Box Office: Winter Takes a Bite Out of Jim Carrey and Will Smith


Well, this was supposed to have been the big heavyweight-matchup at the box office. It was supposed to be a battle between Jim Carrey versus Will Smith, but it was actually Old Man Winter that was the big winner at the box office. That’s right — the weather this weekend was so bad that few people showed up!

In particular, we had really bad weather in Detroit, Toronto, New York and the Boston area, making life miserable for theater operators there. I read that the box offices there were down something like 50 percent from last week during the worst of the weather. And the weather was cold and miserable in the rest of the country. In Denver we had airplanes skidding off of runways, and I noticed the weather was getting so cold during the final Texas Stadium NFL football game that even the sexy Dallas cheerleaders down there had to bundle up.

That’s the story of this weekend – a cold chill at the box office. As it turned out, Jim Carrey’s Yes Man finished in first place (woo hoo!), but the take was only about $18 million. That’s nothing to be euphoric about. As for Will Smith, his latest Seven Pounds came in second at $16 million, which means his string of eight straight $100-million box-office movies with him in the lead will likely go right down the drain. Well, all good things come to an end eventually, right?

Anyway, the weather is the excuse being served up for all the mediocre box office showings. The Tale of Despereaux didn’t do so great either, at $10 million. I must say, though, if people were REALLY excited about any of the movies rolling out, people would have braved the elements and shown up anyway, no matter how cold it was. Yes, the weather was a factor this weekend, but only up to a point.

Here’s a list of the damages:

1. Yes Man $18.6 million
2. Seven Pounds $16.0 million
3. The Tale of Despereaux $10.5 million
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) $10.2 million
5. Four Christmases
$7.7 million
6. Twilight
$5.2 million
7. Bolt $4.2 million
8. Slumdog Millionaire $3.2 million
9. Australia $2.3 million
10. Quantum of Solace $2.2 million

Of the possible awards-season contenders Slumdog Millionaire did $3.1 million in business, Milk did $1.6 million, Doubt had $729,000 on 39 screens, Gran Torino did $468,000 on 19 screens, and The Wrestler did $209,000 on four screens. I know plenty of people are going nuts looking at these numbers and trying to figure out which of these possible Oscar contenders have “breakout potential.” I’ll tell you right now: none of them! Why? Because they’re not in any theaters, that’s why!! And until these are in more theaters NONE of them will make any money. Simple as that.

How the heck is a movie going to break out and be popular if it’s shown on four screens here and 19 screens there, and yada yada yada? I’d like to see some of these movies myself, but they aren’t showing up anywhere near where I live, either!

It’s great that so many people care about these “awards-season” flicks, but it would be nice if ordinary folks were able to see them at “a theater near you!” Otherwise, why should we care?

There’s no excuse for this “limited release” nonsense, because people are aware of these movies by now and some fans are complaining that they aren’t getting to see them! So these die-hards are seeking out lousy pirated copies of these flicks on the Internet, instead. By the time these flicks hit town, it’ll already be too late. No wonder people have to turn to the Internet if this is what we all must put up with. When people have to hop on planes to New York to see The Wrestler in a theater, you know the situation is totally freaking ridiculous.

Start distributing these so-called “Oscar” flicks to more theaters, guys, because this current setup leaves ordinary people out of the Oscar race! It makes these award-worthy movies look like they are only aimed at a crowd of rich elites and no one else!!! Enough said. This is the last time I’m going to rant about this, I hope.

That’s all for this week! Christmas is right around the corner, so stay tuned for another early edition of the Reject Report so that we will be able to preview what folks like Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise have planned for the big day. Fun stuff.

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