Wha? Well, if there's anyone who knows how to reach our hearts with his light sentimental touch, it's gotta be Durst, right? Because this time he's not doing it all for the nookie, so there's no need to take the cookie and shove it in your ass. There really isn't. Please put the cookie down. This is a family film. 
Opening weekend: $6 million
Total take: $32 million

(NOTE: I somehow missed that The Rocker had a Wednesday opening. So I don't think it's fair of me to put a prediction down for the film now, especially since I already know that it pulled in just over $500,000 in it's first day. Had I predicted anything though, I would have predicted only about $10 million for its weekend release. But I didn't predict anything, now, did I? No. No, I did not. These aren't the predictions you're looking for...move along.)

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