A Dog’s Purpose appeases its masters, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter shambles past an indifferent audience, Gold is more of a polished turd, it’s Oscar Nomination Bump Time, and Other Box Office News.
Last weekend, we all saw M. Night Shyamalan seemingly cement his Shyamalan-naissance with the super successful opening for his new Horror Thriller Split. I, however, being the crafty, knowledgeable film writer that I am (as well as being desperate to find anything that could take my mind off the waking nightmare of pure anxiety that is The World At Large Right Now) held off on fully proclaiming it as such just yet. After all, any Horror movie can open to halfway decent numbers, The Bye Bye Man had a semi-respectable opening comparatively the weekend before! The real test is how well it holds in the second week, once those mad Horror junkies have gotten their “we’ll see anything once” fix and we see what kind of staying power the film has. Well, turns out the Shyamalan-naissance is no longer disputable, as Split absolutely cleaned house in its second weekend, repeating at the top spot with $26.2 million. And if you hate the term “Shyamalan-naissance,” don’t blame me, cos I certainly didn’t come up with it, but Online Writer Law dictates that it’s a term that needs driving into the ground so here we are.
From one kind of horror-show to another horror-show entirely, Lasse Hallström’s sick and sadistic A Dog’s Purpose – it’s a film where you basically watch a dog die over and over again, like the last 10 minutes of Marley & Me on endless loop as part of the world’s most depressing Vine, WHO SIGNED OFF ON THIS – made its way to cinemas whilst battling allegations of being sick and sadistic of an entirely different kind, once footage leaked out that shows a dog being abused on-set (allegedly). Unfortunately, because this is the same world and the same country that elected Donald Trump and his fascistic Republican party to office (NO I WILL NOT LET THIS GO), A Dog’s Purpose still managed to pull in respectable numbers given that it’s a treacly piece of family slop being dumped into cinemas in late January: second place with $18.3 million. That’s also a damn sight better than Paul W.S. Anderson’s long-awaited (?) conclusion to the Resident Evil film saga, which delivered a series-worst Stateside opening in fourth with just under $14 mil. Maybe it’s that low because all the Resi fans were preoccupied playing the new game instead? They’d already spent their pocket money for the month on Underworld: Blood Wars and their parents won’t give them any more until next week? Or maybe it’s the whole waiting over 4 whole years between instalments? Might be that.
On the bright side, cold hard statistics have proven that, for at least this one week, Milla Jovovich is a bigger movie star than Matthew McConaughey. Starring in what I am pretty sure is now his third straight Awards Season flameout of the year, on the heels of Free State of Jones and Sing, not even the promise of McConaughey remaking The Wolf of Wall Street but with 100% less Leonardo DiCaprio and 100% more ridiculous scenery-chewing could get audiences into Gold. Ripped apart by critics, shut out from all awards, and effectively being dumped by the Weinsteins like an unwanted lover once its use was revealed to be nil, Gold barely scraped into the Top 10, only just displacing Patriots Day from that final spot with $3.4 million. Speaking of Awards Season Movies: in Limited Release, The Salesman, the latest film from director Asghar Farhadi – you know, the acclaimed Iranian behind A Separation, The Past, and also being banned from entering the US in order to attend the Academy Awards that his film has been nominated for, JESUS CHRIST HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE RIGHT NOW – got off to a pretty darn good start, selling $71,071 worth of seats in 3 screens for a $23,690 per-screen average.
And whilst we’re on the subject – of Awards Season movies, not Trump’s acceleration of state-sponsored xenophobic persecution – a whole heap of films decided to try their luck at the Box Office again this weekend on the backs of their nominations. Some did well, like La La Land’s general continued expansion yielding a strong 43% rise from its previous weekend, whilst Best Foreign Language nominee Toni Erdmann had its first-ever semi-decent weekend banking $102,294 from 20 theatres. Others utilised the tiny bump they received to inch themselves ever closer to more milestones, such as Arrival which made just under $1.5 million for the weekend but is now within spitting distance of $100 mil domestic; not bad going for a film out on home media in a fortnight. Mostly, though, these films shouldn’t really have bothered, as evidenced by the pitiful showings of Fences ($1.4 mil), Jackie ($665,000), and Hacksaw Ridge ($415,000).
