Sunday November 18, 2012
Hollywood B.O.: Vampires Rule; Bond Holds: Lincoln Doesn't Die
Richard Brody, who writes about movies for The New Yorker, and whose work I genuinely admire—give or take a “Marnie” fixation—tweeted the following this morning in reaction to a NY Times Op-Ed on the preponderence and pointlessness of irony:
Touché. But I didn't think “Lincoln,” belonged on his list. So I tweeted back talking up the, well, irony of a movie season in which Abraham Lincoln has a twinkle in his eye and James Bond doesn't. Brody was kind enough to respond. “Abe Lincoln always had a sublime twinkle in his eye, chez Griffith and chez Ford,” he wrote.
Me being me, I tweeted back a few more times, and Brody being Brody (that is: busy), he didn't respond; but the biggest argument against “Lincoln”'s inclusion in his original tweet is in the verb.
“Cleaning up” certainly applies to “The Dark Knight Rises” ($447 million domestic, $1.08 billion worldwide) and “Skyfall” ($161 domestic, $667 worldwide, both climbing fast). “Lincoln,” in contrast, opened in nine theaters Nov. 9, then roared up to 1,775 this weekend, where it finished in third place, behind the first weekend of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” ($141 million) and the second weekend of “Skyfall” ($41.5, down 53%). “Lincoln” grossed $21 million, which is a plesant surprise, since it's a serious film about passing a law, the 13th amendment, playing in half the theaters wide-releases do. But it's only cleaning up in the sense that a custodian following two circus elephants is cleaning up.
No.s 4-6 for the weekend are all good films hanging in there: “Wreck-It Ralph,” which grossed $18 million for a dometic total of $121 million; “Flight,” which grossed $8.6 for a total of $61; and “Argo,” which grossed $4 for a total of $92. Would be nice if this last made $100. And even then I wouldn't say it was cleaning up. I would say it was pushing itself toward box-office relevance.
The clean numbers.
As I've said elsewhere: No one will ever do a better Abe Lincoln.