Sunday, July 31, 2005

NOT ALL THE MOVIES ARE FLOPS

This is a long weekend here in Toronto so I imagine a lot of people in dire need of something to do may want to pay a visit to the movie theatre. Don't worry, the lineups won't be too big. It should be easy to get a good seat, and the wait to buy popcorn and Raisonettes isn't long, either.

I've been ranting about this being the Year of the Flop, but there are a couple of hits trading places at the top of the box office these days, both of which have been getting good reviews.

The Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson Wedding Crashers is at the top of the box office, raking in $20 million dollars this weekend. This movie was a laugh riot when I went to see it. Everyone came out of there thinking that movie was hilarious. I imagine word of mouth has been dynamite, explaining why it's in first place now after three weeks in theatres. See, this is what happens when you have an original idea that breaks all the rules and is funny: you get a hit. (And with an R rating, too. A lot of movie executives are scared of the R rating, because they worry that teenagers won't be able to go to the theatres. )

Wedding Crashers nosed out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Tim Burton version of the early-70s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which had been No.1 for two weeks and has taken in $148 million dollars. Yeah, another not-so-original idea. But it is a hit, one of the few.

But the movies that debuted this weekend, like Sky High, Stealth (another action movie) and Must Like Dogs (another chick flick with proven superstar, Diane Lane), all did lousy business. I noticed the Bad News Bears are sinking fast. And Michael Bay's enormous flop The Island, which took in 12.4 mil in its opening weekend, took in something like $5 million this week, a total embarrassment in addition to being a debacle. I wouldn't be surprised if they pull that movie right out of the theatres pretty soon. I read that it cost something like $124 million just to make that movie. Well, that movie is definitely not going to make its money back. This puts it in Heaven's Gate and Ishtar territory as far as expensive flops are concerned. Some studio head is going to be fired for this. Heads are gonna roll.

And the movie theatres are back to being in a slump again. They were doing good business for just a few weeks thanks to the Fantastic Four, that article in Zap2It says. But thanks to The Island and these other non-hits, it's officially back to the usual empty seats in the movie houses, as usual, in The Year Of The Flop.

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