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film news

Thursty's Stinky Box Office: Lollipop Kool-Aid Edition

Posted by Thurston McQ on Friday, March 25, 2011

If you're a geeknerd, there's only one blip on your radar this weekend: Sucker Punch.  It's been meticulously crafted to appeal to you, and, damn it, you're expected to want to see it this weekend.  It's Zack Snyder at his Zack Snyderiest.  Seemingly nothing has been left out, and they've been thoughtful enough to make it PG-13 so more people will want to go see it than went to see Watchmen on its first weekend.

Every two or three years in March, Snyder farts out a new exercise in slow-fast-slow.  His fans are pretty well primed for it, at this point.  His last three March movies were rated R, which made them all, like, totally hardcoresuperawesomebadass.  Fans reveled in his movies' hardcoresuperawesomebadassédness, and championed him as a man who didn't let social mores compromise his groundbreaking slow-fast-slow vision.  Something happened with Snyder's Watchmen, though: it didn't make that much money.  All signs pointed to moneymaker.  It was directed by a hot director working in his comfort zone (March, adaptation, R rating).  It appealed to a Watchmen-loyal fan base, it appealed to a general comic book fan base, and it appealed to the prestige crowd. ("THE MOST CELEBRATED GRAPHIC NOVEL OF ALL TIME," the trailer informed us.)  It had a more-or-less effective trailer.  It didn't tell the un-initiated much of anything about what to expect, but it whetted the appetite.

For whatever reason, it didn't quite connect with audiences.  It made 55 million out of the gate, which is good for a March movie but not quite up to generic blockbuster snuff.  Also unlike a generic blockbuster, it didn't manage to triple the opening weekend by the end of its run.  In fact, it didn't even manage to double it.  It turned out to be abnormally front loaded,and wound up making only 107 million.  It was a big blow to Warner Bros., who fought tooth-and-nail in court to keep Fox's grubby hands off it.

Fans dragged "If You Don't Like It, You Don't Get It" -- that delightful old ad hominem -- out of their closets, and are wearing them to this day.  (I'll let YouTube user Hellblazer334 speak for his brethren: "this movie which is loved...liked...and insulted if not judged has to be seen in a way different from most movies in order to be understood....its like 2001 in a vissual [sic] sense and like The Godfather or even in the case of fans of the novel like The Passion Of The Christ in a plot wise sense.")

Anyway, it looks like we've gotten Sucker Punch out of Watchmen's failure to connect with the general public.  Smaller budget, no more R rating.  Luckily for Snyder, he doesn't need an R rating or big budget to achieve his special blend of slow-fast-slow and slow-fast-slow.  He proved that last year with his PG-rated, CG-animated, 3D-fad-pigtailing, owl fetish fest, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.  (Rolls right off the tongue.)  It didn't cost all that much in comparison to Watchmen, and it looked pretty.  And it had some slow-fast-slow for the ages.  What it didn't do is make money.  It cost 80 million and only made back 55 in the US. 

(I should make it clear when I say "slow-fast-slow" that it's mostly slow.  The speed ramping is only an occasional treat.  Snyder likes to use it sparingly.  The slow motion, on the other hand, flows freely and awesome. [Whoops, meant to say "often."])

Warner Bros. still has a little faith in him, I guess.  Is it justified?  So far, critics don't seem to think so.  Whatever goodwill they had for his usual Mel-Gibson-meets-Michael-Bay style appears to have dwindled.  Will this be bad for business?  It's hard to tell.  It almost certainly won't have an opening weekend as big as Watchmen's.  It'll probably have the typical 20 millionish opening for this time of year.  If it's as front loaded as Watchmen was, however, it could spell doom for the Zack Snyder March Movie Madness frat party.

They tell us Sucker Punch isn't just a frat party, though.  It's a girl-empowering frat party.  ("Tough chicks!  Getcher tough chicks, right here!  Five for the price of a movie ticket!)  That's Snyder's apparent fix for his Watchmen misstep.  He now appeals to boys and girls.  Hoo boy.  (Hoo... girl?  [And for all twelve of you Legends of the Guardians fans out there: Hoo!  Hoo!])

