Well, the big news of the hour is that The Day the Earth Stood Still made $31 million at the box office over the weekend. That’s a first-place finish, all right, but it’s well below what a lot of people thought it would make at the theaters. There had been plenty of predictions for the upper-40s from a lot of people. But the movie didn’t do that kind of business, likely because movie fans thought this remake of the 1951 classic was a lousy freaking movie.

The critics seem to uniformly hate The Day the Earth Stood Still. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a measly 22 percent rating. It’s interesting, though. I keep on reading these serious-movie websites and they keep on ranting and raving about movies like Gran Torino and all these other flicks in limited release that nobody is watching right now. It’s bizarre. You would think The Day the Earth Stood Still would be getting more writeups, even though a lot of people didn’t like the movie. Maybe this flick just doesn’t deserve any writeups. I mean, heck, Keanu Reeves is in it. That tells you all you need to know right there.

I really do find it odd that you see these so-called awards contenders getting so much press right now while the popcorn movies that actually win at the box office are getting hardly any coverage at all. You would think these Oscar-season flicks are being shown right across the United States just based on the coverage you are getting of them — but they aren’t.

This could have been another reason for The Day the Earth Stood Still doing the kind of mediocre business it did. Just think — if this had been the kind of movie people were talking about and ranting and raving about, business could have been through the roof.

Speaking of disappointing weekends — it was also a miserable weekend for Nothing Like the Holidays, with a haul of $3.5 million. And Delgo only took in $916,000. As for award contenders — Milk made the Top Ten at $2.6 million. Gran Torino made $284,000, which is not bad considering it only played in SIX THEATERS!

The damages:

1. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) $31 million
2. Four Christmases $13.3 million
3. Twilight $8 million
4. Bolt $7.5 million
5. Australia
$4.3 million
6. Quantum of Solace
$3.8 million
7. Nothing Like the Holidays $3.5 million
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $3.3 million
9. Milk $2.6 million
10. Transporter 3 $2.3 million

That’s about does it for now. Back later this week for more prognostications at the Reject Report.


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