Still, there weren’t any new contenders that actually opened on Friday, since Turkey Day implied that most families wouldn’t set out to the theaters over the weekend. Maybe if they’d gotten the weekend opportunity, Twilight wouldn’t be standing so strong.
Rise of the Guardians released mid-week, when its entire target audience would be at school. Its first weekend was a failure, and although it may seem strange, when you think about the Avengers exploitation plot it really isn’t all that hard to imagine. Maybe it isn’t an awful film, but it certainly won’t grip the way an animated movie is supposed to.
Life of Pi also opened mid-week, which is too bad because Ang Lee has been out of commission for a while now as a powerhouse filmmaker, despite how we may poke at him for making Hulk. The film undoubtedly deserved a weekend release, and despite how visually stunning and well adapted it is from its source material, the only issue here was its marketability. It simply couldn’t spark an audience, but it’s stylistically remarkable.
Red Dawn had an incredible budget for such a strange plot and awful cast. With the exception of Chris Hemsworth, who remains likable but not exactly a skilled craftsman of acting genius, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the entire cast is lacking. Sometimes people just want escapism, and the critics’ reviews have been called over-judgmental, but the sad truth is that this film is mostly silly in a bad stupid way.
The Silver Linings Playbook is on par with Life of Pi in its own special way. Including a dynamic duo with Bradley Cooper seeking out his Limitless acting expansion and Jennifer Lawrence being as brilliant as ever, this film should have and possibly could have wiped the box office slate clean. Unfortunately, there’s a great many more stupid people out there than we’d care to admit, and they’re keeping cinema at a low standard.
Hitchcock was flawlessly cast, and Anthony Hopkins managed a performance that mostly captured the energy of one of most influential and larger-than-life directors of all time. But biopics and anything too anti-mainstream is sure to fail in a box office.
It’s the age-old challenge of sacrificing cinematic individuality for blockbuster marketability. Very rarely is this balance attained, and if there’s one lesson we learned this weekend, it’s that today’s generation has forced trends above the paygrade of art, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
1.) Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (Sum.): Second weekend, with $43 million.
2.) Skyfall (Sony): Third weekend, with $36 million.
3.) Lincoln (BV): Third weekend, with $25 million.
4.) Rise of the Guardians (P/DW): Opening weekend, with $24 million.
5.) Life of Pi (Fox): Opening weekend, with $22 million.