21 May

1. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   55.1            Total/$457.1

2. Battleship/Universal                               Wknd/$   25.3            Total/$  25.3

3. The Dictator/Paramount                        Wknd/$   17.4            Total/$  24.5

4. Dark Shadows/Warners                          Wknd/$  12.8            Total/$  50.9

5. What To Expect When…/LGF                Wknd/$  10.5            Total/$   10.5

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox    Wknd/$    3.3            Total/$     8.3

7. The Hunger Games/LionsGate               Wknd/$    3.0           Total/$ 391.6

8. Think Like a Man/SGem                         Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$  85.9

9. The Lucky One/Warners                         Wknd?$    1.8            Total/$  56.9

10. The Pirates! Band of Misfits/Sony        Wknd/$    1.5            Total/$   25.4


The Avengers holds at number one and given Ed Norton was the Bruce Banner who’s part of this series (the Ang Lee version no longer counts, so Eric Bana was never in consideration), I’d mock him for missing out on a billion dollar film and possibly the biggest of the year, but Norton is clearly such a douche, he probably doesn’t care and thinks the movie could have been made better by his last minute rewrites which plagued the production of The Incredible Hulk.  Then again, if I’d banged Salma Hayek, I could give a shit about some comic book movie and would also think I was a god.


Battleship opens at number two and you can’t get Michael Bay (though why you’d want him is a mystery to me) then Peter Berg is clearly the man to call.  You want a big, loud completely empty movie that makes no sense, is horribly written and will leave you depressed afterwards?  He’s ready willing and sadly all-too able.  The only reason this isn’t as bad as a Michael Bay film is that despite all else, Berg is an adult and his characters aren’t belligerent assholes.  Nor does he take the opportunity to have the camera ogle the female cast members, which is a new experience for Rhianna and swimsuit model, Brooklyn Decker given their day jobs involve nothing but that.  But seriously, how difficult is it to make an alien invasion movie?  No one is asking for too much and it clearly doesn’t take too much talent as the success of Independence Day proved and proves every time it runs on cable.  It’s not a great film by any stretch but it is fun to watch and doesn’t insult you with every moment.  But year after year we see people utterly failing at a type of movie whose basic structure was laid out in the 50’s (or 1898 when H.G. Welles published War of the Worlds):  Hey, Something’s Coming! Hey, It’s Here! Hey, They’re Kicking The Shit Out of Us! Hey, They Overlooked This One Important Factor! Hey, We Won!  Berg must be equally confused given he used every cliché in the book, but like so many people who follow a formula, it doesn’t work if you don’t know that each ingredient actually means.  Yes, your hero can be an bit of an immature jerkso we can see him grow into a hero, but he has to be good at heart, not a non-stop raging asshole that you cannot root for, like Taylor Kitsch is here (or Shia LeBeouf in every single thing he’s ever made).  You can have the odds be against the humans because that’s where the drama and suspense of the fight comes from, but the crucial weakness of the aliens cannot directly contradict the basic premise of the film.  These aliens come from an earth-like planet, but have a problem with light, so when they attack it’s during the day!?! WTF!?! These aliens are as dumb as the ones that invaded earth in Signs. Water was their weakness but even though they have scouts they invade a planet that’s 70% water and even though they could traverse the galaxy, they couldn’t open doors. Well, the aliens here can also traverse the galaxy with all kinds of amazing war machines, but are so dumb they collide with a satellite that is relatively motionless in space and this is what sets the story in motion. And despite having sensors that can analyze people and objects so thoroughly they can discern whether or not it’s a threat, they don’t have radar!  And what they do have doesn’t seem to work at night!  If operating in low light is their native way, shouldn’t they be twice as dangerous at night!?!  Oh and given they’re going to destroy the planet they tend not to kill anyone who isn’t directly trying to kill them—except when they do, that is.  And this only the ridiculous alien side. I haven’t even gotten into the horribly failed attempt to create human characters.  I almost feel sorry for the people at Hasbro.  All they wanted was another giant commercial to sell toys like Transformers and G.I. Joe.  Sure they were awful and poorly reviewed but they made money and that’s all that mattered.  This will never get back the $200M+ they put into it.  Thank god.  Maybe it’ll give anyone planning a Candyland movie pause.


The Dictator opens at number three and I’ve never been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen.  I know what he’s about and I know people love it, but I don’t care for it.  It doesn’t help that his biggest fans don’t get that he’s actually making fun of them and their ignorance.  Even how he promotes his films annoys me as I’ve hated this type of always-in-character bit since Andy Kaufman was doing it 30 years ago.  Needless to say seeing this never even crossed my mind.


Dark Shadows is down to number four and if you want to know why this is so bad know that it was written by the guy behind The Hard Times of RJ Beger that MTV show about a geek in high school who’s discovered to have a big dick.  Seriously.  That’s the entire premise.  The other writer is one of Tim Burton’s guys who brought us Corpse Bride, Big Fish, Charlie & the Chocolate factory remake and both Charlie’s Angels movies.  So yeah, this was doomed with it still on the printed page, because neither of these guys is particularly talented and it says a lot about Hollywood that they both continue to work and says a lot about what’s continually wrong with Tim Burton’s movies.


What To Expect When You’re Expecting open at number five and this just looked like a hot mess.  It was clearly from the formula that brought us such fine work as “He’s Just Not That Into You” of just shoving a bunch of stars together in a movie and hoping no know notices you didn’t actually understand the book it’s based upon.  Not to mention nothing, absolutely nothing with Jennifer Lopez onscreen is ever good.  She sits next to Kate Hudson and Jennifer Anniston as people who seemingly never, ever make the right choice regarding a movie.  Like Kate Hudson she has one great film under her belt (Out of Sight) and then can’t do anything right.  The best you can hope for is that it’s not awful.  The worst gives you Gigli.  This doesn’t look Gigli bad, just more of the corporate mediocrity along the lines of Monster-In-Law, Maid-In-Manhattan and her last pregnancy film, The Back-Up Plan.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel jumps up to number six, followed by The Hunger Games at number seven and Think Like A Man down to number eight and also in this is Regina Hall who you don’t think you know but when pointed out that she was in all four Scary Movies you go, “Oh, her. I know her.”


Still hanging around is The Lucky One at number nine and you have to wonder what was going through the minds of the editors of Men’s Health when they picked the cover boy which is usually someone with a movie promote. When Chris Hemsworth was in Thor he was on the cover.  When Jeremy Renner was in The Town he was on the cover (Robert Downey Jr. could only make Men’s Fitness).  When they are in a movie along with Chris Evans (who was in an article in Men’s Health but couldn’t push one of the stars of True Blood off the cover and I actually get that) the editors decide to go with…Zac Efron?  Granted, there’s a teen girl audience they’d never touch who might buy it, but now they’ve missed out on one of the biggest movies in history and honestly only an idiot would think that the four combined on a cover wouldn’t dwarf him.


Finally, Pirates: Band of Misfits closes out the top ten at number ten.



Sadly, Death continues her rampage and has taken the heart out of our disco memories with Robin Gibb and the queen herself, Donna Summer.

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