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film news

The Expendables wins the box office, Scott Pilgrim bombs

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Sunday, August 15, 2010

The results of this weekend's box office results are going to be used by movie studios in determining what kind of movies they should make in the coming years. What it shows is that the age of the 80's action star isn't over (as long as you can cram in a dozen of them into a single film); that Julia Roberts feel-good romantic dramas with lovely exotic scenery continue to be good gambles for the late summer berth; and that comic books beloved by a core but small nichel audience don't translate into box office hits.

The post-mortem breaks down like this:

#1: The Expendables opened in first place with $35 million dollars, giving Sylvester Stallone his personal best opening ever. At 62 years of age Sly has a new film franchise to work on for the next while and Lionsgate is very happy to be in the Stallone business. With that kind of opening number Jean-Claude Van Damme might even be agreeable to starring in The Expendables 2.

#2: Eat Pray Love opens to a tune of $23.7m. Not bad. It's not Runaway Bride opening weekend numbers but it's better than Erin Brockovich, and that nabbed Julia an Oscar.

#3: The Other Guys rustles up another $18m (total $70m after two weeks.)

#4: Inception. Another $11.3m and it's up to $248.5m. I can't complain about that.

#5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. With an opening of just $10.5m no one at Universal or Marc Platt Productions can be too happy. The movie is decent, it appeals to more than just hipsters but the marketing is meandering and weak. No one knows if they want to see Scott Pilgrim. Are people too burnout on Michael Cera? Could be. And what's the movie about when you see a 30-second ad for it? Is it a love story? Comedy? Video game movie?  The Expendables has a solid marketing concept: huge testoserone, old action movie stars together in one film, come see it. Eat Pray Love as Julia Roberts and her fans know that there's no Halo bullshit within reach. But Scott Pilgrim? It's marketing is unfocused. It's TV commercial-sized message is confusing. That's why it only got $10 million bucks this weekend and it'll be in ninth or tenth place next week. I like it and I don't want it to get its ass kicked by Stallone and Roberts but I also can't argue with the facts: outside of the online geek community no one knows what the hell Scott Pilgrim is supposed to be.

#6: Despicable Me. With an accumulated $221.9m this is the bright spot for Universal this summer.

#7: Step Up 3D. $6.6m new, $29.5m total. Well, there's no accounting for taste.

#8: Salt. $6.3m new, $103.5m total. Hey, Angie's movie finally made $100 mil domestic! Break out the champagne!

#9: Dinner for Schmucks. $6.3m new, $58.8m total. I ain't got much else to say, though the Zack Galifinakis business hasn't been as kind to Paramount as it has been to Warner Bros.

#10: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. $35 million after two weeks. If parallel worlds theory turns out to be true then in some universes this beat Scott Pilgrim in its gross. Thankfully we live in one of those universes where that didn't happen.

Ah well. It could've been worse and Expendables could have been beaten by Step Up 3D.

WarCry
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Posted: 9 years 16 weeks ago

I use my wife as a barometer on comic books movies when I think about what the box office might be. I knew Scott Pilgrim was in trouble when I was talking about the movie, and she seemed interested.....then a few hours later I mentioned the name Scott Pilgrim and she had no idea what I was talking about.

 

She'd seen the commercials which seemed to interest her, but not enough that she remembered the name. That about sums it up, right?

 

But even with that, 5th place??? That's just.....wow.

 You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. --Richard Marcinko
Daltons chin dimple
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Posts: 12800
Posted: 9 years 16 weeks ago

As happy as I am to see Stallone do well with such a blatantly retro "Man" movie, the situation with Scott Pilgrim is worrying.  It was as original as a movie based on a comic book can be, and something different.  If it fails, then more remakes, reimaginings and sequels will be all we can look forward to.

If you want to continue seeing studios take even minor risks, then all movie fans should go see it this weekend.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"