25 Apr

1. Rio/Fox                                                         Wknd/$ 26.8 Total/$  81.3

 2. Madea’s Big Happy Family/LGF            Wknd/$ 25.8 Total/$  25.8

 3. Water For Elephants/Fox                        Wknd/$ 17.5 Total/$  17.5

 4. Hop/Universal                                            Wknd/$ 12.5 Total/$100.5

5. Scream 4/Dimension                                  Wknd/$   7.2 Total/$  31.2

6. African Cata/Disney                                    Wknd/$   6.4 Total/$    6.4

7. Soul Surfer/TriStar                                      Wknd/$   5.6 Total/$  28.7

8. Insidious/                                                      Wknd/$   5.4 Total/$  44.2

9. Hanna/Focus                                                Wknd/$   5.3 Total/$  31.7

10. Source Code/Summit                                Wknd/$   5.1 Total/$  44.7


Rio holds the number one slot and I’m tempted to go see this just to thank it for keeping Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family out of the number one slot.  That’s doing God’s work right there.  Now, there are two tiers of people doing animated films: top tier are actors who don’t need the work and are clearly doing it for fun, and the second tier is, well, everybody else.  On the top tier here are Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Will. I. Am and Jane Lynch.  Everybody else includes Leslie Mann (aka, Mrs. Judd Apatow), Rodrigo Santoro, Wanda Sykes and no matter what he might think, George Lopez.  Tracey Morgan is here too, but there’s a chance he thought he was shooting a live action film.


As mentioned, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family opens at number two but it’s kind of a pyrrhic victory as it still made a shit load of money in comparison to its cost and it’s another success for him, putting me oddly on the side of Spike Lee who hates him and justifiably so.  He considers Tyler Perry’s work little more than a minstrel show and so do I.  It’s one thing to play to a certain audience; it’s quite another to revel in your ignorance under the guise of lifting them up, when are you’re really doing is rooting around on the bottom.


Water For Elephants opens at number three and I have zero interest in it. First of all we get the trailer that tells us right out this is going to end in disaster.  Secondly, it comes from a book and in books having a tragic ending has been mistaken far too long for instantly being artistic and mature.  Yeah, well the book Die Hard is based on actually ended with the Holly character dying at the end. Even worse she’s not his wife, but his daughter and screams “Daddy!” as she falls.  Is it literature now?  Didn’t think so, so why bum everyone out over a simple adventure story?  Taking all that into account why the hell would I go see something that’s probably going force me to watch Reese Witherspoon die a horrible death?  Oh, it may look like a chick flick, because Reese Witherspoon works with animals and becomes involved in a love triangle with a bad older man and good younger one, but it’s not.  See that movie I might have seen, because at least it was about her, but this is about vampire boy, Robert Pattinson, from his point of view and I’m simply not interested in his story, especially since we know he survives to be the old man who tells it.  I could be wrong about tragedy, but I’m not going take the chance.  Much less a 122 minute chance.  Yeah, two freaking hours of waiting for everything to go to hell?  No way.


Hop is down to number four followed by Scream 4 at number five and also in this hoping that a successful genre franchise would boost her is Emma Roberts, niece of Julia and daughter of Eric.  She actually plays the niece of Neve Campbell in this as well, which would seem to be the springboard of a new franchise, but if you know anything about the other Scream movies—and I do now thanks to the Entertainment Weekly article—then you know that’s only 50/50.  Well, actually now it’s definitely not going to happen due to the below-anticipated returns.  I’ll say it again, they missed what sold the first two and that was to have young, hot stars in it.  Courtney Cox was white-hot from “friends”, Neve Campbell had Party of Five, Drew Barrymore has been permanently hot since forever and even Skeet Ulrich had a “next Johnny Depp” thing going for him.  Who has this got?  Hayden Panetierre tops the fame list and she was hot two years ago.  Everyone else is a refugee from ABC Family channel and there’s zero population for the twentysomething crowd, which is a mistake, because I’d have paid twice to see Seth Rogen die a horrible death.


