Hello fellow fans of cinema, and welcome to another week of Box Office Analysis by yours truly, after the Super Bowl Weekend—which means way too much to most football fans, and absolutely nothing to everyone else. Either way, teenagers were coerced into spending their money viewing yet another inter-species supernatural relationship movie.
I was right on the money last weekend, as Warm Bodies has taken the top of the box office, and instantly polarized people who will and won’t compare it to Twilight. The latter can struggle all they like, but I guarantee you it doesn’t matter what the fans think—Hollywood itself saw it as Twilight, exploited it, and that’s that. Even if the two stories did have nothing in common, the studios would make it feel that way to sell.
Most books today are ruined by Hollywood, because although both mediums Literature and Film are the result of hard work, and both resulting published and produced works are selected with the business mindset, when the former is adapted into a movie it is stripped to accommodate the rules of Hollywood. An easy example is The Hobbit, which was expanded into a trilogy for no reason at all. Well, not for no reason. Money helps.
We also have Bullet to the Head released this weekend, a throwback to mindless Commando-style 80’s action flicks, which Stallone already attempted twice with The Expendables and its sequel. Those movies had their run, but it’s clear they’ll “stick around” since the large dosage of already available mindless fun isn’t enough. It’s too bad, because director Walter Hill’s The Warriors remains a personal favorite. The tagline for Bullet to the Head is that Revenge never gets old. Sadly, Stallone has, the genre has, and the plot has, too. If revenge starring Stallone is your entire plot, it’s no wonder it didn’t perform as well as The Last Stand.
But Quentin Tarantino did it? Yeah, Alexandre Dumas did it too, it’s called The Count of Monte Cristo, and get it straight that backdrop isn’t enough. Speaking of Quentin, I’ll use Django Unchained as an example—those “Spaghetti” Westerns (I prefer to call them Italian Westerns, goodness) it references throughout were all about style. The characters, the plots, they were often familiar, but the style is truly unique. Your vision itself has to have its own voice, its own character, for your Revenge story to have any.
Next week should continue the success of Warm Bodies, with the advent of Valentine’s still on approach, despite the intrigue of its upcoming competition. Soderbergh’s latest looks like a career-recovery move. Who isn’t a fan of Rooney Mara? Unfortunately there he goes working with Tatum again. Agh. Can’t get rid of him. And yet the premise for Soderbergh’s film Side Effects has a hint of grittiness that draws me in.
Meanwhile, I personally enjoyed Horrible Bosses, and its rating at IMDb started out a lot higher. If the script expands on the director’s edginess of the previous outing, Identity Thief could push somewhere fresh. It’s tough to be edgy for desensitized audiences, though, who’ve pretty much seen as far as raunch or edge can go.
1.) Warm Bodies (Summit): Opening weekend, with $19.5 million.
2.) Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Par.): Second weekend, with $9.2 million.
3.) Silver Linings Playbook (Wein.): Twelfth weekend (is this a record?), with $8.1 million. This movie won’t let go of the top five!
4.) Mama (Universal): Third weekend, with $6.7 million.
5.) Zero Dark Thirty (Sony): Seventh weekend, with $5.3 million.