This Week in Box Office History takes a look at the last 30 years of top grossing movies. Sifting through the celluloid, we nail down audiences preferences and spot the trends in movie watching history. Get out the candy corn and dust off the pumpkin decorations a little earlier this year, it seems that Hollywood has decided that the first week in September is the official start of the Halloween season. Lets see if this is The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t…
“Teeny tiny bat, teeny tiny bat, teeny tiny bat…”
The Trends: August 30th – September 3rd.
This weekend is a split box, since the Memorial Day weekend cuts the week into different chunks from year to year, and thus some weeks have two number 1 films. Like this week, where The Butler had to share the spotlight with…One Direction: This is Us. Ugh. I’m starting to have a flashback to last week. A concert film from a band that couldn’t field a decent beard between the lot of em if you put a gun to their heads and gave them a bottle of Elmer’s glue and a Schick razor.
“Yup, not an un-punchable face in the group. Must be a boy band.”
OK, focus. Find your happy place.
“So my happy place is Everybody by Backstreet. Who are you to judge?”
OK. I got this. We’re back. So the trends for this week. Yup.
“Sup, guys. Did I miss anything?”
Monster a Go Go
I guess with a whole 60 days till Halloween, Hollywood is showing restraint by bleeding some horror flicks into the mix. This years You’re Next didn’t take the top spot, despite getting generally positive reviews, but previous years audiences wanted to wash away last weeks epic failures with buckets of corn syrup and red food coloring. Or pancakes at my house, as I call it.
“What, no blueberries!?!”
In recent years, The Possession (2012) took over, Rob Zombie showed his versatility by making yet another movie about a psycho wearing somebody else’s face in his reboot of Halloween (2007), both Jeepers Creepers (2001 and 2003) survived on the popcorn under the seats, and The Final Destination (2009) hopefully put a nail in the coffin of they franchise…though with a #1 take, we can probably wait about 5 years before they let Rob Zombie put his pentagramed paws all over it.
“Whats next on the agenda, House of 1000 Remakes?”
I have a theory that Hollywood also snuck in some titles this week with suspiciously Halloween-ish titles in the hopes of getting a few extra butts in the seats in a case of mistaken identity. Dead Again (1991) ain’t a horror flick, instead a pretty decent noir thriller, Ghost (1990) was only horrible, not a horror, and The Crow (1996) was at least set during Devil’s Night. A few other thrillers of the Shyamalan ilk also make an otherworldly appearance this week, but like vengeful wraiths, they’ve been around for weeks now.
Just Won’t Die
Most of the movies on this weeks box office winner’s list have been puttering around for weeks on end. E.T. may well be the #1 movie for the rest of 1982, which is a shame since the little bastard beat out The Beastmaster, Tron, Friday the 13th Part 3, and The Road Warrior. C’mon people, The Beastmaster and The Road Warrior deserve to be on these lists. Fuck you, E.T. Back to the Future, Uncle Buck, The Fugitive, and Forrest Gump have all been said and done before, so just go ahead and make a “Great Scott, Marty” joke to yourself and help yourself to another box of milk duds.
Some uplifting human interest pieces make it onto the list this week, including Invincible (2006), G.I. Jane (1997), and Stand By Me (1986). My top spot this week goes to the only Kung Fu movie to make the top spot so far, 2004’s Jet Li epic, Hero. Really a fantastic watch for those who want to see Li given free reign to do what he likes, even if his most impressive Kung Fu may have been in his past by this point. They just don’t make Kung Fu like that anymore, unless you count this weeks British comedy, The World’s End (2013), which has some of the best choreographed fight scenes of the summer. Don’t miss it.
“Separated at birth?”
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.