Since the box office numbers from last week were not formally released until after the weekend passed, we need to play a quick game of catch-up with ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ The third and final of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies opened to $160 million, a number that is staggering, but not record breaking. Did it even stand a chance of breaking the $200 million mark and challenging ‘The Avengers‘ for highest opening weekend of all time? Did the tragic events in Aurora, Colorado have an adverse effect on the opening gross? To that second question: yes. To that first question: no.
The tragic events of yesterday have placed the film industry (and those who write about it) on shaky ground. This is the business of entertainment and entertainment reporting and let’s face it: with twelve people dead and dozens more wounded, the last thing anyone on either side of the Hollywood fence wants to think about is entertainment. Out of respect for the victims of and their families, it is starting to look like box office numbers will not be officially reported this weekend.
When ‘Prometheus‘ opened big last month, there was the usual “Ah, so R-rated movies can perform well at the box office!” discussion that tends to happen every year or so. Well, that has nothing on this weekend, which found two R-rated movies topping the box office. And it’s not like ‘Ted‘ and ‘Magic Mike‘ just did okay either…both films opened big, blowing away expectations and leading the charge in one of the most interesting box office weekends of the summer so far.
When Disney bought Marvel a few years back, everyone’s imaginations went into hyperdrive. With Disney’s resources and bank account account at their disposal, surely we’d see our favorite Marvel characters brought to life in new and exciting ways. In fact, the day of the acquisition, your couldn’t browse the internet without stumbling over the question “Will Pixar get to make a Marvel movie?!” in every forum and comments section.
Well, the day has come. Disney’s first stab at an animated Marvel movie has been revealed…and it’s not what you think. In fact, if you guessed this, you’re probably a comic book psychic or something.
When it comes to winning big at the box office, never bet against Pixar. ‘Brave‘ is not only the acclaimed animation studio’s thirteenth film, it is their thirteenth film to open at number one at the box office. It’s a track record that just about everyone else in Hollywood would kill for.
For those of us who follow the box office, this weekend was a case of deja vu. Once again, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ headlined the top ten and once again, ‘Prometheus‘ snatched the number two spot. Both films managed to keep their momentum despite the opening of two new releases starring two of the biggest movie stars in the world. That’s good news if you’re ‘Madagascar 3′ or ‘Prometheus,’ but pretty bad news if you’re Tom Cruise or Adam Sandler.
It’s difficult to imagine two more different films going head-to-head at the box office. However, by appealing to completely different audiences, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ and ‘Prometheus‘ both managed to emerge from the weekend as big winners, making this the first weekend in months where two new major releases opened strong.
The box office can be a funny thing. Last weekend, ‘Men in Black 3‘ made $55 million and was considered a disappointment. This weekend, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘ pulled in $56 million and it’s considered a roaring success. As bizarre as that sounds, it all makes sense when you look at the details.
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