New Releases wave Bye Bye (Man) to any semblance of money, Patriots Day suffers from a lack of sufficient Real Americans, Live-ing by Night makes one Sleepless, and Other Box Office News.
Surprising only those without brains, working optics, or literacy/knowledge of dates of the year, Hidden Figures, which ended up toppling Rogue One last weekend after all – but at least I saved myself minor embarrassment by running with a picture of that film for the header, and putting question marks next to both films’ numbers on the list; just wanting to make it clear that I was on the right side of history, here – clung onto #1 with relative ease over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. In fact, despite adding 815 theatres on from last weekend, usually at the point where a film’s takings start to decline (having had its “peak” weekend last week), the film only dipped 10% between weekends, and will most likely increase its takings once the four-day weekend numbers come in. Either way, $20.4 mil, almost $6 mil exact above second placer La La Land, is not a number to undersell, and indicates a demand for more variety in casts and stories in our mainstream Hollywood movies that the system will continue to ignore anyway!
Besides, much like last weekend, it’s not like many Americans were choosing to watch new films, anyway. Yes, across the board, with the exceptions of Hidden Figures and La La Land (and even then they’re more minor expansions than proper nationwide-rs), pretty much everything underperformed or straight out bombed this past weekend. Whether you be an expansionist, a new release, tipped for awards glory, headed up by a major star, or dumped into cinemas two years after being finished because your studio just wants to be done with you already, you were basically walking directly into the No Man’s Land of a public that was far too busy being existentially horrified by the fact that they only had one week left before the Apocalypse starts to doom us all. Also, it was a holiday weekend and most of these films were just kinda shit anyway?
Let’s tackle the New Kids on the Block, first. Best performing of the lot was STX’s The Bye Bye Man… sorry, is that really the name that they signed off on? For real? And the whole idea is that merely thinking about his name makes him powerful and murderous? So, basically, somebody was paid $7.4 million to make a jump-scare version of The Game starring a discount off-brand Freddy Krueger? Jesus Christ, the goddamn film industry… Anyway, the film outperformed everyone’s low expectations, because the kids had to go and watch something that weekend and it sure as shit wasn’t going to be Monster Trucks, finishing up in fifth with $13.3 million. Speaking of, Monster Trucks made $10 million for seventh and now we can all stop talking about that movie, OK?! Then in eighth we have Jamie Foxx in the unholy abomination that one gets when they mash The Equaliser, Taken, and Triple 9 into one not-screened-for-critics January release called Sleepless. Fittingly for a film I didn’t even know existed until 20 minutes ago, it only managed a pitiful $8.4 million.
That said, at least it was far, far better than the first of our expanders for the weekend, Ben Affleck’s justifiably maligned Live by Night. This one has turned into quite the disaster for everyone involved, having been slated by critics – it’s like watching all five seasons of Boardwalk Empire at 10x speed, and that’s not a compliment – snubbed for all awards consideration despite having been pulled forward in order to qualify, and failing to catch on with any audiences whatsoever. As the likely final indignity, its nationwide expansion into 2,800 theatres (1,000 more than Sleepless was dumped into) even failed to break into the Top 10, sitting just outside with $5.4 million and losing to the fourth week of Passengers of all goddamn movies. Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s Silence spread its message to 747 theatres and [INSERT TASTELESS PERSECUTION SIMILE HERE], taking just under $2 million for the weekend. Finally, America’s “obsession” (read: one film did moderately well) with the Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg “dream team” may finally be at an end, as Patriots Day stumbled majorly in its expansion, taking just $12 million for sixth. Sad. Democrats so unpatriotic. LOSERS.
This Full List has no more Trump references. I promise. Please stop making to leave.
US Box Office Results: Friday 13th January 2017 – Sunday 15th January 2017
1] Hidden Figures
$20,450,000 / $54,833,100
So, this weirdly doesn’t drop here until mid-February. In fact, ALL of the major Black-film Awards Season contenders – which also include Loving, Fences, and Moonlight – don’t drop here until mid-February. This is getting ridiculous, now. How am I supposed to stay informed in Awards Season conversations when the Awards themselves start earlier every year yet the films keep getting dumped to later? I would like to casually remind all UK film distributors that y’all put out nothing on January 6th. NOTHING. What, did you really think Assassin’s Creed was gonna clean house?