Oh, hey.  Almost forgot.  The sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes out this weekend.  It might actually beat Sucker Punch.  Could be a close call.  Whatever the case, it'll probably start making more money than Sucker Punch after this weekend.

Predictions:

1.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules   $22.50m
2.  Sucker Punch   $21.25m
3.  Limitless   $11.25m
4.  The Lincoln Lawyer   $9.25m
5.  Rango   $9.00m
6.  Paul   $7.20m
7.  Battle: Los Angeles   $6.25m
8.  Red Riding Hood   $3.50m
9.  Mars Needs Moms   $3.15m
10.  The Adjustment Bureau   $3.10m

Disagree? Let me know by 11:59 EST Friday night. If your predictions come closer than mine to the actual weekend grosses, I will celebrate your superior skills in the Grovel Pit.

Jakester
Location:
Posts: 5753
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Did you forget that I am going to see Sucker Punch seven thousand times this weekend?

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

If you have the stamina for a second time, I applaud you.

Mal Shot First
Location:
Posts: 3180
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

I've decided to participate in the prediction contest for the first time.

My Predictons

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - $22.50m
  2. Sucker Punch - $21.25m
  3. Limitless - $11.25m
  4. The Lincoln Lawyer - $9.25m
  5. Rango - $9.00m
  6. Paul - $7.20m
  7. Battle: Los Angeles - $6.25m
  8. Red Riding Hood - $3.50m
  9. Mars Needs Moms - $3.15m
  10. The Adjustment Bureau - $3.10m

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Those are some damn fine picks, Mal Shot First. Thursty's on the other hand, are quite horrid.

Thursty, were you working with your self-imposed word count max again? Is that why you were barely able to mention any movie outside of your Zack Snyder uber rant? You should stick that rant in your posting signature! Patrick may have to make some site modifications in order for it to fit though.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Mal Shot First wrote:

I've decided to participate in the prediction contest for the first time.

I'm in, too. My predictions:

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - $22.51m
2. Sucker Punch - $21.25m
3. Limitless - $11.25m
4. The Lincoln Lawyer - $9.25m
5. Rango - $9.00m
6. Paul - $7.20m
7. Battle: Los Angeles - $6.25m
8. Red Riding Hood - $3.50m
9. Mars Needs Moms - $3.15m
10. The Adjustment Bureau - $3.10m

 

atrejub
Location:
Posts: 739
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Quasar wrote:

...outside of your Zack Snyder uber rant?

You should be thankful, Quasar, since the above only comprises his pre-watching-Sucker Punch rant. The post rant was even longer.

atrejub
Location:
Posts: 739
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Actuals:
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $23.75
2. Sucker Punch, 19.06
3. Limitless, 15.06
4. The Lincoln Lawyer, 10.75
5. Rango, 9.77
6. Paul, 7.85
7. Battle: Los Angeles, 7.58
8. Red Riding Hood, 4.31
9. Adjustment Bureau, 4.29
10. Mars Needs Moms, 2.26

Thursty/Mal:
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - 94.74%
2. Sucker Punch - 89.69%
3. Limitless - 74.70%
4. The Lincoln Lawyer - 86.05%
5. Rango -92.12%
6. Paul - 91.72%
7. Battle: Los Angeles -82.45%
8. Red Riding Hood - 81.21%
9. Mars Needs Moms - 71.75%
10. The Adjustment Bureau - 72.26%
Average: 83.67%

Goiter:
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - 94.78%
2. Sucker Punch - 89.69%
3. Limitless - 74.70%
4. The Lincoln Lawyer - 86.05%
5. Rango -92.12%
6. Paul - 91.72%
7. Battle: Los Angeles -82.45%
8. Red Riding Hood - 81.21%
9. Mars Needs Moms - 71.75%
10. The Adjustment Bureau - 72.26%
Average: 83.67%

The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

We all did pretty piss-poor.  I guess Thursty owes me some groveling.

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Who knew Diary of a Wimpy Kid had a following?

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 20 weeks ago

Its followers.