This Week in Box Office History
TWBOH takes a look at the last 30 years of top grossing movies. Sifting through the celluloid, we review audience preferences and spot the trends in movie watching history. With the Oscars fading from memory (if not from the Box Office: big winner 12 Years a Slave continues to earn nicely in the number 9 position this week) it’s time to get back to the weekly predictions. I’m glad I missed making picks for this week, because it’s been a weird month so far!
The Week That Was: Sandals and Time Machines
Taking the top spot this week is the kinda-sorta sequel to 2007’s big budget action porn title, 300, imaginatively called…300: Rise of an Empire. This sword and sandal and cocoa butter romp managed to pull down 45 million, but could only graze the original’s god-like earnings with the tip of its spear. And extending the joke, it is likely to be slaughtered mercilessly shortly afterwards, like those 300 Spartans, as word of mouth for this title is a bit soft.
Coming in second is Mr. Peabody and Sherman, knocking the family oriented crown out of The Lego Movie’s fingerless hands. This CG animated film is a bit of a disappointment for DreamWorks, who have had better outings recently…but as I expected this movie to go exactly nowhere and die a quiet death on an altar of Legos, I think they should consider this a huge win.
Finally, Non-Stop, the latest action-drama vehicle for a resurgent Liam Neeson, continued its night-flight to profitability in third place, knocking both Lego and Son of God out of the top 3.
The Week That Will Be: Predictions
#2: Need for Speed. I think this clunker is going to draft behind the success of its spiritual big brother, the Fast and Furious franchise. It also will appeal to the same demographic that 300 is drawing from, so either this one unseats the champ and pushes it out of the top 3, or they achieve a mutually assured destruction and both fall out of the top 3. Optimistically, this could make 25 million.
#1: Tyler Perry‘s Blah Blah Blah. It’s a Tyler Perry movie. He has a ticket to print money (though that ticket may just have expired, as he has lost his deal with Lion’s Gate studio…) He’s made roughly a million movies with his name on them in the last two minutes, and each has earned strongly in its first week. He may be handicapped by not wearing a fat drag suit in this one, but I expect he’ll make out just fine to a tune of 30+ million.
This week in history, Frank Miller has dominated in the recent decade, and dragged along a motley assortment of historical action pieces with him. With Aronofsky’s Noah due out in theaters soon, I see this trend continuing. We also have a bit of a biblical bent going on, with Son of God, Passion of the Christ, and the upcoming Noah film.
The 90’s saw some great, tense, dramas this week, with Michael Douglas’ Falling Down, Connery’s Hunt for Red October, and Hopkin’s Silence of the Lambs. One could throw in Dustin Hoffman’s Outbreak, but I think we get the point.
The 80’s favored light comedy with a social message, even if that message was “high school sucks” from Pretty in Pink, or “old age sucks” with On Golden Pond. Keeping up the trend, we have “Vietnam really sucked” from Good Morning, Vietnam, and “trying to sleep with a mermaid sucks” from Splash.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.