SUNDAY CENTS: Taking ‘Hood’ stock

Posted by · 4:16 pm · May 16th, 2010

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

Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott helped steal $37.1 million from the poor on behalf of the rich as “Robin Hood” enters the chart in second place this week. The humorless duo courted the older adult audience, and in that respect, this is a solid enough debut. Not quite up to the snuff of “Gladiator,” but a better start than the $22.7 million summer 2005 launch of Crowe’s “Cinderella Man,” a film which is often cited as the one that killed big budget adult dramas being released in the heart of summer.

Where the film goes from here is up to the word of mouth which, from what I can gather, is mediocre. It’ll need a healthy push to reach $100 million, but I think we’re looking at another “Public Enemies” situation where the film stalls out just under the mark around $95 million. But before you bring Universal some hankies to cry in, you can expect that number to be almost tripled in overseas territories. Crowe lives to leave another interview!

So that means that “Iron Man 2” is the number one film again this week. Good job Iron Man. The comic book superhero dropped a perilous 59% and continues to do the absolute bare minimum to avoid being called a disappointment. These grosses are perfunctory and little else and it’s sad that we’ve reached a point that a possible $350 million finish is blasé. Again, the film has already topped the $200 million mark overseas as well so this is a very profitable venture for Marvel. The third film is already in pre-production and Martin Lawrence has entered negotiations to replace Don Cheadle.

“Letters to Juliet” opened in third place with $13.8 million. That’s the fourth best debut ever for the still-young Summit Entertainment, who really only have the two “Twilight” films and “Knowing” on their resume as being successful theatrical releases. You should be able to add this to that list when all is said and done as legs should be decent and it could ride the early summer wave to about $50 million total. Amanda Seyfried is still working on her A-list credentials and she learned a valuable box office lesson this year. Channing Tatum’s abs > Vanessa Redgrave’s jowels.

All rise for the Queen! Queen Latifah that is. Who you callin’ a bitch? “Just Wright” made $8.5 million. That may be a figure to stick your nose up to, but given the smallish theater count, it actually played to bigger crowds than “Letters to Juliet.” I may have to see it just to find out why a Queen would date a Common man. Get it? Too lame? Or just wright?

The rest of the top 10 is a snooze, with Spring’s titles slowly trickling out of theaters. Except “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Date Night,” which both held strong again. We get it America. You love those movies!

This week I saw “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which was probably my most anticipated film of the late Spring. I had heard it was an amazing free-form documentary on street art and was severely disappointed to find that it’s actually just an hour and a half of Banksy taking the piss out of some schmuck he used to be friends with. Not into it.

What did you guys see? Here are this week’s top grossing films courtesy of Exhibitor Relations:

→ 32 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

32 responses so far

  • 1 5-16-2010 at 4:41 pm

    Liz said...

    “The third film is already in pre-production and Martin Lawrence has entered negotiations to replace Don Cheadle.”


  • 2 5-16-2010 at 5:12 pm

    mark kratina said...

    To this day, Cinderella Man’s failure at the box office is a head-scratcher.

    It was a curious decision to release it in June, but it was a much better film than Brokeback and the eventual BP winner, Crash.

    I still think it is Ron Howard’s best film.

  • 3 5-16-2010 at 5:12 pm

    Marshall said...

    Advanced screening of “Shrek Forever After” … actually not half bad. Easily better than the last entry in the series.

  • 4 5-16-2010 at 5:25 pm

    caro said...

    are there again some people to see the awful “clash of titans”???

  • 5 5-16-2010 at 6:57 pm

    JJ said...

    Yeah, Cinderella Man was fantastic.

    Shrek 4 better be better than the last 2, they stunk.

    Happy for Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, & Letters to Juliet’s moderate success (moreso for Iron Man 2). I liked all 3, not love.

  • 6 5-16-2010 at 7:07 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    What’s to like in Cinderella Man? It has all the heart and soul and aesthetic of a 1930’s boxing 12 month calendar from Barnes and Noble.

  • 7 5-16-2010 at 8:24 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    That doesn’t even make sense, man. I’m sure it pleased you to come up with it though. Respectfully, see it again. It’s cornbread but it has some of the best work Crowe and Giamatti have ever done.

  • 8 5-16-2010 at 9:16 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    There are plenty of films with a hell of a lot more going for them than two good performances so I don’t think I’ll ever watch Cinderella Man again.

  • 9 5-16-2010 at 9:37 pm

    Chase K. said...

    I loved “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and respectfully disagree that it’s a simple-minded takedown of a potbelly art-poser.

    It’s fully engrossing, it’s indescribable and in the end, it makes a compelling argument for the hypocrisy of the art world and the L.A. vultures who fork over millions for it.

    Plus your conclusion precludes the idea that Mr. Brainwash (aka Thierry Guetta) is a hoax that Banksy is simply in on to prove a point.

    Anyway, for the weekend, I did an arthouse double-header of “The Secret in Their Eyes” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and disliked both of them.

