IT single-handedly devours the entire competition a second time, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Something most foul, heinous, terrifying and just plain wrong erupted across our popular culture this past weekend. An evil that lays dormant, slumbering, for years on end only to return when least expected to feast on a new younger generation of impressionable, inquisitive cherubs who are oblivious to the destruction and evil it has spread across our collective society for decades. I am, of course, referring to the debate over whether the “X” button on a PlayStation controller is pronounced as “ex” or “cross.” Now look, this may seem like a pretty open-and-shut case to you and I, respectable human beings who have always pronounced it as “ex” the way God herself intended, but some troublemaker just had to put the question to Twitter and in doing so brought down a decree from PlayStation UK itself that the button is officially pronounced “cross” despite that clearly being WRONG! Who am I supposed to trust, huh? Some meme-heavy nobody PR guy taking orders from “Big PlayStation,” or the literally HUNDREDS of games over multiple DECADES – dozens made by first-party developers, too – that have pronounced and canonised the button as “ex” because they are not COMPLETE FUCKING PSYCHOPATHS?!
Oh, yeah, and IT: Chapter Two made everything else at the box office cower beneath its mighty tread, but I don’t know a whole lot about IT – shocker given who’s writing this, I know – and so couldn’t come up with a relevant opening spiel unless I wanted to declare creative bankruptcy and resort to “scares up.” I hear that there’s a teenage sewer-based orgy or something, which sounds truly terrifying if only for the dysentery and cholera that would result, and the cosmic turtle from Avatar: The Last Airbender? Whatever’s the case, IT took full advantage of there being absolutely no competition this week, last week, next week, or a good three weeks beforehand to outgross the rest of the chart multiple times over with a $91 million opening. That is a good $30 million less than what the first half of IT was able to take in its own opening weekend two years back, but is still more than enough for the second-biggest horror opening weekend of all-time, the second-biggest September opening weekend of all-time, the fifth biggest R-rated opening weekend of all-time (perhaps the fourth should Actuals pump another $800,000 on top to push it past The Matrix Reloaded), and many other such silver-medal awards I can’t be arsed to type up here.
As previously mentioned, nothing of note deigned to open last weekend given the Labor Day holiday – which was definitely the reason why we didn’t do one of these last week and not because I was too busy watching compilations of Sam Riegel’s D&D Beyond ad skits from Critical Role, no sir – and everything this week was scared off by the culturally-incongruous-in-2019 clown, so there’s really nothing else to talk about. A trio of former Limited Releases did make some minor expansions, though. The Peanut Butter Falcon, that quirky Indie Dramedy I keep hearing about but still haven’t seen anything of and which opens in the UK on 18th October for what it’s worth, went Wide last weekend into 1,249 theatres and did well enough so this week added another 61 theatres to remain in the Top 10 and only drop 25%, which is the best drop of anything this week. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Brittany Runs a Marathon made an athlete’s hurdle-jump to 230 theatres and cracked $1 million for the three-day, whilst Gavin Hood’s procedural Iraq war legal thriller Official Secrets expanded to 42 theatres in its sophomore weekend and took home a meh $252,108 (PTA $6,003).
Down here, the Full List floats along with monsters who call it the “cross” button.
US Box Office Results: Friday 6th September 2019 – Sunday 8th September 2019
1] IT: Chapter Two
$91,000,000 / NEW
Brooker’s decided to be a nerves-of-steel maverick by flying in the face of convention over Stephen King endings being generally garbage by giving this a full five-stars, the absolute #madlad. He’s already willing to fight people in the KFC parking lot over this, so go give his take a read and watch out for his patented deadly Miss Piggy-esque karate chop when you square up. I, of course, have no idea if Stephen King endings are wack or not because I don’t have the nerves to experience these works full-stop and instead have to resort to parroting consensus opinions without knowing any better. Don’t act surprised, that’s like half this column each week thanks to release window disparity nonsense and I’ve never exactly been subtle about it.
