September 25, 2007

Box Office Update 9/21-9/23: Resident Evil: Extinction Takes Out Chuch

Zombie-fied action ruled the weekend as a lone warrior took on the vigilante. The third entry in the Resident Evil franchise knocked The Brave One out of the top spot. Milla Jovovich returns to the video game inspired role which breathed a little more life into the box office, following a few lackluster frames as school got back into session. It opened to $23.6 million, about a half million more than its predecessor, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. This outing was probably a bit better than the last, though it still remains firmly entrenched in the land of guilty pleasures.

I saw the film with an enthusiastic crowd Saturday night. It was a fun time. The movie was big, flashy, and devoid of any real depth. I found I didn't care a lick. While I could point out the flaws and missed opportunities afterward, I was right there for the ride. There is no denying that Resident Evil: Extinction delivers the goods. Will there be a fourth? Probably, and I will be right there for it.

Coming up a distant second is the Dane Cook/Jessica Alba romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck. I suspect that this will have a short lifespan. As soon as everyone realizes that Cook is not all that funny perhaps we will be able to move on from this idea of him as a comedic leading man. He has proven himself adequate in supporting roles (Waiting, Mr. Brooks), a trend that could continue in Dan in Real Life. As it stands, this movie has a few comical moments, but it is based on a high concept that doesn't work and relies on the standards of the genre. Never does Chuck attempt to be anything but a vulgar comedy. I am all for vulgar comedy, but more of the Apatow variety (Knocked Up, Superbad). There needs to be at least a hint of depth and this does not make the cut.

Two other films made it to the top ten this week, one is a debuting feature and the other underwent an expansion. First up is the expanding film. Placing fifth is David Cronenberg's excellent Eastern Promises. It is a gangster/crime film that is less about the crime elements and much more about the characters. Promises is a touch slow but it is so strongly written that it is a minor obstacle to the enjoyment to be gleaned. It also features one of the best fights filmed in some time, right up there with the one in The Bourne Ultimatum following the chase in Tangiers. The other new arrival is Sydney White, a new Amanda Bynes comedy targeting the tween audience. I was unable to make it to this one over the weekend, so I cannot comment on how good it is. I plan to try and make it sometime in the near future.

Among the returning films, The Bourne Ultimatum continues to show strong legs, slipping only 30% in its eight weekend. It has a tally north of $220 million, which is simply fantastic. It really is a great film and it is nice to see it have such a great reception. The other strong holder this weekend was the third place finisher, 3:10 to Yuma. This is an excellent western, and a remake to boot.

On a non top ten note, if you have the chance to see Across the Universe, do so. It is an absolutely amazing musical set to interpretations of Beatles classics. It really is quite amazing.

Next week will see new competition from the romantic comedy Feast of Love, the Rock's family comedy The Game Plan, and the action thriller The Kingdom. Also, In the Valley of Elah will expand, not completely wide, but it will by in many new markets.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Rush Hour 3 (11), Halloween (12), Balls of Fury (15), and Mr. Bean's Holiday (14).
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NResident Evil: Extinction$23,678,580$23,678,5801
2NGood Luck Chuck$13,652,001$13,652,0011
31The Brave One$7,313,437$25,003,3472
423:10 to Yuma$6,157,624$37,718,8783
521Eastern Promises$5,641,788$6,443,7482
6NSydney White$5,196,380$5,196,3801
73Mr. Woodcock$4,923,896$15,648,5842
97The Bourne Ultimatum$2,872,565$220,239,7358
105Dragon Wars$2,596,278$8,657,5272

Box Office Predictions Recap
This is where you would normally see my recap chart, but would you believe it if I told you I forgot to do it? I remember putting the column together on Thursday with the intention of finishing it on Thursday for posting Friday. It completely slipped my mind. Oh well, these things happen. I did predict Resident Evil would be at the top, but that was an obvious guess. I will try to do better next week.


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