African Cats open at number six and I can’t rag on this because some of the money goes to help the big cats, but still, it’s a Discovery Channel special that escaped into the theater.  Why would I pay to see something I’m already paying for with basic cable, not to mention not Disney-fied.  On the Discovery Channel you’ll see cute baby animals die like they do in the real “circle of life.”


Soul Surfer is down to number seven, followed by Insidious at number eight and also in this is Rose Byrne who has benefited the least of anyone who’s had a successful cable series.  Everyone from Dennis Leary to Bryan Cranston has had their profile lifted from this strain of dark cable shows, but you’d never know Rose Byrne was technically the protagonist of Damages, so much does Glenn Close dominate it.  Rose needed a successful genre pic and got one.


Hanna is down to number nine and there’s a precocious British teenager in this film whom Hanna befriends and she nearly steals the movie in every scene she’s in.  What makes it special is that it’s not some 20-something actress playing a teenager, but an actual teenager playing a teenager and seeing the difference makes Gossip Girl and shows like it laughable.  It’s like Stockard Channing as a high schools senior in Grease, but at least that they were all 30-something adults was supposed to be part of the joke.


Finally, The Source Code closes out the top ten at number ten a modest win, basically making double its cost worldwide.  Something Jake Gyllenhaal needed after the flop of Love & Other Drugs to keep the pretense of him as a leading man alive.  See, a real star manages to sell a piece of crap like Love & Other Drugs no matter how much it sucks.  See Tom Cruise in Cocktail.  That’s when you know you’re a star, baby.


I don’t know much about the filmmaker Simon Gutierrez except that he clearly loves Carla Gugino (he’s dating her) and puts her in most of his films, which means I kinda love him.  He was, in fact, the writer/director of the little known Judas Kiss with her, Simon Baker, Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman 13 years ago and where you see her name you’ll probably see his, from being a writer on the underrated Karen Sisqo TV show to a spate of small films that have come out over the last two years starring her and in two them she plays a porn star leaving the business.  Before you get a flashback of Brian DePalma and Nancy Allen (she played bitches and whores in all his films) know that they’re comedies.  Also he also does pretty good by her with leading men, as her love interest in Elektra Luxx (the porn star who first appears in Women In Trouble) is none other than Timothy Olyphant.  That’s a boyfriend who loves you who hires Timothy Olyphant to rub up on you all day.  Not to mention being a secure muthafucka because he does not look like Timothy Olyphant.  His latest with Gugino is A Girl Walks Into A Bar, a movie available free on YouTube, made exclusively for the internet.  It’s one of those movies with a large cast with humorous intersecting stories, in this case the hook being they cross ten different bars.  I’ve seen this done better in The Hi Life, which is set across the bars of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but it’s a pleasant enough way to spend 80 minutes.  Aside from Gugino it has Danny Devitto (who was the executive producer of Karen Sisqo), Gill Bellows (who was in Judas Kiss), Alexis Bleidel, Rosario Dawson, Robert Forster (also from Karen Sisqo), Josh Hartnett, Zachary Quinto, Amber Valetta and Emmanuelle Chirqui who plays a stripper who rationalizes her job in a feminist fantasy sequence as Gutierrez has a bit of a proto-feminist thing going on, meaning he clearly loves women and wants to give them strong roles, but at the end of the day his  girlfriend has done two movies as a porn star (though in this one she’s an ex-cop now private detective) and Emmanuelle Chirqui is still in yellow satin booty shorts on a pole.  Not quite there yet, dude.


  1. emma April 25, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    Rose Byrne’s cable show (Damages) is NOT successful. Most of the episodes of last season pulled in less than a million viewers (“Celebrity Fit Club” was more popular, for god’s sake). It was SO unsuccessful that it was cancelled and later saved by a satellite company that most people do not subscribe to.

    So, I don’t know what you’re talking about. For being on a cable show that no one watches, I think Rose is doing rather well for herself. Her little horror movie is a huge hit and she has two more high-profile films coming out in the next few months. She’s pretty, but she’s not a terribly talented actress, so this is as good as it’s probably going to get for her.

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