The Lego Movie spends 3 days killing 3 Days To Kill, Pompeii fails to erupt, The Wind Rises magnificently, the author is dreadful at getting weekly articles out on time, and Other Box Office News
With Liam Neeson beating up foreigners on a plane with the power of his fists and irresponsible gun safety practices, and Jesus Christ beating up non-believers with the power of his words and an incredibly sh*tty-looking movie still 7 days away, The Lego Movie easily tore everything a new arsehole yet again with a third straight week at number 1 and with $31.5 million in ticket sales. Safe to say that the film has officially taken America by total storm. As a result, it seems that America is officially unsave-able from the evil greed of corporations and the corruption of one’s soul by the temptation of material goods in order to better ourselves. Only thing left, I guess, is to call in The League Of Shadows and be done with it all.
Of those brave films that were desperately attempting to save us from our impending doom by reminding us of the joys of being a pure human being, who instead spend their $10 on a work of non-corporate art where Amber Heard delivers exposition whilst two strippers go at it like randy greyhounds in the background, 3 Days To Kill was the quote-un-quote “winner” of the whole sorry mess with $12 million in ticket sales. Close behind, and satisfying every hack web writer’s dream by bombing hard enough for us to make various “failure to erupt jokes” at its expense, was Pompeii which took $10 million for third place. I’m guessing its failure was down to not having any sequences in any of the promotional material where Kiefer Sutherland screams “TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!!” to anybody and everybody who will listen before some smartass in the film corrects him with “Actually, I think you’ll find that they’re called ‘Tephra’ now.” Because that, ladies and gentlemen, would have put butts in seats!
In any case, 3 Days To Kill was only the winner because The Wind Rises was in limited release. That, incidentally, took $313,751 from 21 screens for a per-screen average of $14,941. That’s the fifth biggest opening for a Studio Ghibli movie in history, behind The Secret World of Arrietty, Ponyo (which both had the added benefit of opening wide), Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, and the fourth biggest limited release anime opening ever, also behind Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence. In other words, not too shabby. The real test will be next week when the film goes wide and people who are usually less interested in this sort of thing get a chance to see/skip it. After all, this weekend’s opening was purely for the benefit of that string of angry Internet bloggers who will cry about how Frozen will/did rob this movie blind at the Oscars. That doesn’t exactly represent the overall viewing public.
In less interesting news, because it contains 100% less Hayao Miyazaki, the other limited releases were decided much less impressive. Placing higher than The Wind Rises but making less money per screen was Highway, a Bollywood film that made $326,654 from 97 screens. Opening on more screens than both of those films, making much less than both and continuing the world’s unnecessary dumping on Elizabeth Olsen, we have In Secret a “romantic thriller” that arrived one week too late to capitalise on an overcrowded Valentine’s Day market and instead had to rely on its thrills. Thrills that clearly weren’t thrilling enough, mind, with a $265,515 haul from 266 theatres and a $998 per screen average. Finally, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, which I have been reliably informed is a thing that has moving pictures and sound, made $27,853 from 2 screens. This is the kind of world-class research you don’t get anywhere else, folks!
A full day late but sounding mediocre, it’s the Full List!
Box Office Results: Friday 21st February 2014 – Sunday 23rd February 2014
1] The Lego Movie
$31,305,359 / $183,015,455
I need to see The Lego Movie again. I really do. I loved this film the first time through and I feel like I should see it again. See how close to Inside Llewyn Davis (currently My Favourite Film of 2014 by a country mile thanks to UK release dates) it gets.
2] 3 Days To Kill
$12,242,218 / NEW
Were you dying to see Taken but with Kevin Costner instead of Liam Neeson? Of course you weren’t. Nobody’s dying to see Kevin Costner in anything!
$10,340,823 / NEW
On the one hand: bad movie bombs, great job all! On the other hand: now Paul W.S. Anderson has no other career option left except going back to the Resident Evil series. I’m going to have to chalk this up as a net loss. We almost beat the pandemic, people! 18 months of work wasted!
$9,805,051 / $44,005,157
Laugh at this film’s domestic fortunes all you want. It’s made its budget back overseas and there’s still China to go. Ah, well, maybe they won’t screw up Robocop 2 and Robocop 3 this time!
5] The Monuments Men
$7,912,276 / $57,856,960
“What’s that?” “It’s me belt, Turkish.” “No, Tommy, there’s a gun in your trousers. What’s a gun doing in your trousers?” “It’s for protection!” “Protection from what? Ze Germans?”
6] About Last Night
$7,534,816 / $38,281,106
That’s a humongous 70% drop between weekends, in case you’re wondering. Of course, I doubt the filmmakers will mind much. It’s already doubled its $12.5 million budget (which, and I cannot believe I am saying this, is miniscule for a comedy these days), it rode the Kevin Hart money train far enough to bank it, international grosses don’t matter to the studio (because Hollywood, kinda sadly correctly, believes that movies with predominately black casts don’t make money outside of America) and it’s easily crushed last week’s other valentine’s romance flicks. All in all, not bad for an apparently garbage film!
7] Ride Along
$4,623,390 / $123,129,120
So this finally comes to the UK on Friday and I decided to do some research in preparation. Holy Hell, did this get savaged by critics or what? I mean, 13% positive? Man, I really hope this is one of those instances where the audience gets it right and the critics are the humourless suck-monsters because I am dying for a good new comedy, right about now.
$4,403,797 / $384,108,132
After going to see Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy on Wednesday (review over here), I decided to finally bite the bullet and see Frozen again (2D, no sing-a-long). My original review was wrong. It was completely wrong. Frozen is absolutely incredible. Both halves of the film are equally fantastic. Olaf is actually really funny and lovable. Fixer Upper is a good song poorly placed. The twist is excellent and, more importantly, it holds up upon closer inspection. It is, without a doubt, 2000s-onwards Disney’s masterpiece. Yes, even better than Wreck-It Ralph (although that may be because, having grown up in the twilight of Renaissance Disney, Frozen pushes so many of my buttons).
The lesson here? My reviews mean sh*t. Don’t listen to them.
9] Endless Love
$3,967,520 / $19,808,755
I guess audience’s love for this film was anything but… (puts on sunglasses) endless.
10] Winter’s Tale
$2,173,455 / $11,267,356
I saw this on Friday. Saying that I wasn’t a fan is an understatement.
Dropped Out: Lone Survivor, That Awkward Moment