Box Office: And the Box Office Goes to Vantage Point

For what seems like the umpteenth week in a row, the Box Office Oscar goes to a movie that got pelted by tomatoes by movie critics. Vantage Point finished first with a take of $24 million, despite a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 34 per cent! This follows on Jumper’s box office victory (16%), and Fool’s Gold’s box office victory (10%). What the heck has gotten into the drinking water of the movie-going public in the United States? What are they putting in the popcorn and the soft drinks?! Mediocre movies are raking it in, at least as far as the weekend box office is concerned.

Fat chance you will find an Oscar-contending picture at the top of any of the weekend charts, at least not this year. Here’s a question for you. How many of the Best Picture contenders finished first for the weekend at the box office? The answer: not a single one of them — not even Juno. Now granted, that movie is now up to $130 million gross, and No Country for Old Men is up to $64 million, but those took a long time to get there.

I guess the good movies get the last laugh in the end with longer runs and long-term business. These bad movies can’t do that. These opening weekend grosses are the only opportunity for these bad movies to get their moment in the sun. Their one shot at glory is to win the weekend. Then the movie drops like a rock and is never heard from again, until it goes out on DVD. They then put out ads promoting the fact that their piece-of-junk movie was once Number One at the box office, and make money all over again. “Own the number one hit today!” You get the picture.

Fortunately, not all bad movies are able to do this. Look what happened to Witless Protection, which disappeared completely in 13th place with a take of $2,190,000, just ahead of Charlie Bartlett at $1,820,000. But then again, why would anyone think that any movie named Witless Protection would be any good to begin with?

It wasn’t a good weekend for new movies, when you think about it. I notice the well-received Jack Black comedy Be Kind Rewind only made $4,100,000, lower than what a lot of people predicted.

Here are weekend box office totals courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

1 Vantage Point – $24,000,000
2 Jumper – $12,650,000
3 The Spiderwick Chronicles – $12,600,000
4 Step Up 2 the Streets – $9,787,000
5 Fool’s Gold – $6,270,000
6 Definitely, Maybe – $5,184,000
7 Be Kind Rewind – $4,100,000
8 Juno – $4,100,000
9 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins – $3,989,000
10 There Will Be Blood – $2,561,000

In the battle of the 3-D movies I notice U2 3D made only $1,075,000 and was beaten out by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which made $1,516,000 and is now up to an overall gross of $61,876,000. So there’s your 3-D box office winner right there.

Also, in international news I’m pleased to report that Jessica Simpson’s movie Blonde Ambition topped the box office in the Ukraine with a take of around $250,000. That’s right, Jessica Simpson is popular in eastern Europe. So it’s not just Americans who have bad taste in movies. It’s everyone in the whole wide world!! Just kidding.

Anyway, that’s all for now! See you later this week for another Reject Report.

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