Audiences get in to Get Out, Rock Dog does not receive an encore, Collide suffers terminal injuries, Resident Evil infects China, and Other Box Office News.
This past weekend, there was only one ticket in town that everyone was talking about. It was also the only ticket worth seeing, admittedly, but even with that said it is still kind of mindboggling as to just how large the chasm is between the new releases. But let’s stop burying the lede: Jordan Peele’s Get Out is not just your new Box Office #1, it is an inarguable smash! The low-budget Horror Thriller closed out the weekend with $30.5 million, blowing past almost every single estimate going into the weekend (even Universal had this pegged at reaching the low-$20 mils at most), an A- Cinemascore, and with that coveted 100% Rotten Tomatoes score still in place, likely much to the frothing irritation of Armond White. I imagine that there’s some kind of massive irony in all this, given the way that Get Out apparently tackles racism, but the film isn’t due out here in the UK until mid-March despite my explicit instructions for Universal to IN MY EYEBALLS NOW, so we’ll have to wait on the conclusion to that joke/observation.
As for the other new releases, even with some incredibly low bars to clear, they both took turns alternately slamming face first into and tripping over said expectations. Lionsgate’s animated acquisition Rock Dog – a Chinese production that I saw and reviewed back at the London Film Festival, and which you can refamiliarize yourself with here, if you’ve got time to kill – is arguably the bigger embarrassment of the two. I mean, it’s an animated kids movie, with no new competition beyond LEGO Batman! This should have been at least a minor layup! Instead, and somewhat deservedly, Rock Dog received about the same reaction as Daphne & Celeste at the 2000 Reading Festival and completely failed to make the Top 10, busking a measly $3.7 million and losing to Lion of all fucking movies. I mean, at least Collide’s total non-start, in 13th place with $1,539,590, makes sense! It’s been sat on the shelf for about 18 months, and was pitched on the laughable idea that Nicholas Hoult is an action star! I’d have been more shocked if it made money!
In other news, Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness bottomed out from the chart in spectacular fashion, plummeting almost 70% and scraping together just $1,375,000 for the weekend, perhaps because there’s another, far less difficult Horror film now out in cinemas, so look forward to Verbinski’s grand return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in 2 years’ time, you bastards. In Limited Release, meanwhile, My Life as a Courgette finally made its American Awards Weekend debut in order to reap the benefits of being That Token Foreign Animated Film None of Us Have Heard Of, a bump that always pays generous rewards! Renamed to My Life as a Zucchini cos sure why not and saddled with an American dub, the film was abandoned onto 2 screens yet managed to scrape together a decent life for itself against those odds, making $28,206 for the weekend. Not too bad for one of my favourite films of the London Film Festival. *subtleplugsubtleplug*
But the biggest non-Get Out news story of the Box Office weekend came not from America, but from China. Two weekends back, as you may recall, xXx: Return of Xander Cage made a record-setting $61.9 million from Chinese box offices, officially holding the title of Biggest Chinese Opening Weekend Ever for an American Movie. Well, China appears to be rather liking the taste of gloriously dumb mid-budget action franchises that American moviegoers no longer give a shit about like the overly-serious cretins they are, because xXx has already been decisively dethroned of that particular honour! That now belongs to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which just scored an opening to the tune of NINETY-GODDAMN-FOUR-GODDAMN-MILLION-GODDAMN-AMERICAN-GODDAMN-DOLLARS! For those of you playing along at home, that is over 3.5x the amount that The Final Chapter has made domestically in its lifetime up to now. Dammit, China! We were this close to having a film franchise with a “Final Chapter” subtitle actually stop at said Final Chapter! This close!
When we Collide, a Full List comes together.
US Box Office Results: Friday 24th February 2017 – Sunday 26th February 2017
1] Get Out
$30,524,435 / NEW
Look, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I really do have nothing to say about this film until it drops here in three weeks. I just want to watch this film right this second and I cannot even pretend to be sarcastic or snippy about it for comedy’s sake, I’m that excited. Maybe I’ll just remind you all of how entertaining Keanu was next week, I dunno. We’ll get through this together.
2] The LEGO Batman Movie
$19,000,000 / $133,006,578
You know, between Rock Dog and last year’s Norm of the North, Ratchet & Clank (in Europe), and Robinson Crusoe, I’m thinking that maybe Lionsgate should just stay out of the Animation acquisition game. It’s probably for the best for all parties involved.
3] John Wick: Chapter 2
$9,000,000 / $74,412,700
In case you missed it, my review went live on Tuesday! Really hoping I can find the time to do what I couldn’t for the first John Wick and squeeze a second cinema viewing of this in. It may pale in comparison to the first, because basically every other action movie from this decade pales in comparison to the first John Wick, but Chapter 2 is a seriously fun time and I am so happy this series exists and is as good as it is!
4] The Great Wall
$8,700,000 / $34,424,800
That review I promised you last week is going up tomorrow, sorry for the delay. I crashed hard emotionally after the Sleigh Bells gig last week, which this time manifested itself in my watching a bunch of “Old School R&B Jams” countdowns on various music channels and deciding that working is for chumps, like one does. In any case, I filed that review before writing this, and I got reacquainted with a bunch of Jams that I had completely forgotten beforehand, so I’d say that everybody wins really.
5] Fifty Shades Darker
$7,700,400 / $103,635,615
Todd VanDerWerff wrote a great little thing theorising why the rom-com has mostly disappeared from Hollywood’s radar these past few years the other week that’s worth checking out. I miss the rom-com. Yeah, they’re sappy and often filled with a tonne of unfortunate implications about relationships and love, but a good one never fails to leave a spring in my step for about an hour before I remember that I will be forever crushingly alone and unloved! More films that make me feel like that, please!
6] Fist Fight
$6,380,000 / $23,254,827
Out this Friday. Expecting very-little-to-nothing. That’s not a difficult bar to clear, Movie.
7] Hidden Figures
$5,875,000 / $152,815,804
Ooh! Also need to make time to see this again, too! Gonna be difficult, since a lot’s out this weekend and I have to catch up with last weekend’s films too, especially since NOW Paramount decided to start holding nearby screenings of Fences for whatever reason, but I loved this one far too much to just see it the once!
8] La La Land
$4,600,000 / $140,860,065
Congratulations to La La Land on its Best Picture win at the Oscars last night! …yes, I know that I pre-write these articles the night before they go live, so I don’t actually know yet if La La Land has won or not, but come on. La La Land won Best Picture. Of course it did. If it didn’t, I will spend an entire afternoon watching all of the worst films that the Failed Critics guys can dredge up – I’m talking Mob Handed, Kill Keith, Essex Spacebin, the works – that’s how confident I am that La La Land won Best Picture last night… tonight… whatever, you get my point!
$4,418,460 / $130,843,355
I guess it’s time for Shyamalan to Split! Eh? Eh? To answer your question, yes, I am Sgt Cortez from TimeSplitters in disguise.
$3,807,000 / $42,815,337
Oh, just fuck off, already!
Dropped Out: A Dog’s Purpose, A Cure for Wellness