SUNDAY CENTS: AARP Action Squad!

Posted by · 3:15 pm · August 15th, 2010

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

The internet had been buzzing for weeks. Would the fact that he spent most of the decade in straight to video titles hurt his box office clout. Did Dolph Lundgren still have the box office muscle we all thought he had or did the lackluster performance of “Direct Contact”, “Hidden Agenda” and “The Mechanik” cause too much irreparable damage? We have our answer this weekend as “The Expendables” tops the chart with $35.0 million.

Some had speculated that since Dolph hadn’t appeared in a single film that hit theaters since his role as “Street Preacher” in “Johnny Mnemonic” that nobody would care about him punching people in the face and killing them anymore. I’m sorry we ever doubted you Dolph. He is now solely responsible for the sixth biggest Lionsgate debut of all time (biggest non-Madea, non-“Saw”). Word of mouth is likely to be atrocious as it seems he wasn’t able to deliver on the early Oscar promise of the project. A steep drop awaits next week but maybe now the Lundgren haters will stay in their place.

“Eat Pray Love” takes second place with $23.7 million. Readers suggested I went over the line making fun of this film and the women who might like it so I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves here.

“The Other Guys” dropped 49% to $18.0 million, but it’s already passed $70 million domestically and is experiencing a run virtually identical to the other Sony action film from a few weeks ago, “Salt.” This is why predicting the box office is not such a hard job.

“Inception” fell 39% and recorded a fifth weekend with $10 mil+. It’s no “The Dark Knight,” but Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller has met or exceeded all the expectations that could have been reasonably set for it.

Hey, there’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Way down in fifth place, almost didn’t see you there. $10.5 million is by far the biggest debut of Edgar Wright’s career but it’s also $2 million less than “When in Rome” debuted with in January. As in, seven months ago but you’re excused if you’ve already forgotten and have no idea what movie I’m talking about. Lord knows Danny DeVito is trying to forget.

“Toy Story 3” dropped out of the top 10 but did eek past the $400 million mark, making it the first film of the new decade to reach that milestone. Congrats to Woody, Buzz, Michael Keaton and my ex-girlfriend who works as a story artist at Pixar now. It’s also the only sequel released this summer to outgross its predecessor.

“Step Up 3D” fell 58% to $6.6 million and has effectively ruined our chance at seeing “Step Up Foureva.”

This week, I went to Virginia for a wedding and saw a movie with my Dad for old time’s sake. It was “The Other Guys,” and I thought it had a pretty terrific first half with lots of original, successful humor. Unfortunately it went on way too long and seemed content to just repeat the terrific jokes until they were nowhere near funny anymore. The whisper fight might be my favorite sequence of 2010 though.

What did you guys see?




→ 33 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

33 responses so far

  • 1 8-15-2010 at 3:41 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Chad, I also saw The Other Guys, and thought it was pretty good. I do agree it did go on for to long, and the whisper fight was pretty hilarious. The Expendables didn’t look at all interesting to me because I hate 80’s action movies except Die Hard and Terminator, and the actors in those movies only had cameos. I’m surprise it beat EPL.

  • 2 8-15-2010 at 4:30 pm

    Estefan said...

    Shame that Scott Pilgrim didn’t do well, but it’s not un-expected. It was aimed at a very niche audience, so it certainly wasn’t going to come close to Expendables and Eat Pray Love’s opening gross. Still thought it would do better than $10 million, but it will do solid business on DVD and become a cult classic by the time this decade is over.

  • 3 8-15-2010 at 4:47 pm

    Liz said...

    “Readers suggested I went over the line making fun of this film and the women who might like it so I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves here.”

    I hate to keep harping on this subject, but it would have been nice if you had not put all the fuss on the readers, Chad, and taken some of it on yourself. This is similar to that famous passive-aggressive non-apology, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

  • 4 8-15-2010 at 5:02 pm

    JJ said...

    Well, to all the haters, I am a 30 yr. old guy who happened to really like EPL.

    I thought Julia was great, I thought Rich Jenkins was great, & I thought Javier Bardem was great. The cinematography was warm & beautiful. The sets/costumes, nice. The choices of music/songs was very, very nice. The story was interesting (to me, at least). I enjoyed the travelogue aspect of the film. I didn’t find Liz Gilbert (via Julia) to be so disgusting of a human being. However, I did find the editing/pacing to be a bit choppy, yes. That would be my biggest complaint.

