by Callum Petch – (Screened: @jackanderson, Twitter: @CallumPetch)
This past weekend saw the setting for a fierce battle between two unyielding juggernauts. Two titans that both command huge power and influence over all those in the immediate vicinity. The irresistible force meeting the immovable object in a battle that would leave nothing but blood all over the arena, children in tears, teenagers arguing over which boy is the superior suitor for another woman, parents no longer speaking to each other thanks to a row instigated by somebody’s bad decision and all round misery on your end. But enough about Thanksgiving dinner with your family. This weekend had The Hunger Games’ Catching Fire fighting it out with Disney’s Frozen for Supreme Thanksgiving Weekend Victor of the World! Truly, it was a contest for the ages, one that Catching Fire won with surprising ease, besting Frozen by a cool $7 million and only dropping 52% between weekends. Of course, both parties are the true winners as, with weekend totals of $74.5 million and $66 million respectively, they helped catapult this weekend into being one of the biggest Thanksgiving weekends ever! “Although one does have to wonder how much better these films would have done with male leads, instead...” said no self-respecting person ever.
Despite that banner lead, however, other films decided to open this past weekend and only a single one did anything close to respectable business. Homefront, the Jason Statham-fronted, Sylvester Stallone-written, James Franco baddie-featuring, please-don’t-be-as-crappy-as-I’m-hearing-it-to-be action flick, could only manage $6.9 million for fifth place, continuing the disappointing slowdecline of Jason Statham’s box office career. Black Nativity, in Hollywood’s continued attempt to shamelessly wag their tail in front of black America (and, yes, that was the best wording I could come up with, I’ve spent the last 10 minutes going over every single possibility) in the hopes that they’ll turn up to any old dreck, could only manage $3.8 million for eighth place. But the big loser came from Spike Lee’s Oldboy, the remake that nobody was craving for but, let’s be honest, we were all kinda really excitedly curious to see anyway. Half-heartedly dropped on 583 screens and with apparently zilcho in the way of actual promotion for the thing, the poor thing appropriately bombed horrifically with $850,000 to its name. Good to see it was worth the last five years of your life, Universal and the 900 subsidiaries you dragged into the project with you!
It wasn’t all bad news for non-Disney shaped openers, though. The Book Thief, a World War II period drama set in Nazi-occupied Europe about a German family and oh just give it all the damn Oscars already if that’ll shut it up, went wide this past week and took $4.8 million that it can use to legitimately buy books instead of stealing them all the damn time, lousy ingrate. Philomena, the Harvey Weinstein backed Dame Judi Dench-starring dramedy based on true events and fine we’ll give you some Oscars too I guess, likewise went relatively wide and took $3.7 million from 835 theatres who wanted to see Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan be all nice to one another. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the fine we’ll give you some Oscars too QUIT BITCHING, also opened in four theatres this week to the tune of $100,300 from people hoping that Idris Elba would deliver a speech even half as good as the one from Pacific Rim even though we all know that that kind of movie speech is the sort that only comes along once every two decades.
Finally, this being the weekend of big openers, wide expansioners and award-season movies making like Napoleon, the cuts to the list were ruthless with Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years A Slave, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa and even Free Birds dropping out of the Top 10. Free Birds was probably down to the concept of not eating turkeys on this, the most American of holidays, being the kind of premise only a Communist would support and true patriots of the US stayed away. 12 Years A Slave was probably down to it being too weighty for the kind of light and amusing family fare that people so enjoy at this time of the season (because child murdering is much more appropriate Thanksgiving entertainment than slavery). Jackass likely dropped due to projectile defecation putting everyone off of the American act of turkey eating. And Gravity was almost certainly down to every single person in America having seen it already. Which, as excuses stand is, admittedly, a pretty good one.
This Full List is as cold as ice! Yeah, that was not one of my better ones.
US Box Office Results: Friday 29th November 2013 – Monday 1st December 2013
|1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire|
$74,500,000 / $296,500,000
Well... I spent all of my material on this movie in last week’s results piece, so I have absolutely nothing here. I guess I’ll just ride out the next forever-many weeks it stays on the list with variations of uncaring indifference.
$66,713,000 / $93,356,000
This is coming out in the UK this coming Friday and I’m staying completely in the dark about it until then. I don’t know what it’s about and I don’t want to know. I haven’t been this in the dark about a movie I’ve been dying to see in forever and I aim to keep it that way!
|3. Thor: The Dark World|
$11,108,000 / $186,712,000
If you add the totals for this and Frozen together, you’ll get a number that easily bests Catching Fire, because this is Disney we are talking about and Disney owns everyone. Everyone.
|4. The Best Man Holiday|
$8,491,000 / $63,414,000
I continue to have never heard anything about this movie in my entire life and I continue to be too lazy to actually do any research on it. Lay off; it’s Monday and my brain usually goes kaput right abo... (collapses onto keyboard face-first).
$6,970,000 / $9,795,000 / NEW
May I just state my sadness on the fact that this movie apparently sucks? I mean, it’s Jason Statham vs. James Franco! That should be a non-stop whirlwind of entertainment, intentional or no! How do you screw that up?
|6. Delivery Man|
$6,931,000 / $19,453,000
Only a 19% drop between weekends? Understandable. After all, heart-warming dramedies about illegitimate children born from an over-enthusiastic sperm donor is just the kind of thing that people love to watch at Thanksgiving. I assume. My other theory is that cinemas have started offering out screens to hobos for a place to sleep at night.
|7. The Book Thief|
$4,850,000 / $7,856,000
Sigh... maybe I should just be glad to see Geoffrey Rush in something that’s not Pirates of the Caribbean-shaped for once, even if it is as blatant Oscar-bait as I can find.
|8. Black Nativity|
$3,880,000 / $5,000,000 / NEW
See, if we counted the entire four-day weekend, then maybe this would have leapfrogged over The Book Thief. But that’s not how this works and so it never will! Mwahahahahahaha!!!!
$3,789,000 / $4,754,000
You know, I only insult films like these because I know that we Brits can do so much better. We can make exciting, interesting, controversial, thought-provoking and original movies! Dammit, we’re the country who gave the world Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Kill List, Attack The Block and The Cornetto Trilogy! Yet, time after time and more often than not, our film studios will go, “F*ck it. Give post-High Fidelity Stephen Frears a blank cheque to get us some Oscars!” Or “Sod it, we’ll do a docudrama about the first Britain’s Got Talent winner with James Corden as the lead.” Or, worst of all, “F*cking sod everything. Let’s give movies to Keith Lemon and Harry Hill.” What I’m saying is that we can do better, it’s just that only four people seem bothered to even try anymore.
|10. Last Vegas|
$2,785,000 / $58,722,000
To the families who trotted off to the cinema this past Thanksgiving to try and please their elder members: they hate you for that. Just because they’re old, doesn’t mean that they want to watch this pile of tripe. They hate being patronised and, by assuming that they’d like this because it’s old people trying to act young again, you have patronised them so thoroughly that they are repulsed by your presence, right now. You sicken them! Get out of our sight! You know that you’re adopted, right?
...that went to a dark place.