Sit! Stay! Roll over! Full List! Goodboywho’sagoodboyyouareyesyouareyesyouare!
US Box Office Results: Friday 27th January 2017 – Sunday 29th January 2017
$26,268,685 / $77,998,775
FINE, OK! YOU WIN! I will watch it when it comes out on home media, like I did The VVitch! I will witness this supposed Career Regeneration for myself! It will most likely at least be worth my time more than this Mob Handed screener I still have to get around to watching is going to be. …I know what your next question is, and I am going to advise you to not ask it. Believe me, it’s for the best.
2] A Dog’s Purpose
$18,386,020 / NEW
You know, in these troubled divided times, with a society hell-bent on tearing itself apart rather than trying to actively better itself, and this goes double for the Left and alleged-Liberals, I’m glad that there are still evils in this world that we can unite behind our active disdain for. Evils like “dog abusers,” “films in which dogs die,” and “Lasse Hallström movies in general.”
3] Hidden Figures
$14,000,000 / $104,021,694
$100 million domestic. $100 million domestic. Soak it in, folks. Feels good. Feels damn good.
4] Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
$13,850,000 / NEW
At some point in time, I want to actually get around to watching the Resident Evil movies. I don’t mean this like I did with Underworld, where I said I would do so but instead spent the entire fortnight leading up to Blood Wars actively doing anything other than watch those movies, because Underworld just looked and sounded relentlessly miserable and boring (and also the original film is TWO FRICKIN’ HOURS LONG). But the Resis? Oh, those look and sound FUN! They’re also responsible for one of my favourite Screened moments, when Alex Navarro bluntly describes the finale of Extinction with, out of nowhere, “AND THEN THE LASERS COME BACK!” I miss Screened…
So, yeah, Resident Evil marathon at some point. Watch this space.
5] La La Land
$12,050,000 / $106,509,372
I was on last week’s Failed Critics Podcast breathlessly extolling the virtues of this film in the face of a meh-filled Owen and Steve. Again, I can understand why people may not have much of a strong reaction to this film or even just plain actively dislike it, but I adore it anyway. So, if you have about 90 minutes to kill and want to hear a voice that’s “like a cheese grater being rammed into [your] ears” that “can strip paint,” then step right on over to this link!
6] xXx: Return of Xander Cage
$8,250,000 / $33,487,750
This has already been yanked from my Cineworld. That’s probably a bad sign.
$6,213,710 / $257,405,085
Got that review out last Tuesday, if you’ve yet to read it. Also found out that this has had a sequel greenlit, because of course it has. I’m just thrilled that I’ll be getting that after I also get a Secret Life of Pets sequel, and a Minions sequel, and a third Despicable Me, and a new version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Can somebody please just stop Chris Meledandri, for the love of God?
8] Rogue One
$5,124,000 / $520,049,573
In case any of you are finding yourselves resentful or worried about how Disney is treating Star Wars since acquiring the property license, I would like to remind you that, thanks to them, Star Wars Detours is still yet to see the light of day.
9] Monster Trucks
$4,100,000 / $28,135,147
This has somehow spent three whole weeks on the chart. It has even managed to outlast Patriots Day. This is vastly more interesting than anything that happened in the movie itself.
$3,470,000 / NEW
“Do you want to see a crap version of The Wolf of Wall Street?” excitedly yells the trailer for Gold. To which I, and seemingly everybody else, responded, “No. Not really, no.”
Dropped Out: Patriots Day, The Founder (technically The Bye Bye Man, since Actuals shifted a bunch of stuff around, but for continuity reasons I’m saying The Founder), Sleepless