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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Slices Its Way to #1

Saw IV

This weekend’s success of proved that ‘torture porn’ is very much alive and well…at least right before All Hallows Eve.  (Apparently originality is not a prerequisite when you’re in the haunting mood.)  The horror series, which took in $55 million domestically when it debuted in 2004, bloodied the competition with its recent $31 million take.  It will now likely hit the $80 million mark the last two installments surpassed.

Although , lagged behind with only $11 million, the film at least managed to place second.  Hopefully Dan will have legs in the weeks to come; it’s a nice counter-programming option for those desperately seeking romance on their date nights.  Those hunting for acceptable kids fare may have it a bit harder though—- which probably explains why has remained firmly planted in the Top Five.

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Box Office Breakdown: 30 Days of Night Sucks Up the Competition

30 Days of Night

I never thought I would ever find myself writing this:  ‘A Josh Hartnett-led film has opened at #1.’  Of course, he did have a little help from a vampire or two..

The horror film, , had an impressive debut for what was actually an unimpressive weekend.  With only $16 million, the Alaskan-set vampire flick beat out a host of movies filled with Oscar-nominated stars.  Ben Affleck’s well-reviewed directorial debut, , opened up in 6th place.  , starring are-they-or-aren’t-they-dating Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, barely cracked the Top Ten.  Meanwhile, placed a dismal 15th despite the presence of Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro (and promotion on Oprah).

The success of 30 Days and the surprise return of - which placed 8th even though it was only in 564 theaters - clearly spells out the audience’s need for some Halloween fare.  This bodes well for the release of which opens next weekend.  (Yay!)

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Tyler Perry vs. George Clooney

Michael Clayton

This weekend saw , , and all fighting for your box office dollars—so who would have thought would come out the big winner?

Even though two of his last three films opened with impressive numbers, very few predicted the writer/actor/producer/director would topple the competition.  Now the number crunchers know better.  Though the debut underperformed 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9 million) and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million), Tyler Perry’s still scored $10 million more than its nearest competitor.

Additionally surprising was the lasting success of Disney’s .  The film finally dropped one notch to #2 in its third week—also beating out and .  Although kid-friendly fare is rarity these days, the movie’s ability to remain so strong is quite impressive.

 

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Worst Movie Titles of 2007 (So Far)

DescriptionThis weekend’s Joaquin Phoenix/Mark Wahlberg flick has been driving me batty for weeks—and I haven’t yet seen the film.  I don’t even have a problem with the trailer.  The movie simply suffers from a horrible case of crap-title-itus.

We Own the Night?  Could that be more vague?  Instead of envisioning a cops vs. mafia film, all I can see is the now-defunct (yet great) soap opera Edge of Night.  And while I understand the film’s title would be explained if I actually watched it,  that doesn’t excuse it’s existence.  The box office shelf life for movies is extremely short these days; more attention should be paid to the little things.  I’m an extremely shallow person who often judges books by their cover.  I need a proper teaser.

And believe me—‘craptitleitus’ does not discriminate.  Great movies, movies actually worthy of attention, often become victims of this affliction.  Poor marketing can affect anything and everyone.

So to honor We Own the Night’s crap-status, I’m going to list my Worst Titles of 2007 (thus far).

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In Theaters This Weekend (10/12)

Elizabeth

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

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