    But all of these ‘it so obviously and plainly sucked’, ‘how could this film possibly appeal to people’, ‘you’re obviously a weak woman if you like this drivel’ commentary really rubs me, and others the wrong way. There are FAR worse films out there; and even those have their fans.

  • 5 8-15-2010 at 5:27 pm

    jen said...

    Now that we see Roberts opening a film at 23,7 in what is her trademark genre (it’s listed as a drama but come on it’s a romance), Kidman’s opening numbers with Bewitched (at 20) don’t seem too bad considering it was not “her” genre (she’s associated with drama) and the film got panned. Which means the numbers for EPL are disappoiting.

  • 6 8-15-2010 at 6:01 pm

    James D. said...

    Maybe

  • 7 8-15-2010 at 6:02 pm

    James D. said...

    Maybe I don’t know anything, but isn’t it really the box office receipts vs. the budget, rather than one film versus another with minimal connection?

  • 8 8-15-2010 at 6:13 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I’m pretty surprised that Scott Pilgrim didn’t pull in the same amount that Kick-Ass did, especially since the studio marketed the shit out of the thing. Maybe they should have considered Scott’s 17-year-old Asian girlfriend say “cunt.”

    I’d like to say that this movie will have a good second weekend because much of the Kick-Ass crowd was relishing in the violence that was “The Expendables,” but who am I kidding. This thing is going to drop faster than Mel Gibson’s career.

  • 9 8-15-2010 at 6:17 pm

    jen said...

    Overall the real star of the summer is Jolie. Her film will make more domestically than Robin Hood, a famous story, and Knight & Day, which starred two big stars. And her film has yet to open in key territories.

    Keep in mind that The Tourist, in which she stars alongside Depp, will probably open at the end of the year, so she’ll have two hits for 2010. It will undoubtedly help Scarpetta and Maleficent get made.

  • 10 8-15-2010 at 6:25 pm

    Amanda said...

    I would say the overall real star of the summer is Leo and Inception. Jolie did what was expected so there is nothing WOW with Salts numbers.

  • 11 8-15-2010 at 7:11 pm

    Emily said...

    Does anyone else think that Scott Pilgrim’s numbers might specifically be due to Michael Cera? As Estefan said, it’s definitely targeted at a niche audience. On top of that, anyone outside that audience seems to be super turned off by Cera these days.

    Also wanted to add that the first half of The Other Guys was better than the second half, but I loved the whole thing anyway.

  • 12 8-15-2010 at 7:12 pm

    Glenn said...

    I’m hoping word-of-mouth helps “Animal Kingdom” in limited release. Deserves to be seen and Jacki Weaver SHOULD be a Best Supporting Actress contender.

  • 13 8-15-2010 at 8:14 pm

    Aaron said...

    I saw Eat Pray Love. Thought Julia Roberts was fantastic—easily her best performance since Closer (which I thought she was really underrated in)…but the rest of the movie was meh for me. Totally agree that the editing was extremely choppy. The movie went on forever.

  • 14 8-15-2010 at 9:11 pm

    jake said...

    when in rome is quite possibly the most irritating movie of the year. How you can take such a concept with capable stars and turn it into one of the most annoying movie experiences EVER is beyond me.
    Eat pray love — julia roberts is simply fantastic in but it feels long and it shouldn’t. I still recommend people see it.

  • 15 8-15-2010 at 9:57 pm

    BSmith said...

    I absolute loved Scott Pilgrim, though I didn’t contribute to the box office earnings, thanks to a Thursday free screening. I went to the movie with low expectations, and for 10 minutes, was worried that the gimmicks would fail for me like they did in (500) Days of Summer.

    NOT SO. Scott Pilgrim is a movie that just wins you over (not Kris sadly, I know), and is truly an ambitious and original movie trapped in bad marketing. While this might be sad, it’s probably the defining movie for Generation Y, or at least the cross-section of us that like video games and have convinced at least one teacher we have ADD.

    Kris didn’t love it, surely Chad will hate it, but you, commenter, will adore it. Guaranteed.

  • 16 8-15-2010 at 10:25 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I have the chance to see “Animal Kingdom” next weekend, maybe I will.

  • 17 8-16-2010 at 1:38 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Somehow I doubt word of mouth on The Expendables will be that damaging. Look at IMDB, it’s still got an amazing 8.1 rating there, down only 0.2 from saturday.

  • 18 8-16-2010 at 4:58 am

    Joe said...

    Saw Hurt Locker. It sucked.

    Sorry, kidding! I saw Scott Pilgrim on Friday night in a crappy, half-full theater with poor sound and a print that looked like it was already 6 months old. I suspect this is the type of film that I would’ve enjoyed more if I saw it with a more appreciative crowd on a better screen.

