4 Nov

1. Wreck-It-Ralph/Disney                          Wknd/$   49.1            Total/$  49.1

2. Flight/Paramount                                    Wknd/$   25.0            Total/$  25.0

3. Argo/Warners                                           Wknd/$   10.2            Total/$  75.9

4. The Man With The Iron Fists                 Wknd/$    8.2            Total/$    8.2

5. Taken 2/Fox                                               Wknd/$    6.0            Total/$  125.7

6. Cloud Atlas/Warners                                Wknd/$    5.3            Total/$   18.3

7. Hotel Transylvania/Sony                         Wknd/$    4.5            Total/$ 137.6

8. Paranormal Activity 4/Parmount          Wknd/$    4.3            Total/$  49.6

9. Here Comes The Boom/Sony                  Wknd/$    3.6            Total/$   35.6

10. Silent Hill 2/ORF                                      Wknd/$    3.3            Total/$   13.9


Wreck-It-Ralph opens at number one and this is a clear attempt by Disney to make their own Toy Story (that was Pixar, though the Pixar braintrust did contribute to this) and just like Toy Story it seems clear that certain games where just not down with being part of the movie—and just like Toy Story whomever made that decision is getting yelled at Monday morning when the box office results come in.  Seriously, who turns down king-of-merchandising Disney, now and then? Super Mario Brothers may not think they need the money, but they’re about to meet some shareholders who disagree and if there are sequels look for the other holdouts (I’m looking at you, Mortal Kombat) to suddenly become amiable like Mattel did with Barbie did for Toy Story 2 & 3 (when they turned down the first one).  Not that there aren’t tons of other cameos. Seriously, when Paperboy, Dig-Dug and Root Beer Tapper are showing up you know they’re not kidding around.  I have to wonder how many of these references the kids got because in the theater two little girls made their dad leave during the climax of the film because they were tired of it while a 30-year-old I know has seen it twice this weekend.  But that’s also a commentary on the run time and two hours is a lot for kids and as enjoyable as it is (that’s called “burying the lead”) the movie does bog down towards the end (the entire building a car sequence and learning to drive should have been cut).  I’m always willing to accept a longer running time for more character development, but it’s honestly not needed here.  Especially when Sarah Silverman voices that character. Even playing a character who’s supposed to be bratty, she still manages to go above and beyond the call of duty and almost undoes the sympathy the story generates for her.


Flight opens well at number two considering the selling point is basically Denzel Washington and nothing but Denzel Washington. You know you’re a megastar when a poster is basically you and you alone. Not even a tagline or anything. Just your face and your name.  I’m definitely going to see this when I have a chance (we had a little weather problem here that but a crimp in everything) if for no other reason than the rumored full frontal nudity from Nadine Vasquez, best known as Catalina from My Name Is Earl.  Now, how this is even remotely integral to the storyline is beyond me, but I think we all know that’s a crap line given to dumb actresses to get them naked. It also helps if, like in the case of Nadine, she was more successful yesterday than she is today.  But most of all it works on actresses trying to breakout…like say Eva Mendes when she did full frontal nudity in Training Day…which was also with Denzel Washington. Hmmm, I smell a trend. If you’re an attractive Latina actress your path to success is clear, goes through Denzel Washington and has a very specific dress code.


Argo is down to number three, followed by The Man With The Iron Fists opening at number four and this is probably something I should see after a few drinks, given it’s written and directed by its star, The Rza of The Wu Tang Clan and directing, screenwriting and acting are not exactly three things he’s known for.  Let me put it this way: he’s playing the blacksmith in a small village in China in the 19th century.  Yeah.  Maybe more than a few drinks.  Not to mention his co-writer is Eli Roth who brought the world the Hostel franchise and I kinda despise the man’s existence overall.  So yeah, this is what I’ll use my last weekday movie pass for.


Taken 2 actually rises to number five and who decided, “You know, in the wake of all this death and destruction what I really need to see is a tall, 60-year-old Irishman kicking the living shit out of guys with weird accents.”  Yes, Liam Neeson is 60.  He was Gawain in Excalibur in 1981.  Also in Excalibur? Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart and Gabriel Byrne. Talk about some aging well muthafuckas.


Cloud Atlas is down to number six, but normally this would not be a worry as this is what is known as Oscar bait, in that Oscar nominations were expected to boost box office returns…which means it’s in trouble because the one thing that would possibly garner them is makeup and it’s more ridiculous than it is sublime. Now, I get the casting of the same actors over and over again in the various storylines to connect them, but while the transformations are great like with Jim Broadbent, it’s utterly ridiculous in others, mainly the Neo-Seoul segment where almost all the actors credited are made Asian. But the worst has to be Hugh Grant in old age make up, which makes him look like Roger Daltrey.  Seriously. For a moment I thought it was actually Roger Daltrey. Hugh Grant is not young and doesn’t look it so there’s no point in the over-the-top job they do on him to make him look he could be Jim Broadbent’s brother.  And Hugo Weaving playing the a female nurse is just…why?


Hotel Transylvania is still hanging around like an STD (you thought at a massive dose of Disney would have killed it) at number seven, followed by Paranormal Activity at number eight and Here Comes The Boom at number nine.


Finally, Silent Hill Revelation 3D closes out the top ten at number ten and clearly some people had some car payments due because the casting is unusually distinguished for sequel to a crummy videogame movie.  Aside from Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell—who were in the first one and clearly wanted new cars to match the first ones they bought with the original film’s salary—there’s Martin Donovan, Carrie Anne-Moss, Deborah Kara-Unger and Malcolm McDowell.  Okay, maybe that last one isn’t a big surprise, but the others are usually in “real” movies, which have a notable lack of green screen.  Yes, the recession is real.  It may also be they signed on when Roger Avary was writing the screenplay.  He was Tarantino’s longtime writing partner and won the Oscar with him for Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction. He’s currently doing time for vehicular manslaughter after killing two of his friends while driving wasted.

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