Welcome back to another weekend at the Reject Report where I am left scratching my heads over the weekend box office. $28 million for Obsessed? That much? Well, I guess Beyonce has a lot of fans. I’m surprised because this was in only 2,500 theaters, so I didn’t expect such a good showing for that reason. Heck, I really don’t know why this movie made so much money. I know a lot of women wanted to see this movie, but that isn’t a good reason because women like to go see a lot of movies. Maybe people just want to see stalker movies.
Actually, come to think of it — that’s exactly what they want to see right now. They want to see people get stalked, kidnapped (Taken) or carved up (Friday the 13th). Either that, or it’s apocalyptic end-of-the-world type stuff (Knowing). Even the fluffier stuff has monsters and aliens in them.
Chalk up another victory for this sort of material at the box office. I know, Obsessed is no Friday the 13th, but it’s still no fluff comedy, either.
I know people keep on saying that the reason the box office is up is because people want to escape from the recession woes and all the rest of the world’s problems. What nonsense. If people are really seeking escape from their fears, it’s sure not being reflected at the box office with all this darker and scarier material outperforming expectations so often. In fact, I read somewhere that Obsessed beat out Mean Girls for the top gross ever for the last weekend of April — and that this was the second-best opening ever for a title from Screen Gems (a studio known among film freaks as “Scream Gems”). I can’t believe people keep records of these sorts of things.
If people are seeking escape, we’d be seeing comedies, buddy-action-movies and fantasy-type stuff absolutely cleaning up every single week. Instead, that sort of stuff is winning — oh, often enough, these days, but not as often as you might expect. Granted, we’ve got summer coming up with all these comedies and fantasy-type stuff at the theaters, so it’ll be interesting to see how well they do. Maybe people will be in a happier mood by then and want to watch more escapist fare on a regular basis. Right now, though, you get the impression that the box office is kind of mirroring the dim mood of the public.
As for the rest: Fighting came in a little better than expected at around $11 million, while The Soloist sank to $9.7 million. Earth had a weekend haul of $8.5 million and its five-day haul was $14.2 million — and we are told this is the best opening ever for a nature flick.
For holdovers, Crank: High Voltage absolutely crashed into tenth spot, dropping 65 percent from last week. As for 17 Again, which was trounced by Earth in midweek, it recovered enough by the weekend to sneak into second place. The damages:
- Obsessed $28,500,000
- 17 Again $11,665,000
- Fighting $11,441,000
- The Soloist 9,715,000
- Earth $8,554,000
- Monsters Vs. Aliens $8,524,000
- State of Play $6,891,000
- Hannah Montana The Movie $6,372,000
- Fast and Furious $6,062,000
- Crank: High Voltage $2,400,000
Looking at the overall grosses for the Jan. to April period, Monsters vs. Aliens leads with$174,817,000, Fast and Furious up to $145,224,000, Paul Blart: Mall Cop finishes with $144,689,133, Taken is up to $142,598,000, and Watchmen collected $106,936,155. When you look at the Top 5, you have to be kind of surprised at how well some of these movies did — particularly Taken. That flick has just made no end of money, and I know that’s surprised a lot of people.
That is it for now. I plan to be back pretty soon with a special article previewing what I think might happen with the summer box office because summer movie season is almost upon us. Then I plan to have my regular first-weekend-of-May column where I preview X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You know, they ought to just close down Friday and make it a holiday for moviegoers, because that’s what the first Friday of May has turned into.