Hollywood B.O.: Parasites and Predators
The big news is that Christopher Nolan's "Inception," despite requiring work from moviegoers, did well at the box office: $60 million. Not sure what the word-of-mouth is from others but the word from my mouth is: "Go."
Meanwhile, "Sorcerer's Apprentice," the Disney/Bruckheimer thing starring Nicholas Cage, fared poorly with only $17 million. Yes, it opened on a Wednesday, but its total domestic take is still just $24 mil. Another faulty tentpole. Its 31% rating from the top critics at Rotten Tomatoes isn't horrible, but it only got there because reviews such as this one from Owen Gleiberman were labeled positive: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice is too long, and it's ersatz magic, but at least it casts an ersatz spell." The most important review, meanwhile, isn't even on RT. It comes from my 9-year-old, movie-reviewing nephew, Jordy, who told me over the weekend that "SA" sucked. The words from his mouth: Don't go.
So quality wins out again. One wonders when the studios will get it.
The biggest drops? "The A-Team" shed 808 theaters, down to 428, and lost 73.2% of its business. "Predators" shed no theaters, staying at 2,669, and lost 72.5% of its business. Not good for either film but particularly the latter. In fact it's the biggest second-week drop of the year. Both films, by the way, are from Fox. No surprise.
The full weekend chart can be read here.
It'll be interesting to see how "Inception" does during its second weekend. Anecdotally, I've heard from adults wanting to go back for a second viewing and teenage girls at slumber parties dissecting the intracacies of its plot. Good signs. Also bad signs. Ideas may be the most resilient parasites, as Cobb (Leo) tells us in "Inception," but Hollywood is full of its own brand of resilient parasites, who love to latch onto original ideas and turn them into crap. Expect dull, derivative movies about dreams in the near future. Fox is already probably working on one.
UPDATE: The actuals are in and "Predators" only dropped 71.7%, so its was only the second-worst second-weekend drop this year. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (2010)—you are still champ!
Meanwhile, "Inception" grossed $62 million, not $60 million. A good word-of-mouth sign.