10.05.09 9 years ago 20 Comments

Here’s your box office wipe-up for the weekend of October 2-4.  Now with helpful section headings.

Zombieland kicked ass
Buoyed by strong word-of-mouth that I thought it didn’t fully deserve, it more than tripled the next-highest new release (and no, I don’t consider a re-release of Toy Story in 3D a new release).  That said, it did have its moments.  It’s at least a triumph of solid execution, if not of creative thinking.  …Or perhaps you prefer your box office roundups with more truthy pop-psychology?

Horror comedy struggles with general audiences because of its awkward thematic and tonal clash: comedy is generally benevolent while horror is inherently malevolent, rendering horror comedy too funny to be scary and too scary to be funny. Zombieland skirted this issue by falling squarely on the side of action comedy in its marketing campaign. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Good point.  But on the other hand, go f’ck yourself.

Invention of Lying… not so much.
I wanted to see this more than Zombieland, but ended up seen Zombieland to see what the fuss was about.  Perhaps that was Invention‘s problem.  For a movie you’d expect to have good buzz (who doesn’t like Ricky Gervais?), it didn’t have very good buzz.  But you know what does have good buzz?  A bee drinking martinis.  Remember I said that.

Whip It flopped
Not much else to say about this one, really.  Did you expect otherwise?  Like Drew Barrymore herself, it seemed way too enamored with its own cuteness.  Hold on, did that sound not-sciency enough?  Sorry.  Here you go:

The movie was a tough sell, given its genre mix and focus on the niche sport of roller skating. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Woof.  Yes, the niche sport, that was the problem.  Do people actually listen to this crap?  I can just picture someone trying to pitch Slap Shot in 2009.  “We love your script, really, it’s great.  But we wonder… could it be about basketball?  It’s just that basketball is really global these days, it’s huge in Asia. We were also thinking maybe a Hispanic for the lead so we can sell it to the Latin American markets.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that these faux-scientific box-office analyses are just a slippery slope towards Mexicans playing basketball.  And nobody wants that.

Film Weekend Per Total
1 Zombieland $25,000,000 $8,235 $25,000,000
2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $16,700,000 (-33.3%) $5,610 $82,392,000
3 Toy Story Double Feature $12,500,000 $7,163 $12,500,000
4 The Invention of Lying $7,350,000 $4,306 $7,350,000
5 Surrogates $7,344,000 (-50.7%) $2,489 $26,387,000
6 Capitalism: A Love Story $4,850,000 (+1,990.8%) $5,042 $5,252,000
7 Whip It $4,850,000 $2,820 $4,850,000
8 Fame $4,754,000 (-52.5%) $1,517 $16,634,000
9 The Informant! $3,800,000 (-42.6%) $1,567 $26,580,000
10 Love Happens $2,777,000 (-35.5%) $1,445 $18,910,000

[via CHUD, BoxOfficeMojo]

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