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Us Box Office Report Jul 22-24th


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1. (1) Charlie & The Chocolate Factory $28M - $114M

2. (2) The Wedding Crashers $26M - $80M

3. (3) Fantastic Four $12M - $122M

4. (-) The Island $12M - $12M

5. (-) Bad News Bears $11.5 - $11.5M

6. (4) War of the Worlds $8.8 - $208M

7. (-) Hustle & Flow $8.1 - $8.1M

8. (-) The Devil's Rejects $7M - $7M

9. (5) Batman Begins $4.7M - $191M

10. (12) March of the Penguins $4.3M - $9M

Well the big news of the week has to be the massive flop that is The Island. A $12M return for a movie with a budget of $100M (+ prints and ads) has to got to sting like hell. Especially considering the critical drubbing Charlie & FF got (not that that counts for much). Estimates had The Island at least opening at number one but number four for a wide release (we're talking nearly 4000 screens) is particularly bad. More so considering it actually looked pretty good and had a half decent concept. Expect to see it drop even further next week and have its DVD release announced by the start of August.

Charlie had a very strong second weekend and good word of mouth is doing wonders for the Wedding Crashers. Elsewhere the Bad News Bears opened to a disappointing tally as well but given the budget, it's not as bad a hit.

Curiously, The Devil's Rejects, which is a sequel, an R Rated Movie & a horror movie, took a respectable $7M on 1700 screens. Elsewhere, the golden child of sundance, Hustle & Flow, opened at the low end of expectations.

Fast becoming the summer sleeper, March of the Penguins added 563 screens this week and saw its profits rise very nicely. The movie is still only being shown on less than 700 screens but could still score $4M. Of the movies released in the past month, March has had the best screen to ticket ratio of any of them.

Next week adds another 3 wide opening movies. The high-concept no-brainer oscar-winner-starring Stealth hits screens. Computer piloted plane out of control. Has to be stopped by three hotshot pilots (Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx & Jessica Biel). Has flop written all over it (but The Island had $50M plus opening written over it so go figure)

In counterprogramming, we have Must Love Dogs, a John Cusack/Diane Lane online dating comedy and for the kids, Sky High, a movie set in a world full of superheroes, with a teenage son of one of them struggling to find his identity and powers.

One other movie opening on about 3 screens is the red hot comedy/documentary, The Aristocrats.

Until next week.

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It was one of those rare instances where they probably should have mis-marketted it as something it isn't, they took the high-brow approach with the advertising when they really should have just made it look like big-budget action film purely to get it's money back. It could have found its true fans later on DVD, the ones who will appreciate it for what it is, but for for box office success it needed to attract the mainstream crowd.

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Some choice review quotes:

My eyes hurt. So much action. So many explosions. So few words.

Instead of a movie, he’s delivered a beer commercial version of “Logan’s Run” for the lobotomized.

Rotten Tomatoes give it a lowly 42% rating, although looking at the majority of review quotes the feedback seems generally positive in a "don't expect more than a dumb sci-fi actioner and you'll enjoy it" kinda way. I wasn't expecting anything else to be honest and will switch my brain off, buy some expensive sweets, and be (hopefully) comfortably thrilled for a couple of hours.

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There does appear to be a trend at the moment for trailers that make good/decent films look truly awful/boring. I can't remember the last trailer that made me think, 'I must go and see that film'. In ye olde days, trailers made shit films look great.

There's no art to trailers anymore. Like that first King Kong one: fine, go ahead and fill the teaser trailer with loads of (bad, incomplete CGI) images of Kong, why don't you.

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6. (4) War of the Worlds $8.8 - $108M

Er.... WOTW is on way way way more than $108 million. It earned that in its first week!

Surprised about The Island's opening, I thought it would be big. Particularly as it's meant to be Bay's first non-shit film....

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Er.... WOTW is on way way way more than $108 million. It earned that in its first week!

Surprised about The Island's opening, I thought it would be big. Particularly as it's meant to be Bay's first non-shit film....

Ooops. Edited.

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Talking of The Island: when I first watched the trailer, my original thought (while still watching it rather than after) was that this was a film based on a Michael Marshall Smith book (I think it was "One of Us" I was thinking of), as I'd heard he's got a Hollywood deal with a big producer or director (Speilberg comes up in my mind but I'm doubtful - I'm sure it's on the net somewhere).

Anyway, did anyone else think that? All 10 of you who will have read that book, know what the fuck I'm going on about and not having read this thread. That's who I'm aiming this comment at.

There are a lot of brackets in this post.

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Talking of The Island: when I first watched the trailer, my original thought (while still watching it rather than after) was that this was a film based on a Michael Marshall Smith book (I think it was "One of Us" I was thinking of)

You're thinking of Spares. And I have more than a sneaking suspicion that The Island is an attempt to film an MMS novel whilst avoiding having to pay MMS, or the actual rights holders, a penny.

Especially as thieving from MMS seems to be somewhat common these days - Kazuo Ishiguro appears to have 'borrowed' much of the premise of Spares for his latest novel Never Let Me Go....

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You're thinking of Spares. And I have more than a sneaking suspicion that The Island is an attempt to film an MMS novel whilst avoiding having to pay MMS, or the actual rights holders, a penny.

Especially as thieving from MMS seems to be somewhat common these days - Kazuo Ishiguro appears to have 'borrowed' much of the premise of Spares for his latest novel Never Let Me Go....

I am thinking of Spares. Quite obviously, now that you've reminded me of the title. Shows how lazy I am not checking google/amazon. I didn't know about the Ishiguro novel as well. Most cheeky.

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Went to see The Island on Saturday. Not a lot of people in the seats. Someone said this was meant to be Bay's first non-shit film? It was passably entertaining, but I'd still rather watch Armageddon. I don't mind his movies. You go in expecting beautiful high-concept mush and that's usually what you get. The Island's cinematography, which let's face it is half the point of Bay's 90-minute rock video movies, is nowhere near as lush as it has been in the past.

Also, I still can't take my eyes off Ewan McGregor's Really Big Mole. On the cinema screen it's about the size of a dinner plate. It casts its own shadow in many scenes. Get it removed!

Xbox is indeed featured. Both leads play a life-sized holographic beat 'em up against each other. A wide shot shows two very large Xbox logos on the wall. It's not even the 360 logo but the old black 2001 Xbox symbol. Tisk.

Fairly bland throughout. Annoyingly, despite myself, Scarlet Johanson is photographed so well during the entire film that I felt funny in the Bad Place. She's such a predictable, over exposed internet pin up that so many people fawn over I've tried to avoid it for years, but this put me over the top. She is just really very pretty indeed. This movie made me give in. I feel common.

A yellow Murcielago drove past me on the way home, too. That made me feel common too, if less so.

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So it was Spielberg!

By the by, I'm shocked at just how poorly The Island opened, but then the trailer is a bit of a mess. I agree with YellowSamuel there.

Just checked and while Spielberg isn't involved in the production, it was him who bought Bay over to Dreamworks (and hooked him up with this and the transformers gig). More in this month Total Film.

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