SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Do Bad’ does good!

Posted by · 9:34 am · September 13th, 2009

I Can Do Bad All By Myself*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Another day, another dollar for Tyler Perry. The man has released two films a year since 2006 and can’t seem to be unsuccessful if he tried. “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” is an easy candidate for worst title of the year, but it opened to the tune of $24 million and first place by a mile.

That ranks as Perry’s third-biggest debut as director and his best outside of February. If you are looking for one of the most unique and successful box office stories of the decade, look no further than the rise of the Perry Empire. He is the Pixar of religious cable-TV drama meets fat suit comedy.

Second place goes to “9,” which earned $10.9 milion over the weekend and $15.3 million since opening on Wednesday. For a PG-13 rated animated flick with seemingly very little appeal outside of young males, that’s a great result. The best thing about this success is that all you need is a potato sack and a highlighter and you’ve got a recognizable Halloween costume. You’re welcome.

“Inglourious Basterds” holds firm in the top three and passes the $100 million mark in the process. Tarantino was in very real danger of making a series of films that diminished his audience rather than expanded it, but he has turned it around here. Now all you need is a Clark Gable mustache and some prop scalps and you’ve got a recognizable Halloween costume.

Two films duked it out for sixth place and the title of “Most Forgettable New Release” this week. “Sorority Row” looks like the winner, with $5.3 million. The folks at Summit are probably scratching their heads and saying, “This movie would have killed in 1983!” It’s been a tough year for the start-up company, outside of “Knowing,” and they’ll be happy when Thanksgiving comes around and they can unleash “New Moon” on very suspecting teenagers.

“Whiteout” grossed $5.1 million, which is less than “Not Easily Broken,” which only opened seven months ago but you’ve already completely forgotten about it. This is the part where Kate Beckinsale sheepishly signs on for a fourth “Underworld” movie and tries to remind people why she’s famous.

Last weekend’s new films all dropped precipitously, none more so than “Gamer,” which will spend a total of two weeks in the top 10 — one more than “Extract.” This is September, folks: in one week and out the other. On the Oscar watch front, Oscilloscope’s “No Impact Man” had a decent impact in its limited debut with $18,000 on two screens. Eco-friendly docs are the new black and this joins “The Cove” as one of the most visible so expect one or the other to figure in Oscar’s plans.

Speaking of “The Cove,” I finally saw it this week and thought it was a pretty good flick. It didn’t rock me to the core like it did Tapley, but it’s passionate and well-executed. I also saw Lucrecia Martel’s “The Headless Woman,” which is clearly made by a strong talent but fell a little flat for me. In a perfect world, small films like this and “Paranoid Park,” which take bold and visionary chances with their sound design, would be recognized by the Academy.  But alas, explosions and musical numbers will win out every time.

Next week gives the public its first look at a fall Oscar contender with Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” Buzz out of the festivals is strong and the marketing has been appealing so I think this can open with a solid $14 million or so.

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” has the kid crowd cornered, as well as the fatties who get excited by the idea of 3D spaghetti and hot dogs. With those two combined, we should see $18 million or so and a probable number one finish.

“Jennifer’s Body” has the misfortune of promoting both its screenwriter and its soundtrack in the trailer. While both may be awesome, it’s a bad sign and the buzz has been surprisingly low for what sounded like a hot property on paper six months ago. A disappointing $8 million, and another misfire from Fox, is what my magic 8 ball tells me.

Finally, Universal tells us that “Love Happens” and we should watch it happen to Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. I have not seen a preview for this and the billboard I saw made almost me fall asleep at the wheel. $6 million if it’s lucky.

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

Weekend of Friday, September 11, 2009




→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

14 responses so far

  • 1 9-13-2009 at 11:28 am

    Proof Reading said...

    ‘Do Bad’ does well

  • 2 9-13-2009 at 11:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    If the film was called “I Can Do Poor All By Myself,” you’d have a point, but Chad is just keeping with the flow of the verbage. Not that we don’t enjoy grammar trolls.