2] Angel Has Fallen
$6,000,000 / $53,460,501
It’s been about a fortnight and I’m still laughing at the hilariously awful green screen job they did to make it look like fake president Morgan Freeman is at the G20 with real presidents and leaders. He’s looking directly at Vladimir Putin and Putin continues staring dead ahead and to his right (correctly) as if there’s just thin air to the guy’s left! I’d genuinely be a lot kinder to Millennium’s garbage hateful output if there were more moments of inspired terribleness like that rather than just being generically empty and lifeless.
3] Good Boys
$5,390,000 / $66,849,700
No disrespect intended to the very good Boys, but I found out last week that Booksmart isn’t getting a Blu-Ray release in the UK. Fuck’s sake, British arms of distribution companies! Stop making it needlessly difficult and expensive for me to get the good Indie-ish films I want on my preferred viewing method in a physical capacity! This is exactly why people pirate, y’know? I am willing to give you my money, stop rejecting it especially when it comes to awesome teen girl movies which seem to be most susceptible to this fuckery – The DUFF, Edge of Seventeen, Ingrid Goes West to an extent kinda, Thoroughbreds also, and now this.
4] The Lion King
$4,193,000 / $529,106,439
In the kind of nostalgia pandering I can get behind, Nighthawk have announced current-gen ports of the classic Aladdin and Lion King games this October, including every non-Capcom version of both games fully-playable – Mega Drive, Game Boy, even the SNES version of Lion King – plus a whole host of debug options like infinite lives and save states, making-of promotional material, and even the trade-show demo of Aladdin. Whilst charging anything more than £25 for this would undeniably be taking the piss given that it mostly seems to be emulation, anything that helps preserve gaming’s history in an industry that’s otherwise completely disinterested in cultural preservation is alright in my books, especially those of licensed games. In fact, there may be a Throwback from yours truly that fits such a series of parameters on its way soon enough…
$3,750,000 / $24,706,163
Speaking of things to overcome, confront your coulrophobia by reading through Amy Walker’s list of five terrifying clowns and suggest some more of your own to spread the misery around everyone else! I, for one, am shocked Jon Watts’ Clown didn’t factor in in any way.
6] Hobbs & Shaw
$3,720,000 / $164,252,145
Finally got my rewatch in this weekend prior to spending a night out sober on a pub crawl with old uni friends. That last part has absolutely nothing to do with the first part, of course, I just wanted to mention the circumstances in case any blackmail-worthy karaoke-based videos of me crop up anywhere at any point. If they don’t crop up, then this was just a funny joke bit you should immediately forget all about and definitely not inquire into further.
7] The Peanut Butter Falcon
$2,276,430 / $12,282,689
The rest of these entries plus the non-covered #11 are all separated by just $121,000. Smarter writers more concerned about making sure their eventually-published articles aren’t immediately outdated when the Actuals come in would perhaps consider holding off another 24 hours before penning their piece covering all of this. Gadabout hacks with other deadlines to bash through, however, choose to make tiresome meta-references and plough ahead regardless. No prizes for guessing which I am.
8] Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
$2,275,000 / $62,100,734
Lee Thacker, perhaps as penance for some serious transgression committed in a past life, voluntarily chose to sit through The Banana Splits Movie so you don’t have to.
9] Ready or Not
$2,229,000 / $25,630,688
I know that this joke/reference wasn’t funny the first time I made it two weeks back, but I would genuinely love a new Fugees record assuming Lauryn, Wyclef and Pras could refrain from murdering each other in the studio for long enough to put together something great. Maybe not Score level, let’s be realistic, but something great.
10] Dora and the Lost City of Gold
$2,170,000 / $54,159,150
The movie around her is too self-consciously and performatively ironic to fully work, but Isabela Moner is genuinely fantastic in this and destined to be a star someday. Y’know, so long as she stops appearing in absolute garbage like Transformers 5 and Sicario 2.
Dropped out: Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Angry Birds Movie 2, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Callum Petch has got the dreamer’s disease.