IRON CLAD MONEY MAKING MACHINE

5 May

CapA_186_94

1. Iron Man 3/Paramount                             Wknd/$175.3            Total/$ 175.3

 2. Pain and Gain/Paramount                       Wknd/$   7.6            Total/$  33.9

 3. 42/ Warners                                                Wknd/$   6.2            Total/$  78.3

 4. Oblivion/Universal                                    Wknd/$   5.8            Total/$  76.0

 5. The Croods/Fox                                          Wknd/$   4.2            Total/$ 168.7

 6. The Big Wedding/LGF                              Wknd/$   3.9            Total/$  14.2

 7. Mud/                                                             Wknd/$   2.2            Total/$    5.2

 8. Oz The Great & Powerful/Disney           Wknd/$   1.8             Total/$ 228.6

 9. Scary Movie 5/Dimension                        Wknd/$   1.4             Total/$  29.6

10. The Place Beyond the Pines/Focus        Wknd/$   1.3             Total/$   18.7

 

DROPPING SOME GEEK KNOWLEDGE ON YOU

Iron Man 3 opens at number one and saying this is better than Iron Man 2 is like saying daylight is brighter than moonlight.  The second suffered from the worst conceits of “sequelitis” and Robert Downey Jr. has all but apologized for it in subsequent interviews. And he should have. It was so bad I can’t even use it as background noise when it runs on cable. You know how awful you have to that to happen!?!  For me!?! I’ve got Sahara on right now! Unlike the second film this has a genuine villain, someone who wants to do bad things for fun and profit, not just someone with a grudge against Tony Stark. The Mandarin is apparently terrorizing the US with random bombings while sending taunting messages to the president.  War Machine is assigned to track him down, but when Happy Hogan is injured by one of these bombings, Iron Man gets involved and apparently bites off more than he can chew. In the comics The Mandarin is THE Iron Man villain. The Lex Luthor to his Superman, the Joker to his Batman, so his appearance is here is due and while they take a potentially sensitive issue (stereotypical Fu Manchu style evil Asian villain) and provide a nice, funny twist, you can still smell the stench of fear of offending the increasingly important audience in mainland China (as well as Chinese debt holders). But he’s not the only threat to Iron Man. In a nice touch we see a superhero suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from dealing with the incredible events of his life, in this case the events of The Avengers movie. He probably should have been suffering from PSTD in the first film due to the abduction (which is mentioned), but better late than never. This actually touches on the core of what has always made the Marvel heroes so appealing: their human feet of clay.  I loves me some Superman more than any other character but I can understand why others find him so difficult to relate to. He’s all-powerful, always right and never has doubts or fails.  Tony Stark might actually have more flaws than virtues, which is what makes him so appealing to so many people. He continually rises above his basic selfish nature to do what’s right and now he has to fighting his own anxieties and fears which are a result of doing just that which makes him a much more interesting character, especially when events land in him Tennessee with a 10-year-old boy as his sidekick.  Their chemistry is easily the best part of this film and I would have sacrificed any number of CGI fight scenes for more of it.  Actually, I would sacrificed most of the overlong climactic fight scene in this near two-hour film, because by the time we get to it the film has just about overstayed its welcome and the plethora of different Iron Man suits, while fun to see just stinks of toy merchandising.

 

IF THEY REBOOT LETHAL WEAPON, HE’LL BE UP FOR MURTAGH

Pain and Gain is down to number two and also in this is Anthony Mackie who a few years back was heralded as the “Hot New Thing – Black Male Version” (not to be confused with “Hot New Thing Male” “Hot New Thing Female” “Hot New Thing Latino Male” “Hot New Thing Latino Female” and “Hot New Thing Asian Female” because there is no “Hot New Thing Asian Male.”) only to fizzle out and fail to ascend and take the place of Denzel Washington, still “the” Black Male leading man in Hollywood, Denzel Washington despite his age.  Unfortunately, likes so man others Mackie has simply wound up basically becoming the first choice in Black sidekicks for the White lead, which he will cement by becoming nothing less than a Super Black Sidekick as Captain America’s partner, The Falcon, in the upcoming Captain America sequel.  Clearly the last few years have taught him that it’s better to serve in heaven than reign in hell and it doesn’t get closer to heaven than being part of a billion dollar movie franchise.  It’s gonna pay for a lot of indie films where he can be the actual lead…or so he (and his agent) keeps telling himself.

 

“DEATH BEFORE APPROPRIATE AGE CASTING!” SCREAMED HIS EGO!

42 holds at number three, followed by Oblivion at number four and also in this is Olga Kurylenko, best known as the female lead in the second Daniel Craig film that no one seemed to like, but honestly was better than Skyfall. Not that it was all that great, but better than Skyfall.  As always, you can chart the ascension of a leading woman by the age of her leading men. As she rises, and works on bigger films, they will get older.  Kurylenko is 34 and her last few leading men have been Mark Walberg, Daniel Craig, Ben Affleck and Tom Cruise. Not one of them under forty and in Cruise’s case, quite a bit above it.  The closest she’s come a peer was Centurion where she spent most of the movie trying to kill a Michael Fassbender.  Of course, this was before he became a star and now that he is, she would have to kill someone to be his female lead.

 

THE HALLE BERRY APPROACH TO DATING APPLIED TO CASTING

The Croods holds at number five, followed by The Big Wedding at number six and also in this is Katherine Heigl, one of the few people in this film under 60 whose name can actually go above the title, though she’s stumbled in her last few choices of Killers with Ashton Kutcher, Life As We Know It with Josh Duhamel and One For The Money with some other pretty boys. Noticing a trend?  Did I mention she and her mother are also producing these lackluster works? Now, as much as I respect the emphasis on the pretty, because god knows that’s what men do to women, if they’d paid as much attention to directors and scripts as they clearly do to the cheekbones of her leading men, they might be able to keep her name above the title. You don’t have to choose one or the other, Kathy. You can have pretty boys and a good script. Just sayin’…

 

BETCHA THAT COP KNOWS WHO SHE IS NOW

Mud jumps into the top ten at number seven proving there’s no such thing as bad publicity as the female lead in this is none other than law enforcement provoker and that girl you don’t want to get drunk with, Reese Witherspoon. Unlike most, I wasn’t surprised because I knew she wasn’t simply a debutante but a freaking southern debutante.  The real wonder is that one of these types of incidents hasn’t happened before.  The unexpected success of this is also another step on Matthew McConughey’s comeback tour after Killer Joe and Magic Mike (I still say he was cheated out of an Oscar nomination).  What’s he coming back from? Being a shirtless exercise fiend and naked bongo playing punchline rather than actual actor.  And again this is from someone who has Sahara on right now.

 

HOW CAN I MISS YOU IF YOU WON’T GO AWAY

An unwelcome return to the top ten is Oz The Great and Powerful to number at number eight, followed by Scary Movie 5 still hanging around at number nine and The Place Beyond the Pines closing out the top ten at number ten.

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