SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Cats’ is a dog

Posted by · 10:01 pm · August 1st, 2010

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

Hey gang. Sorry this is late but I spent all morning at work and then all afternoon at the Home Depot Center watching the Galaxy get shellacked by the Chicago Fire and getting a sunburn on half my face. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

The number one movie, for a third weekend in a row, is “Inception.” It’s the third film to spend three weeks at the top in 2010, but the first that wasn’t in 3D. The drop was 36%, a bit harsher than last weekend’s slip and gave it $27.5 million for the three days and $193.3 million total. The film is holding fantastically well and will be only the third live action film of the summer to cross the $200 million mark. The $268.4 million of “The Matrix” is not out of reach, which would make it the most successful original sci-fi property since “Independence Day.” that movie with the big, blue things.

“Dinner for Schmucks” performed to expectations with $23.3 million. As I mentioned on Friday, that’s a bit above normal for Paul Rudd, who is used to sharing a bill with B-listers like Jason Segel and Seann William Scott. Throw Steve Carell in the mix and you’re good for an extra few million. Throw in an animated Steve Carell in a ridiculous accent and you’re good for the surprise smash of the summer. No wonder he’s leaving “The Office.”

“Salt” dropped 47% to $19.3 million, but it’s already passed $70 million domestically and will soon pass “Knight and Day,” which is the vehicle Tom Cruise assumed would be better for his career when he passed on “Salt.”

A heated battle is taking place for fifth place as “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” and “Charlie St. Cloud” are both estimated to pull around $12.5 million. The former is a straight up stinkbomb considering the screen count and sequel status (regardless of how forgotten the original film is). A reported $85 million budget isn’t helping either.

The latter is par for the course for a weepy summer title, but troubling when you consider how much of that figure came just on Friday. Teen girls must have rushed out for the Efron and now it will have to earn word of mouth with older adults to stick around and pull “The Notebook” style numbers.

“Despicable Me” is still shuffling around with $15.5 million and a new total of $190.3 million. I can’t remember if I noted it before, but it is the first recent animated title to make more from 2D screens than 3D when both were an option. Not sure what that means, except that maybe people don’t want vaguely insensitive, ethnic-stereotyped noses popping out at them.

“Grown Ups” became the eighth (!) Adam Sandler film to cross $150 million at the box office. It also became Rob Schneider’s eighth film to cross $150 million at the box office, but it’s not what you think. There was no place for big Rob in “Anger Management” (I think Nicholson had a hand in that) so “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” has to fill the gap.

“The Kids Are All Right” couldn’t translate its art house success to the multiplex. The film went from 200 screens to 850 and could only increase its weekend gross by 33%. Twelfth place is the result and Hollywood will have to endure more cries of liberal elitism if it decides to award the film any significant prizes at the end of the year.

“Get Low” had a fine start in four theaters, earning $90,000. This one is going to be tough for Sony Classics to expand anywhere past $2 million and I for one, can’t see any awards traction coming its way. I don’t care how good Robert Duvall’s beard is.

This week, I plopped down $7 to see “Kisses” at Sunset 5. It should have been called “Montages.” Director Lance Daly has a nice eye, but he stretched flimsy material out for way too long and with a heavy hand. Pre-teen Kelly O’Neill gives one of the best female performances of the year, though.

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

→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

17 responses so far

  • 1 8-01-2010 at 10:48 pm

    Tedums the Precious said...

    …How does Avatar not count as an original sci-fi property?

  • 2 8-01-2010 at 10:48 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***The $268.4 million of “The Matrix” is not out of reach, which would make it the most successful original sci-fi property since “Independence Day.”***

    Um, “Avatar?”

  • 3 8-01-2010 at 10:49 pm

    Speaking English said...

    LOL, missed it by *that* much.

  • 4 8-01-2010 at 11:53 pm

    Danny King said...

    My showing of “The Kids Are All Right” on Friday was completely packed, so I’m a little surprised to hear it didn’t expand as well overall. This was at a Regal, too, not one of those arthouse theaters the film seems to be doing so well at.

    Do you not even think Duvall will be in the race?

  • 5 8-02-2010 at 12:46 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Oh shit. I forgot about “Avatar”.

  • 6 8-02-2010 at 1:38 am

    Hans said...

    Haha, it’s alright Chad, sci-fi stretches the “sci” part a bit and definitely overlaps a lot with fantasy. That said, happy for Inception.

    The color shift for Incontention on an iPhone whenever it’s a new month is always jarring.

  • 7 8-02-2010 at 4:35 am

    Jacob S. said...

    This column isn’t nearly snarky enough this week. Very disappointing.

  • 8 8-02-2010 at 5:03 am

    JJ said...

    Yeah, I’m kind of shocked by the “Kids” number because everything I’ve read on any movie site for the last 3 days has said, packed theater or full-ish theater; including mine yesterday. 3.4 million just sounds – off. We’ll see by later today.

    “Kids” – 8/10. Superb acting, great stretches of dialogue, but I feel like there needed to be more scenes in the last 15-20 minutes to flesh things out. Lots of scenes kind of linnngered and then transitioned. And not in a “but that’s the point, that’s what’s meaningful about it, it’s an open ending” way. I just feel like it’s a great film about the human condition which had a ‘plot’ that stalled 4/5ths of the way through. But that’s just me.

  • 9 8-02-2010 at 5:38 am

    Bobmcbob said...

    ‘dogs’ is a cat

  • 10 8-02-2010 at 9:18 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    “…Hollywood will have to endure more cries of liberal elitism if it decides to award the film any significant prizes…”

    It’ll have to put up with that regardless of how many prizes are awarded to The Kids Are All Right.

  • 11 8-02-2010 at 11:07 am

    brendan said...

    The Kids are All Right is shockingly mediocre. It has all the depth of one of the American Pie movies, but far fewer laughs.

  • 12 8-02-2010 at 11:32 am

    tony rock said...

    Kids Are All Right is good, but I felt Ruffalo’s character was kinda given the middle finger. I understand they were trying to show that an unconventional family could get by without the father figure, but it felt just mean-spririted to me the way they left his character hanging, especially since he was a genuinely good guy.

  • 13 8-02-2010 at 11:59 am

    JJ said...

    Funny. The Ruffalo character seemed “goodish” to me; but also very immature. Very. I saw him has neither protaganist, nor villain – so I was okay (though not overwhelmingly pleased) with how the character is ultimately dealt with. I found the movie very good, but not exceptional.

  • 14 8-02-2010 at 3:01 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    “I felt Ruffalo’s character was kinda given the middle finger.”

    Bingo. “The Kids Are All Right” is fine, indeed – please nominate whoever you want from the cast – but I’m not as enthusiastic about the film as I should be because of that very reason.

  • 15 8-02-2010 at 3:02 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    By the way, I think it’s a credit to Ruffalo that so many people wanted to see him hang around.

  • 16 8-02-2010 at 3:09 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I thought he was kind of jerky, honestly, although not with bad intentions.

    No, my problem, as I’ve stated here before, is the soap opera-ish, unconvincing plot turn with the affair between Jules and Paul. In a film that’s supposed to be a positive portrait of a same-sex marriage, this little addition feels like a step backwards in acknowledging the possibility of a completely acceptable lesbian couple.

    That and the male porn, which I found odd (although will not deny its plausibility, because I don’t have enough knowledge about that).

  • 17 8-08-2010 at 4:08 pm

    j said...

    Lol, Efron’s movie hasn’t managed a 10k avg/site from 10 days of business.

    2718 theatres, so far $23.5 mil.