Weekend Box Office Analysis for the Week of Ratatouille

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A movies post by matt, posted on July 3, 2007 at 10:50 pm

This week’s box office was all about critical questions. First, will a hard-to-spell title affect an animated film’s box office? Second, do Bruce Willis action movies have more appeal when he’s playing a nostalgic character and hanging out with Justin Long? Third, does the Canada Day Long Weekend have any impact on box office returns? And, fourth, and most critically, why would anyone go see Evening? What’s the deal with Evening? It looks terrible.

So many questions! Very few answers! All this and more in this week’s Box Office Analysis!

And, once again, I got no idea who those movies.com box office report guys even are. They look shifty and, once, they tried to sell me stolen goods on a street corner.


1. Ratatouille – $47,027,395

I really want to see this. For multiple reasons! At least ten, anyway. I’m still a bit puzzled by the rather unappealing premise and very unappealing title — it’s like Pixar decided to make it as challenging as possible for Disney to market this film. But, clearly, with a start like this, that uphill battle was won. It ain’t Cars or Finding Nemo numbers, but it’s still another win for Brad Bird — who is, I think, one of the most talented writer/directors working in Hollywood. And that includes all those who work with ‘real’ actors, too. His work tends to easily break out of that ‘animated film’ box in a way that even other Pixar films fail to do. They’re not just good animated films. They’re good films, period.

That said, I still haven’t seen it. It could suck! It probably doesn’t. I’ll always maintain that the title does, though. You just wait until the bargain basement video stores and drive-in theatres start posting signs advertising “Ratatooey.”

2. Live Free Or Die Hard – $33,369,559

On the other end of the title spectrum, there’s this. This title is awesome. I love the Die Hard convention of not just naming sequels with a number. Die Harder was inspired. Die Hard With a Vengeance was a bit of a step backwards, but still cool. And, now, Live Free or Die Hard is just awesome. I hope they continue the series if only to see what else they come up with.

This is supposed to be quite good. It’s also on my “To See” list. If you had asked me a month ago if I thought Bruce Willis and Justin Long teaming up in an action movie would be at all worth seeing, I probably would have said no. And then thanked you for actually asking me for my thoughts on movies. But now, today, as Live Free or Die Hard plays up the road at the local megaplex, I can’t help but hear its siren song.

I hope the next one is called Live And Let Die Hard. Or Live Fast, Die Hard. Or I just Die Harded In Your Arms Tonight. Or I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Die Hard.

3. Evan Almighty – $15,143,945

Sinking! Sunk. Not heaven-sent. Hellbound! Without a Prayer. Trampled. Washed Out.

However you want to pun it, this is not good. I doubt it’ll go down as a Adventures of Pluto Nash kind of bomb, but it kind of deserves to, given how much money was sunk — haha — into this film before its release. I guess any hope of a sequel wherein some minor character from this film — say, one of Evan’s sons — has to lead the Jews out of, say, Manhattan is gone.

4. 1408 – $10,662,804

Oh man, if you take the first digit, then the last three numbers reversed, you get 1408! That’s CREEPY. Stay away from this movie! I don’t care how much you liked John Cusack in Better Off Dead.

5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – $9,143,876

After three weeks, I am pretty well out of things to say about the Fantastic Four franchise. For some reason, the enduring success of this film fills me with happiness, even though I haven’t seen it and probably won’t see it until the DVD release. It’s just nice, somehow, that sometimes all people want from their superhero montages is a lot of obvious jokes and copious montages. And Julian MacMahon in a green felt suit and armor.

Takes me back to a simpler time, I guess.

The Rest

What’s up with A Mighty Heart? It’s down at number 14! It’s below Nancy Drew, which had previously been this summer’s yardstick for failure. But I guess there’s now a new champion. Move over, teen girl detective — failure is now personified from the true story of the late Daniel Pearl.

No other wide debuts this week. Evening started on a few screens, but did pretty badly, which is good. I still don’t understand anything about that movie. It’s like “here’s some women, hanging out, acting sad, go see it.” It’s not even remotely appealing enough to even qualify for ‘chick flick’ status. There must be some other story behind it.

Also, Sicko expanded a bit, and still maintained a crazy high pre-theatre average. This just shows that I need to work harder to expose the lies in the film.

Next Week

  • Transformers — After dabbing in sci fi, giant asteroids, World War II epics and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence (twice!), it looks like Michael Bay may have finally found his genre: killer robots.
  • License To Wed — John Krasinski pays his dues.
  • Rescue Dawn — Werner Herzog and Christian Bale and, likely, a whole pile of awesome.