Weekend Box Office Analysis for the Week of The Simpsons
A movies post by matt, posted on July 31, 2007 at 3:50 am
The summer box office season is drawing to a close. Of course, the summer isn’t anywhere near over, but that’s not really the point — when you start releasing your big movies in May, you can only go so long. This weekend saw the release of the last big broad-drawing movie, as The Simpsons Movie rushed into the living room, by which I mean the multiplex. Many wondered if the series’ small-screen success would translate to the big-screen. Many wondered if the film, based on a series that has not been funny for more than five years, would be funny. Many wondered if it would be better than the best-ever TV-to-movie adaptation, The Brady Bunch Movie.
It was a weekend of questions! And now, with these box office results which appeared spelled out in my morning bowl of alphabits — cereal that has little to do with the movies.com box office results –, we have some answers.
But the answer is definitely a ‘no’ on that better-than-the-Brady-Bunch-movie question. That movie was awesome.
1. The Simpsons Movie – $74,036,787
Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. That’s a surprising figure. I was expecting it to do well, but that’s just insane. It’s kind of odd that more people are willing to put down $10 to see a 90-minute episode of The Simpsons than they are to sit down on a random Sunday Night and watch a 30-minute episode for free.
I guess it just goes to show you that, while a lot of fans (including me) are tired of the normal Simpsons formula, there’s still a lot of love for the series, and people are still willing to give it a chance when it looks like they’re going to shake things up. It’s kind of like the slide at at the playground — even when you’re way too old for it, you’re still willing to give it a shot, because that slide was a hell of a lot of fun once.
I saw the movie last night. It was pretty good but definitely not anything memorable. The highlights were definitely Albert Brooks, who was hilarious and had the best lines with his evil character, and Julie Kavner, who gave a fucking incredible vocal performance as Marge. Seriously.
2. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – $19,132,965
God dammit, Chuck and Larry. Those aren’t even the best names to use for a hilarious straight couple that has to pretend to be gay. Try these: Bob and Todd. Hank and Frank. They don’t have to rhyme. Gus and Eli. Bill and Scott. Emmit and Dan. Tom and Dom. I could go on forever. Neil and Paulo. Seriously, it’s easy. Travis and Richard.
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $17,733,085
Holding well at $242 million. Not many fifth franchise installments can claim that level of success. He’s certainly holding up a lot better than Rocky did, though it’s not really fair to bring all that magic shit into the sport of boxing so maybe the comparison is less than apt.
4. Hairspray – $15,899,890
I saw this on the weekend, too. Which is pretty weird, especially as I pegged it to the biggest bomb of the summer. It’s hard to describe how I feel about this movie. I’m not so insecure that I can’t admit to liking musicals. I liked Wicked. I liked Tommy. I eventually came to appreciate Rent for everything it represents. But I tend to struggle with the ones that aren’t all dark and emotional with songs that tug at my heartstrings. Hairspray has nowhere near the emotional core of, say, Rent. In Rent, everyone is dying of AIDS. In Hairspray, racism is overcome through dancing.
Still, though, some of the songs are catchy. And Amanda Bynes and Zac Efron are, shockingly, kind of awesome. I still hate Queen Latifah, though. Probably because I am both racist and sexist.
5. No Reservations – $11,704,357
I had some qualms about this movie. I had some worries, even. Some doubts about the casting. Some qualms about the plot. Some misgivings about the release date. Some hesitation to the way it was promotion. Some unease about how it would fare in this summer climate.
But, well, I guess it did about what it should have done.
Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta Jones are good enough actors, but they’re the kind of celebrities who could die tomorrow and newspapers would struggle to find material to use in their obituaries. Eckhart would at least have “Star of indie comedy Thank You For Smoking,” I guess. Zeta Jones would be stuck with “Smoked cigarettes while pregnant with Michael Douglas’ baby.” Which, I guess, would make for a pretty smooth segue assuming both Eckhart and Jones died together in a housefire or whatever.
Lindsay Lohan obviously does not deserve a hit movie, as it would detract from her cavalcade of hilarious tragedy and could even reserve that great big vortex of failure that is slowing working to consume her and everything around her. Still, though, you’ve got to feel sort of bad for everyone else involved in I Know Who Killed Me, which debuted in ninth place with 3.5 million dollars. They never even have a chance. The hilariously-titled Who’s Your Caddy? even came close to beating it.
- Underdog — Feisty, but not expected to do well at all.
- El Cantante — People would feel better about this bombing if Jennifer Lopez would get busted for DUI or whatever before its release.
- The Bourne Ultimatum — Should open strong, even though no one can really remember what happened in the last one. I like that. It’s thematic.
- Hot Rod — Some potential, but could just be showing off.
- Bratz: The Movie — A message movie. The message being “hey, young girls, why don’t you act bitchy and then slut it up a little?” Perhaps the most morally offensive thing since Happy Feet.
- The Ten — From the guys who brought you Wet Hot American Summer, I really hope this is awesome.
See you in seven!