Summer’s over and it isn’t quite awards season, so the movie business is stuck in a seasonal rut that could only be filled with the be-shantsed bulk of Kevin Smith. His latest film, Tusk, opened on 600 screens, and while I think I was pretty clear in pointing out that it isn’t very good, I’m fully aware of his large and vocal fanbase, and expected them to turn out in sweaty droves (also large and vocal? Your mom). They mostly didn’t. Tusk earned $846,838 for the weekend, to put it outside the top 10 and giving it a fairly sub-par $1472 per-screen average. Forbes straight up calls it a bomb, “his lowest-grossing semi-wide release since Mallrats, which earned $2m back in 1995.” But with a budget of around $2 million and not much marketing required, thanks to Kevin Smith’s podcast, it doesn’t sound like that much of a bomb to me. Say what you will about him, that he got this movie made on a small budget and got Johnny Depp to be in it on a whim is pretty damned impressive.
Oh, also, other movies came out. The Maze Runner, which tells the fascinating story of a teen boy who discovers mazes and running, took the top spot with a fairly stunning $32.5 million opening.
Coupled with overseas totals, the film has earned $81.5m worldwide since opening in a few markets last weekend. The film’s estimated debut now rests, final figures that drop tomorrow notwithstanding, as the sixth-biggest September debut in history, in 2D no less. [Forbes]
Also, “maize” is a Native American word for corn. A lot of people forget that. Folks are saying “a new young-adult franchise was born” this weekend, so expect sequels. There were probably a lot of loose ends to tie up there, what with all the mazes and the running.
Elsewhere, Liam Neeson’s A Walk Among The Tombstones (full title: A Walk Among the Tombstones Of All the People I Killed In My Last Few Movies) came in second with a so-so $13.1 million opening. Feel free to check that one out and report back, if Liam Neesons isn’t punching wolves in the face with broken bottles I’ll wait for Netflix.
Just behind that was Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You, based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper, with $11.8 million. I never saw it because you would have to force me into the theater at gun point to make me see the Real Steel guy’s take on a Suburu-beige ensemble dramedy. I love how someone sets off a sprinkler in the trailer and it drenches the “dysfunctional” family in their funeral suits and they all just smile and look at each other smugly as if to say “Isn’t life crazy, but also beautiful?” Fuuuuck that movie in the face times a thousand. This is the worst trailer I’ve ever seen:
This art house conventional turd is a crime against that cast. $11.8 million dollars? That’s $11.8 million of the most boring motherf*ckers in the world. Tropper isn’t even my third or fourth favorite New York novelist named Jonathan. He’s behind at least Ames and Lethem, possibly as low as fifth depending on how you stack him against Franzen and Safran Foer. Ugh. I’m going to go take a Xanax and calm down. But if anyone starts playing an acoustic guitar song with a clap or whistle track I’m going to stab them.
Title, Weeks in Release/Theater Count, Studio, Weekend Total, Percentage Change, Cume
1. The Maze Runner, 1/3,604, Fox, $32.5 million
2. A Walk Among the Tombstones, 1/2,712, Universal/Cross Creek, $13.2 million
3. This Is Where I Leave You, 1/2,868, Warner Bros., $11.9 million
4. No Good Deed, 2/2,175, Sony/Screem Gems, $24.5 million, -58%, $40 million
5. Dolphin Tale 2, 2/3,656, Warner Bros./Alcon, $9 million, -43%, $27.1 million
6. Guardians of the Galaxy, 8/2,846, Disney/Marvel, $5.2 million, -35%, $313.7 million
7. Let’s Be Cops, 6/2,312, 20th Century Fox, $2.7 million, -37%, $77.2 million
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 6/2,348, Paramount, $2.7 million, -45%, $185 million
9. The Drop, 1/1,192, Fox Searchlight, $4.2 million, -50%, $7.7 million
10. If I Stay, 5/2,371, Warner Bros./New Line/MGM, $1.8 million, -53%, $47.7 million [HollywoodReporter]