WINNER OF THE WEEK: Danny Boyle. The Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire created the weekend's must-see blockbuster spectacle, with a record U.S. audience of 40.7 million watching him deploy James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II parachuting out of a helicopter, an army of floating Mary Poppinses confronting Voldemort and Captain Hook, and a dancing-nurse tribute to socialized medicine. Too bad for Hollywood that Boyle's London Olympics opening pageant played on free TV. If just 3 percent of those viewers had gone to the movies Friday night to see The Watch, it would have grossed another $10 million and looked like a hit instead of a flop.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Star power. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill failed to draw viewers away from the Olympics to see their suburbanites-vs.-aliens comedy The Watch. It was supposed to open above $20 million, but it debuted at Number Three with just $13.0 million, according to studio estimates. (The R rating and bland title, changed from Neighborhood Watch after the Trayvon Martin shooting, didn't help.) Granted, the star-free Step Up Revolution had an even weaker opening, coming in fourth with an estimated $11.8 million, the lowest opening yet among the four Step Up movies, but the modestly budgeted dance movie is still likely to make a profit, especially since the franchise does much better overseas. As for Christian Bale and Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises remained on top but lost 60 percent of last weekend's record-breaking business. An estimated $64.1 million is still a haul, but it lags behind the $75.2 million that The Dark Knight earned for its second weekend in 2008. (Rounding out the top five: Ice Age: Continental Drift was second with an estimated $13.3 million, and Ted was fifth with an estimated $7.4 million.)
NO AVERAGE 'JOE': Among indie releases, Matthew McConaughey's much-buzzed thriller Killer Joe opened on just three screens but pulled in an estimated $12,633 on each, a better average than any movie except The Dark Knight Rises. The romantic comedy Ruby Sparks, from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, averaged an estimated $11,692 per screen and topped new indie releases overall with a total of $152,000. And an estimated $9,000 per screen went to Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, the documentary about the Chinese dissident artist who co-designed the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing. Imagine how much better the film would have done if Ai's Olympic design had included flying nannies and parachuting queens.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
Picks From Around the Web
blog comments powered by Disqus