  • 3 9-13-2009 at 11:34 am

    Joel said...

    I wasn’t a fan of “Whiteout,” but I found “Sorority Row” to be much better than it could’ve been and much better than the critics are saying. I don’t think either will do well when it all adds up And I didn’t like “9.” At all. Really disappointed in how it turned out. The word-of-mouth among MANY of my friends via Facebook is pretty much the same. I don’t see it being very big at all in the long run, or the short run for that matter.

    I think “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” will be the winner next weekend, what with all the children in this country, but “The Informant!” and may surprise. I’m seeing both on Friday. “Love Happens” will do well, but it won’t be that huge, I don’t think. Seeing that on the 25th. “Bright Star” will barely make anything, and “Jennifer’s Body”…well…I have no idea. I don’t plan to see either any time soon.

  • 4 9-13-2009 at 11:45 am

    j said...

    Generally reviews for I Can Do Bad are decent. Better than most of this & last week’s T10. Three movies from the last 2 weekends are serious contenders for most critically reviled wide releases of the year, each falling below Ugly Truth on MC – Gamer, Sorority Row, and esp All About Steve.

    I think this is the 36th 10k avg w/at least 1 mil total weekend gross in 37 weekends. Last weekend, the highest was less than 5k. One recent movie to surprise me was Love Aaj Kal since I hadn’t heard of it but got 12k avg its first weekend.

    Lower down, in wider release (111), September Issue does okay at best w/$6577 per theatre. I was considering watching it but clips and reviews online dissuaded me.

  • 5 9-13-2009 at 11:54 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    Whoever designed that “Straw Dogs”-esque poster for I Can Do Bad All By Myself deserves an award. The person who invented the title deserves a prison sentence.

  • 6 9-13-2009 at 12:47 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    keep on trucking inglorious basterds, only good movie in theatres right now, i thought 9 was absolutely terrible, best animated pic is way out of the question

  • 7 9-13-2009 at 12:51 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Who is Tyler Perry? I honestly never heard or seen of that man before except on Box Office lists. Seriously, what’s the deal?

  • 8 9-13-2009 at 12:56 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    His films don’t really travel, Jonathan — I guess they’re very culturally specific. I don’t think one has ever been released in the UK.

  • 9 9-13-2009 at 3:36 pm

    Proof Reading said...

    Apologies, I didn’t intend to troll. I’m a newspaper nut, which turns me into a grammar Nazi (hence the username).

  • 10 9-14-2009 at 12:09 am

    Ligaya said...

    “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” is culturally specific to people of color like myself, dear ones, just like “my bad.” It just hasn’t trickled down to you white folks yet. ;-) We have all sorts of vernacular to confuse people like y’all.

  • 11 9-14-2009 at 12:13 am

    Ligaya said...

    I meant the phrase “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” is culturally specific – it’s been around a long time.

  • 12 9-14-2009 at 12:22 am

    Glenn said...

    I from time to time see his movies on the shelves of Blockbuster (with the number of copies correlating with the names in the cast) but, yeah, his films are very America-centric.

    Could the failure of “Sorority Row” actually be a good sign for “Jennifer’s Body”? As in, after the one-two hit of “Destination” and “Halloween II” people took a week off and will go back next week for “Jennifer”. I have no idea if it’ll pan out that way, but seems at least a smidgen plausible.

  • 13 9-15-2009 at 6:25 pm

    j said...

    Wow, September has a lot of bad movies; already 4 films below 30 on MC (23 for 1st 8 months). The good ones are mostly busy playing at fests.

    It’s AWN between Sorority Row & Jennifer’s Body; currently on RT it’s 27%/41 avg & 27%/42 avg while on MC it’s 26 vs. 23. We’ll see who wins for female-centric sucky stylized horror flick. Both should remain above All About Steve.

  • 14 9-17-2009 at 5:39 pm

    j said...

    Or Jennifer’s reviews are just mediocre. Meh, that’s not as exciting.