by Callum Petch (Screened: @CallumPetch)
Did you know that The Hunger Games is a really popular franchise? Like, really popular? Like, “fourth or fifth biggest opening weekend of all-time” popular? Because it is, as it turns out. Catching Fire completely and totally crushed the competition, this past weekend, taking in excess of $161 million and a per-theatre average of almost $39,000. Safe to say, that’s a first-place victory. The big story from this, though, is not the total itself, because box office reporters can never just be satisfied with the narrative of “Big film makes big, BIG money!” No. The big story that’s coming from this is whether or not the weekend estimate will hold. See, if it does, Catching Fire will have the fourth biggest opening weekend of all-time. If it drops even .2%, however, it will only have the fifth biggest opening weekend of all-time, behind The Dark Knight Rises. Tomato, tohmahto, who gives a crap, let’s see what else happened about the place.
Vince Vaughn is not having such a great year, much like every other year in Vince Vaughn’s life, as the abysmal looking Delivery Manbombed, only managing a fourth-place opening with $8 million which, by my calculations, is a ticket sold for every single person who worked on the film, the 533 children Vince Vaughn’s character fathered in the film and nobody else. Also disappointing? The new Michel Gondry animated-documentary Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? which barely salvaged $31,800 from 33 screens. Make your own jokes on whether this’ll make the titular tall man happy. I am above such obvious puns.
Elsewhere in the openers field, the first of Harvey Weinstein’s numerous attempts to try and leave the 2014 Academy Awards with all the Oscars, Philomena, scored as well as you’d expect a Harvey Weinstein-backed drama with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan to score. Which is to say: it made a sh*t-tonne of money. $133,700 on 4 screens, to be precise. The new “I-really-hope-this-looks-way-way-way-better-than-those-awful-trailers-are-making-it-look” Disney flick Frozen opened early in one theatre in LA and took $238,000 in case you wanted a reminder that Disney can still buy and sell you at a moment’s notice. And rounding out an underwhelming year for Formula 1 related film projects, the Frank Simon (with possibly Roman Polanski, depending on who you talk to) directed Jackie Stewart documentary Weekend Of A Champion managed a pitiful $4,100 from two screens and, unlike Stewart for most of his career, dead last. Want an idea of how badly it went? The World’s End beat it. The World’s End! On its fourteenth week!
Finally, before we get into the full list, let’s take a moment to think of poor old Ender’s Game which collapsed out of the top 10, like an old man after going the wrong way up an escalator, with another 60% drop, this week. Of course, during said moment of thinking, feel free to laugh at the tragedy and then send the video of said tragi-larious event into America’s Funniest Home Videos for a shot at whatever the US equivalent of £250 is.
May the Full List be forever in your favour!
US Box Office Results: Friday 22nd November 2013 – Sunday 24th November 2013
|1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire|
$161,125,000 / NEW
The story of The Hunger Games franchise for me is one of eternal "eh, I’ll get around to it eventually". Like, the concept is really cool and has the potential for a lot of interesting satire if pulled off well. However, then I remember that it’s the adaptation of a Young Adult novel series and I realise that all of that satire will likely be jettisoned in favour of love-triangles that remind me why I despise teenagers. So I go "eh, I’ll get around to watching it eventually" and that’s that. I am almost certain that the books will be better, except that books nowadays live in a perpetual state of "eh, I’ll get around to it eventually" for me because I am a terrible human being.
|2. Thor: The Dark World|
$14,117,000 / $167,837,000
Thor-teen million! Eh? Eh? Yeah, I’ll show myself out.
|3. The Best Man Holiday|
$12,490,920 / $50,360,150
Gonna be honest, I have got absolutely nothing here. Make your own quips, folks.
|4. Delivery Man|
$8,125,000 / NEW
Folks, I think that it’s time to face facts. Vince Vaughn is not going to star in another Dodgeball. This streak of him starring in only pathetic pieces of trash is going to stay forever unless we ignore him out of existence. So start doing that before "Untitled Vince Vaughn Movie" arrives from upon high to punish us for our many sins.
|5. Free Birds|
$5,300,000 / $48,594,000
Advertising for this here in the UK is now in full swing ahead of its release on Friday. Good. Hurry up and release so that I can stop having to look at posters for the godsdamn thing every day I have to get the bus to uni. It’s the taglines. They’re not the worst ever, but something about the confrontational poultry-based puns just offends every fibre of my being for no discernable reason. I’m easily rattled like that.
|6. Last Vegas|
$4,359,075 / $53,884,824
Oy, this movie is still kicking around? You know, the fact that people can’t recognise terrible comedies when they see them worries me for the fate of the human race. I had a screening of The Great Dictator in one of my Film Studies classes the other day. Do you want to know how many people were laughing for 90% of its run-time? One. Myself. Sweet Maker...
|7. Bad Grandpa|
$3,450,000 / $95,451,000
I will now take suggestions as to which other recurring Jackass sketch characters will be given their own movies in the coming months and years. It’s gonna happen, folks, might as well get out in front of it.
$3,305,000 / $245,503,000
Yes, I did see this opening day. Yes, I did think it was absolutely incredible. Yes, I do completely believe that something will be irreparably lost when it comes out on home video.
|9. 12 Years a Slave|
$2,800,000 / $29,393,000
My hype levels for this have severely decreased in the last two weeks and I completely blame the total bungling of its UK release which, again, is not until the end of January. Of course, then the film will come out and my hype levels will go back up again, but not to the extent that they were at a few weeks back! And you only have yourself to blame, [INSERT FILM’S DISTRIBUTION COMPANY HERE]
|10. Dallas Buyers Club|
$2,770,000 / $6,450,000
This has been steadily climbing up the charts week after week as it keeps on adding theatres, so to see it actually crack the Top 10 is a nice surprise. May the Matthew McCon-aissance never end!
Callum Petch can’t see where he’s going, you better look out below! He goes by @jackanderson on Screened. Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and read his weekly gaming column Petchulant over at GameSparked (site link)!