Sunday, February 22, 2009

Box Office Blight - 2/20 - 2/22 Weekend

1 N Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail LGF $41,030,947
2 5 Coraline Focus $11,432,124
3 3 Taken Fox $11,281,262
4 2 He's Just Not That Into You WB (NL) $8,558,225
5 9 Slumdog Millionaire FoxS $8,384,680
6 1 Friday the 13th (2009) WB (NL) $7,942,472
7 6 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Sony $6,821,377
8 4 Confessions of a Shopaholic BV $6,742,778
9 N Fired Up SGem $5,483,778
10 7 The International Sony $4,463,916

I must say, there's nothing like a mid-February weekend theatrical opening lineup to make you feel like gargling broken glass with a peroxide chaser. Dismal doesn't even begin to capture the prospects for people foolish enough to venture out to the local Octoplex for a two-hour reality break.

Of course, that never stops at least one film from being number one, and this week the winner was Madea Goes to Jail. The losers, sadly, are too numerous to name individually. Tyler Perry has been doing his best to cash in on a cross between Eddie Murphy's Nutty Professor and Flip Wilson's Geraldine, and there were apparently enough enablers with pocket change around to give him a $41 million dollar opening weekend.

I guess the film's success makes sense, based on humor and originality. It seems like ages since audiences have been treated to the sight of a black male comedian playing a woman in a fat suit. And what could be funnier than an elderly black woman being sentenced to prison? Well, I guess every generation needs it's own Geraldine. Actually, I take that back. They don't. Please stop.

The only other major release, Fired Up, ended up at the other end of the charts, earning a measly $6 million and ninth place. A complete surprise, as you would think the plot device of two high school football players going to Cheerleader Camp as an excuse to meet hot girls would be instant box office gold. After all, everybody knows that attractive and popular jocks have to jump through all sorts of wacky hoops in order to meet girls.

Sadly, even a clever movie poster gleefully pointing out that the film's initials were also an abbreviation for naughty words wasn't able to drag a large crowd to witness this comedic genius. Those who actually bought tickets probably did so based on the title alone, only to be disappointed when they realized the film had nothing to do with either Potheads or Arsonists. Now there's a movie I'd drop ten bucks to see.

The rest of the returning lineup is too depressing to go into. A Nightmare Before Christmas The Corpse Bride Coraline jumped up to third place just to be annoying, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop continues to rub lemon juice in America's wounded pride by hanging in the top ten for another week and upping it's total to $120 million.

Honestly, I shouldn't have to be talked down off the roof every time the weekend totals come out. You can't blame the audiences too much, I suppose. There's probably only so many times you can go see Taken before you decide to gamble on another film. Let's just hope next weekend is a little better.

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