  • 19 8-16-2010 at 5:49 am

    JJ said...

    Well, Hurt Locker + sucked sounds a bit harsh. But yeah, I thought it was thoroughly average.

    And I feel like it’s precursor mania & Oscar win(s) were based on buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, and buzz alone.

    But I guess that’s what happens in Oscarland. Some amazing movies get nothing, some average-to-good movies find a way.

  • 20 8-16-2010 at 7:37 am

    Andrew M said...

    Well it was against Hurt Locker and Avatar for the last few months, and between those two, Hurt Locker deserved to win. I think Inglourious Basterds or Up in the Air should of won. Even Precious, District 9, and Up should of won before Hurt Locker.

  • 21 8-16-2010 at 7:45 am

    m1 said...

    19-Say that about The Blind Side if you will, but do not say that the absolute masterpiece that is The Hurt Locker is average.

  • 22 8-16-2010 at 7:45 am

    m1 said...

    20-An Education or The Hurt Locker should have won.

  • 23 8-16-2010 at 7:47 am

    Andrew M said...

    22- Yeah An Education was great too.

  • 24 8-16-2010 at 8:27 am

    Kyle said...

    Just when you thought audiences were craving somewhat original cinema (ex: Inception), they take a pass on Scott Pilgrim in favor of guys my dad’s age blowing stuff up. Oh well…cult status here it comes.

  • 25 8-16-2010 at 8:40 am

    JJ said...

    m1, I’d give ‘The Hurt Locker’ a 7 or 7.5 out of 10. I’d give ‘The Blind Side’ a 5 out of 10.

    And I probably gave 8, 9, or 10 out of 10 to 30 or so movies last year.

  • 26 8-16-2010 at 8:44 am

    JJ said...

    Back on topic, ‘EPL’ was pretty good for me. No desire for ‘The Expendables’, and low interest in ‘Scott Pilgrim’; though, lots of positive public accounts has me slightly interested. I’m waiting for ‘Animal Kingdom’ to come anywhere near me. Nothing else is really jazzing me for the next 2-3 weeks, including ‘The American’. I think I’m getting Clooney-ed out.

  • 27 8-16-2010 at 10:02 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The problem for “Scott Pilgrim” is that, outside of a very limited niche market familiar with the source material, nobody knows what — or who — the hell Scott Pilgrim is. I don’t, and the marketing I’ve seen hasn’t clarified things much. The narrative of “Inception” may have been a question mark, but it was much more obvious to prospective filmgoers what nature of beast it was.

  • 28 8-16-2010 at 10:52 am

    Jacob S. said...

    I’m watching Animal Kingdom tomorrow. I hope it’s as good as you guys say it is.

  • 29 8-16-2010 at 4:07 pm

    ninja said...

    Dolph was great in The Expendables so the sarkasm is aimed at the wrong actor, Chad. Should`ve been Mickey whose speech was a snoozer and whose comeback doesn`t excite anyone but casting suits. IM 2 got neither bigger bucks nor critical acclaim from his presence and his next big movie, something that used to be called War of Gods (before God of War makers threatened with a lawsuit I suppose) and is now called The Immortals, sounds like Clash of the Titans redux with less star power. All paycheck jobs.

    Or any of those f***s from Spike TV`s fight shows who can`t properly read from a teleprompter let alone deliver a line without a visual assistance.

  • 30 8-18-2010 at 6:01 pm

    j said...

    Eat Pray Love is I believe unadjusted the best opening weekend for an August chick flick.

  • 31 8-19-2010 at 2:08 pm

    Lindsay said...

    J is correct, EPL is the best August opening weekend for a straight chick flick, so that is bad how?

    It’s not a romance, the romance doesn’t even come until the last 20 minutes of the movie, come on.

    It was sold as one woman’s spiritual journey, so yeah, 23 million is a good number for a film that only caters to women over the age of 35.

    I saw the film and it has a lot of damn issues, but it is also one of Julia Roberts’ best performances. If only Ryan Murphy wasn’t such a bad director (and yes after seeing this and Running With Scissors I can say he is not a good film director at all).

  • 32 10-27-2010 at 1:12 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    “Step Up 3D” fell 58% to $6.6 million and has effectively ruined our chance at seeing “Step Up Foureva.”

    I was wrong! Step Up 4Ever is actually being made with that title! Sigh.

  • 33 10-27-2010 at 1:14 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Hahahaha!