2] La La Land
$14,500,000 / $74,081,569
Gonna talk about this to some degree in this week’s What I’ve Been Watching – which I am specifically mentioning an inbound instalment of here so that I have no excuses for not doing one – but the skinny is that I adored it. Absolutely adored it. It is in no way perfect, one could even say that it is heavily flawed, but I spent basically the entire runtime with a huge smile on my face and a soaring feeling in my heart, both of which I sorely needed prior to seeing it, and I can’t put a price on that. Bring on the (shockingly fast) backlash, I adored it absolutely.
$13,810,970 / $233,026,490
Oh, thank God, I can finally cross this one off my list on Saturday and get it out of my life for good. A review will run either Sunday or next Tuesday, depends on how quickly I get it penned. But seriously, I will be so relieved to get those trailers out of my life at long last. If I have to watch cartoon bunnies mime along to the “Baby Got Back” sample in “Anaconda” any more times than the once, I am going to blow a frickin’ gasket.
4] Rogue One
$13,759,000 / $498,850,734
Hey, folks! Did you know that Riz Ahmed, in addition to being a really good actor in great films and television shows, is also a rapper? And a surprisingly great one at that? No, for real! Specifically (although he has also done solo stuff), he’s one half of Swet Shop Boys, along with Heems from Das Racist. They put out an album last year, Cashmere, that’s not only genuinely banging, it’s also one of the best things I heard from 2016. Allow me to link you to the single from the album, “T5,” then go listen to the rest of it once you’re done.
5] The Bye Bye Man
$13,378,000 / NEW
Good God, I still cannot get over the fact that this is a real film being sold seriously to actual horror fans. Every single thing I hear about this sounds like one length prolonged joke at the expense of the worst of the genre, right down to the Friday the 13th January release date, and walk-on cameos by actors and actresses far better than this shit (Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Trucco). Yet this is supposed to be serious? Christ, why the hell aren’t I in the film biz? I could be making a killing if these are the standards I have to live up to!
6] Patriots Day
$12,000,000 / $12,924,082
So, this failed, and the world keeps on turning. Can I instead take a moment to express disappointment with most of the year’s Awards Season movies, whilst we’re here? People are trying to claim that it’s wide open, right now, but I actually think it’s very obviously gonna be a three-way duke between Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, and Moonlight; conveniently enough, by all accounts, the only three actually decent ones that came out this time. Just saying, if pickings look this slim, why not look a little further backwards through the year, into some roads a little less travelled, to fill up those slots with movies that deserve said recognition?
This is my way of saying that I will fucking riot if Lion gets a Best Picture nomination purely for being a Weinstein film. Fair warning.
7] Monster Trucks
$10,500,000 / NEW
This was dumped into UK cinemas back on Boxing Day, our “FUCK YOU, IT’S JANUARY!” equivalent squeezed into one day since January is when the Awards Season films start crossing the pond, and… eh. Yes, after all that, it’s nothing in the slightest bit special. Just sort of really, really meh. Aggressively juvenile, with the accompanying sense of “morality” that comes with such a label, but I can see myself having loved it when I was maybe six. At least the monster’s kind of cute, and it’s got Jane Levy who deserves an Emma Stone-type career already. Would also have been 300x better if the lead actor were anybody other than Lucas Till, though. Aside from being way, way too old to play a High Schooler in anything other than a 30 Rock-type parody, he’s basically the result of a botched experiment to create a Hemsworth/Skarsgård hybrid with a black hole where the charisma should be.
$8,468,787 / NEW
For the record, though I may have referenced “FUCK YOU, IT’S JANUARY” in my last entry, I do not get the appeal of Red Letter Media at all. The same can be said for the vast majority of YouTube Movie Reviewers – Chris Stuckmann’s face being everywhere on there I take as a personal insult given how basic the vast majority of his “criticism” is – but RLM especially is like a Tim & Eric sketch that has inexplicably gone sentient and I just do not get it, at all.
9] Underworld: Blood Wars
$5,815,000 / $23,931,118
Remember last week when I said I was gonna watch all the Underworlds before this one came out. I actually ended up watching none of them. Blood Wars weirdly didn’t come to my Cineworld, anyway, which let me off the hook, but, also, I contemplated the prospect of watching an Underworld movie and decided that I would vastly prefer doing almost literally anything else with my time. So, here we are!
$5,625,000 / $90,004,731
It’s going? OK, great, whatever. Have a nice life, you piece of garbage.
Dropped Out: Why Him?, Moana, Fences, Assassin’s Creed (my review is here, for those who haven’t read that piece of gold yet)
Callum Petch is militant, you’re on a Milli Vanilli vibe.