MONDAY CENTS: ‘Destination’ Labors to another victory

Posted by · 9:56 pm · September 7th, 2009

All About Steve*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Labor Day is known as the end of the summer season and the void it causes at the multiplexes is the underline to that point. This year was no different as “The Final Destination” repeated at the top of the chart with $15.4 million over the four-day period. Even with an extra day, that’s still a 44% drop from last week, but as you’ll see with “Halloween II,” it could have been a lot worse. The film’s running total has passed $50 million, which means that Warner Bros. is scrambling to invent 5D technology to make the naming of the fifth film more convenient.

Second place goes to “Inglourious Basterds,” which could very well be number one when actual figures are released tomorrow. Another $15 million takes the cume to $95.2 million and earns the film a place in the top 10 success stories of the summer. Revisionist World War II films are now totally in vogue and “Harold and Kumar Inadvertently Join the Third Reich” is currently on the fast track.

Third place goes to our first debut of the week, “All About Steve,” starring Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper. To those who thought I was low-balling the film last week I just want t0 say: “Good call.”  Despite a staggering 5% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the film managed to sucker $13.9 million worth of lonely women and whipped men to the theater. Personally, it’s a rule of mine to avoid films that have a lame pun for a title.

Lionsgate’s high-tech action yarn (more like yawn), “Gamer,” earned a par-for-the-course $11.2 million and fourth place. It bores me to even think about saying something snarky about this.

“Halloween II” fell an atrocious 57% even with the extra day and will finish short of $35 million. That hasn’t halted plans for “Halloween 3D,” but it has signaled the end of Rob Zombie’s involvement. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that his wife’s role will probably be recast as well.

Mike Judge’s return to theaters after the straight-to-video purgatory of “Idiocracy” yielded a 10th place finish and $5.3 million for “Extract.”  The bad news is that it’ll be another low performing film for the director but the good news is that it means he gets to keep his status as a “cult” filmmaker.

In other news, “District 9” became the 19th movie of the year to cross $100 million and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” became the 12th movie of the decade to cross $400 million. Big props need to go to Sony’s marketing department for pulling off the former, while the latter was written in stone over a year ago.

I didn’t see anything again this week and now the pile of movies I need to get to is getting a little too high. “The Headless Woman” and “The Cove” are probably gone after this week so those are first priority.

Next week starts early with Focus releasing the animated sci-fi opus “9” on Wednesday. Big grosses are not guaranteed but T-shirt and doll sales at Hot Topic for the next 10 years are. Let’s get creative and say $9 million for the five days.

Friday brings Kate Beckinsale in “Whiteout,” the story of erasing something you typed and already printed out. Should be thrilling. Seriously, does anybody want to see this? Do they even know what it’s about? I’ll give it $5 million since something’s got to bomb big time this week.

“Sorority Row” aims for the female college crowd and the horny-13-year-old-male-with-no-access-to-the-internet crowd, but they may have to buy a ticket to something else to get in. I want to give it $7 million, but if it hits, this could be a surprise $13-$16 million performer.

Number one should easily go to “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” though. Tyler Perry has the midas touch and has pioneered the combination of church video drama and fat suit comedy. This one should be able to do $25 million easy but probably closer to $30 million.

What do you guys think?  Here are the Labor Day weekend’s top domestic grossers, courtesy of Exhibitor Relations:

Four-day weekend of Friday, September 4, 2009




→ 13 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

13 responses so far

  • 1 9-07-2009 at 10:17 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    I think Inglorious’ gross is gonna make a best picture bid a lot more likely. Now all thats gotta happen is have Nine fail and Inglorious is guaranteed a spot, it is the weinsteins were talking about

  • 2 9-07-2009 at 10:33 pm

    j said...

    Basterds’ reviews aren’t even that good, and the only film of his the Academy embraced was Pulp Fiction which had reviews to put it at the top of the 90’s critically. Waltz is the only thing about the movie I think will hold up next year.

    Also, and this is just a nitpick, I just realized since I was distracted by being bothered by the second half of the title, I’m pretty sure Inglourious is also a misspelling. That just bugs me.

  • 3 9-07-2009 at 10:37 pm

    j said...

    Oh, and if Crash could get a nod based on okay reviews and employing ten million actors doing nothing besides being racist, I think a film even if it gets okay reviews with six Oscar winning actors by the guy who brought the first Oscar winning musical in decades will get a nod. I do think its strongest chance will also be in supporting acting though.

  • 4 9-07-2009 at 10:39 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    It has very good reviews, but everyone feels passionately about it, for better or worse. those who hate it, give it awful reviews, see meta critic, and its definately making bank and is at number 35 on imdb, highest this year right behind up at 35. Pulp Fiction was number 1 of the 90s but forrest gump won, and forrest gump has a much lower rotten tomatoes score and is 1 point higher on meta critic, so i think critical reception is really relevent, just an opinion j

  • 5 9-07-2009 at 10:54 pm

    j said...

    I’m not sure what movie you’re saying is 1 point higher on Metacritic than what, since there is no 1-point differential among:
    Forrest 82
    Fiction 94
    Inglourious 69

  • 6 9-07-2009 at 11:05 pm

    BDM said...

    The Reader got nominated last year, and do we have to remind people of it’s score?
    The Reader 58

    Plus the field is expanded to 10 slots. Basterds getting a nomination is not all that unlikely.

  • 7 9-07-2009 at 11:32 pm

    Cde. said...

    “Basterds’ reviews aren’t even that good”

    Better than those for The Reader, for example.

  • 8 9-08-2009 at 12:13 am

    j said...

    But Reader also had Oscar-tastic pedigree. Daldry & Hare & Winslet & Fiennes. And it had the British support given Reader’s British-ness.

    I just don’t see a particularly compelling explanation for why Basterds would get a nomination. Requiem suggests Nine might fail, but again Nine has much more pedigree.

    Also, while Inglourious is brought down by its 12 below B- reviews on MC, it has just 5 above B+ reviews to buoy it up. So it has some very good reviews. But primarily decent to okay reviews so I don’t agree that everyone feels passionate about it one way or the other.

  • 9 9-08-2009 at 12:47 am

    Dan said...

    Given that there are only ~20 films that are remotely in contention for best picture this year, and given that 10 of them will be nominated, there is at least a 50% chance that Inglorious Basterds will be nominated, which is very, very high. The fact that it is making so much money only increases those chances. So right now I have it as my #9 or #10 nominee.

  • 10 9-08-2009 at 1:00 am

    Jake said...

    A lot of anticipated films would have to falter for Inglourious Basterds to get in. Sorry, I just can’t picture many Academy members giving it 1’s and 2’s on the ballot. It may have made an impact, but reception was too mixed for the long haul. I would be shocked if it got beyond some smaller nods (Costume, Supp Actor, maybe Screenplay).

  • 11 9-08-2009 at 2:03 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “I’m pretty sure Inglourious is also a misspelling.”

    And you’d be right. That one’s always been more jarring to me than “Basterds,” personally.

  • 12 9-08-2009 at 5:59 am

    M said...

    I am happy for District 9, it was a great movie. 30 mil budget and now over 100 mil made. Good Job

  • 13 9-08-2009 at 10:37 am

    Harry said...

    Sorority Row will make much more than that. I’m in college and I know a LOT of people who want to get wasted and laugh at that film. It looks amazingly bad. It’ll turn in a pretty penny. Not anything stupendous. But I’m guessing a surprise will be in order.