    The former is phonily momentous and artificial and the latter is CSI: Sweden with a good gratuitous dose of sexual abuse. I don’t know why Noomi Rapace is getting so much praise because that’s a performance and a character that just doesn’t work at all – at least in the first film. On the whole, “Tattoo” is essentially just people staring at pictures set to loud music.

  • 10 5-16-2010 at 10:52 pm

    Maxim said...

    “I still think it is Ron Howard’s best film.”

    Which says precisely nothing.

  • 11 5-17-2010 at 12:43 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Chase- You are definitely in the majority opinion there. And perhaps it’s unfair for me to dislike the film at least in part because of what it’s not rather than what it is. But I don’t think any of it is a hoax and never said so. I just think it’s got little to no insight into street art culture other than hipsters can be gullible and more or less is Banksy saying “fuck you” to Thierry and any audience member that might have had an interest in learning about his work.

  • 12 5-17-2010 at 6:05 am

    tony rock said...

    Ron Howard does pretty good IMO when he tackles weighty subjecy matter or Oscar bait. It’s when he tries for entertainment that he fails (The Grinch, Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons). And yes, Cinderella Man is his best film. Great performances and a genuinely moving story that actually had me welling up on more than one occasion. And that’s rare.

  • 13 5-17-2010 at 6:16 am

    Ben M. said...

    I think the Twilight films huge success has blinded everyone to how poor a job Summit have done releasing all their other movies. In fact the decent opening weekend for Letters for Juliet is better than the entire initial run of The Hurt Locker (before it got a few extra million off the oscar season re-release).

  • 14 5-17-2010 at 9:43 am

    Chase K. said...

    Chad – I do think “Gift Shop” is surprisingly light on the creative process of the street artists depicted, and it is a very unusual film in that it takes a complete 180 halfway through, turning the observer into the subject.

    For me, I got off on the direction that it went, which further encases both Banksy and the film in a shroud of mystery, which leads him to freely admit in the end that he doesn’t really know who the joke is on – perhaps it’s all on him.

  • 15 5-17-2010 at 12:03 pm

    JJ said...

    I liked, didn’t love RH.

    I actually think it did pretty well with $37 mill. I mean, really, in America, for that type of movie, was it ever gonna get much more than $40 mill, anyway? Maybe with phenomenal reviews.

    I think that it may reach $100 mill, and perhaps close to $300 internationally, making close to $400 mill total.

    For a movie of this ilk, I don’t see that as a bomb. Maybe not profitable, but no bomb. DVD rentals/sales will help, too.

    As for Iron Man 2, the 59% drop is worrying. but it will still end up a big success.

    Anyone know the budget for Letters to Juliet?

    Gotta say, I quite liked it, for a fluff movie. It’s miles better than most romcoms that get released. That’s faint praise, but praise nevertheless.

  • 16 5-17-2010 at 12:24 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Chase- I didn’t see any 180 degree turn. Banksy opens the movie by saying it would be about Thierry because he’s more interesting and it was from that point on. Which was the other disappointing thing for me since I heard things like, “You can barely even call it a documentary!” Total bullshit, it’s exactly like any other documentary in form and structure.

  • 17 5-17-2010 at 12:34 pm

    Hans said...

    Chad, I enjoy reading your commentary. It’s a biweekly hilarious take on the movie industry and is really refreshing. But in all the weekend wrap-ups I’ve read, I hardly ever see that you’ve seen a film that you’ve liked, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you declare your love for any mainstream-release movie. I would think that a movie-lover on a movie-loving website would occasionally, you know, love movies. So if I may respectfully and not in the least bit snarkily ask, what’s your deal?

  • 18 5-17-2010 at 12:35 pm

    Hans said...

    My bad, that should be semiweekly.

  • 19 5-17-2010 at 12:41 pm

    Derek said...

    Ha – I agree with Hans. It seems like you hate everything you see, Chad! Lighten up :)

  • 20 5-17-2010 at 12:42 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Hans, I do love movies. In the past few weeks alone I have highly endorsed Greenberg and Daddy Longlegs. But it’s because I love them that I don’t go easy on them. For whatever reason, as I’ve grown and seen more and more films, I’ve become intolerant to any sort of bullshit. Anything that just goes through the motions. Anything that doesn’t surprise me. And as Biggie says, mo’ money mo’ problems. It’s just much harder to make a film for the mainstream with tons of money behind it and not have some bullshit in it. I mean, a film like Iron Man 2 has characters in it for no reason other than to set up their own later film. That’s what I call bullshit and I have no interest in that. I want to see something that moves me, that makes me a better or more interesting person.

    It’s really hard to make a movie and for everything to come together so that it has that effect. It’s practically a miracle that it ever happens at all, but it’s worth sifting through all the potential contenders to find the ones that do.

  • 21 5-17-2010 at 1:30 pm

    JC said...

    I think Chad should be the new host of Roger Ebert’s upcoming version of At The Movies:

    “Chad says: Skip It, Skip It, Skip It, Skip It, and Rent…oops, our bad, Skip It. But he promises to have a ‘3 To See’ list together by the end of the year. Assuming we haven’t been cancelled by then.” ;)

  • 22 5-17-2010 at 2:17 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    I think Chad’s dislike of many movies is a great sign of love for the cinema. What happens when you see a lot of movies is that you get to a point where you’ve seen everything and can easily dismiss those things like CINDERELLA MAN, which is just as Chad describes it. Yeah, Giamatti is good, but it’s all downhill from there; if you’ve seen any movies from the era in which Howard’s film is set, then you’ve seen it before, and done better. I love how Chad doesn’t put up with any nonsense, and while I may disagree with him here or there, I get where he’s coming from. When I was reviewing new (mostly mainstream) movies weekly for an Atlanta TV show , I was regularly giving the gong to them, and was also accused of being a non-movie-liking movie critic. My response was very much like Chad’s. To paraphrase Godard, if the airline industry had as many crashes as the movie industry has, they’d be outta business. So somebody out there who knows what they’re talking about needs to be calling filmmakers out on their bullshit. Don’t change, man—you’re terrific.

    By the way, Ron Howard’s best movie is still either NIGHT SHIFT or APOLLO 13. But that ain’t saying much.

  • 23 5-17-2010 at 2:24 pm

    James D. said...

    It is hard to be positive about mainstream movies when ninety percent of them are awful.

    Off the top of my head, Chad liked The Informant! and Where the Wild Things Are last year, two fairly mainstream movies.

  • 24 5-17-2010 at 2:37 pm

    JC said...

    For the record, my comment wasn’t really criticizing Chad.

    Given how their reviews often read, I kind of sense that both A.O. Scott and (to a lesser degree) Michael Phillips are being a bit disingenous in giving passing grades to half of the releases on many shows. Kind of weird how Metacritic rated Scott’s Iron Man 2 review as a 50 (out-of-100), and yet it garnered a “See It” on At The Movies. But I suppose even fewer viewers would watch if they applied the same sort of standards that Chad does.

    It’ll be interesting to see where the new hosts figure on the Fawning-to-Condemning scale.

  • 25 5-17-2010 at 2:58 pm

    James D. said...

    At the Movies makes them act very differently. A.O. Scott’s top ten of 2009 had Where the Wild Things Are at number one, like in the show, but two through ten each contained two movies. He had to drop that and usually went for the more mainstream fare at each point.

    I think they are trying to follow the Ebert idea of praising a film within the context of its genre, and also there is probably some studio pressure to make it more appealing to an audience, which seems to have failed given its cancellation.

  • 26 5-17-2010 at 3:02 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I’ve never seen their show. I saw Roeper do it once and wanted to kill myself. I hardly ever read any film reviews because just like films, they are mostly terrible. I’m biased of course, but Guy and Kris are two people that get that their job is to analyze and discuss the filmmakers intention and execution as they saw it, not analyze how it may potentially be received by others and why.

  • 27 5-17-2010 at 3:44 pm

    ninja said...

    Actuals are in and RH was overestimated by $1 million. It made $36 mio.

  • 28 5-17-2010 at 3:59 pm

    JJ said...

    While I feel that’s it’s pretentious, in and of itself, to hate mediocre mainstream movies because they are mediocre mainstream movies …

    to me, it’s the failed “smaller” (or indie) movies are the biggest disappointments; because I feel like I completely wasted my time on something that may have had good reviews or ‘well it ins’t mainstream’ sentiment.

    I basically go into most mainstream movies now with a ‘hope for the best, fear the mediocre’ attitude. And it allows me to like movies more, if not completely appreciate them when they’re truly great.

    Letter to Juliet budget? Anyone? No? ok.

  • 29 5-17-2010 at 4:24 pm

    Mike said...

    Apollo 13 > Cinderella Man

  • 30 5-17-2010 at 5:17 pm

    Chase K. said...

    Chad – I forgot to ask this after last week, but who is your friend that had his film picked up by IFC?

  • 31 5-17-2010 at 7:30 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Aaron Katz. Look for “Cold Weather” in late 2010 or early 2011.

  • 32 5-17-2010 at 10:10 pm

    Glenn said...

    “Parenthood” > everything else Ron Howard has ever done.

    I really enjoyed “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. As a piece on entertainment it works thoroughly. As a documentary in the traditional sense? Perhaps not – hoax of whatever – but I sat there in the cinema (just last night, actually) constantly interested and fascinated by what was going on. Banksy, even in shadows, pixels and voice alteration comes off as wickedly humourous and Guetta is like some sort of Tommy Wiseau of the art world. Maybe it is Banksy just criticising Guetta for 90 minutes, but those 90 minutes will be recalled more fondly than anything else I’ve seen in cinemas in the last few months (of the 2010 releases).