JOHNNY DEPP CLEANS UP
Over the weekend Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dean Man's Chest made 133 million, topping Spider-Man's record for the biggest weekend opening of all time.
Meanwhile, the question becomes: why wasn't this the case for Superman?! Superman Returns did pretty decent business ($85 million for a five-day opening) but nothing like this, and they needed huge numbers just to make their $300 million dollar budget back. I guess they're screwed.
There are a number of theories being floated about the bad numbers. One (floated by Nikki Finke and several others), is that all the rumors about a "gay Superman" sunk the movie, but I really don't think that was a serious factor because I don't think anyone took those rumors seriously or even cared. A more plausible one is the theory that the casting sucked and the choice of no-name actors brought this movie down. Kate Bosworth has been crucified for her performance as Lois Lane, and everyone is comparing this movie to the Christopher Reeve/Margot Kidder great movies of the '70s and '80s.
I think the fact is that there was a huge buzz for Pirates that you could feel a mile away, and tremendous excitement at seeing these folks back on the screen. But I think there was really no buzz for Superman. Promotion, yes, but no buzz among the theatergoers, no great anticipation. I think people looked at it as yet another superhero movie. I mean, Batman Begins didn't do that kind of spectacular business either, from what I understand, and neither did The Fantastic Four or any of these other ones. The X-Men did pretty good though. And of course, everyone went to see Spider-Man, I and II. I think the real problem is that there have been too many movies about superheroes and comic book characters. And besides, Superman has been done to death already on TV. People see Smallville on TV every week, so they already get their Clark Kent fix. And didn't that Wisteria Lane babe Teri Hatcher run around with Superman, too? People are simply fed up with Superman. He's too boring and too powerful for his own good, plus people are complaining that these moviemakers have turned this guy into some sort of "metrosexual", too.
Who cares about this guy! I think what people want to see is some superhero with an edge, someone like Batman or Spider-Man. Besides, these guys get to take on more interesting villains and have some serious difficulties trying to pick up girls. Not like this boring Superman dude who gets any woman he wants. Plus, these other guys are a lot more restricted in what they are able to do, they can't leap over tall buildings in a single bound or any of that stuff. So I think people relate more to these other superheroes.
ON DECK: WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman, the next big superhero movie effort on the drawing board, is going to have similar problems: she's another boring goody-two-shoes type, just like Superman. I heard Kate Beckinsale was offered the role but turned it down. Maybe they'll give it to Rachel McAdams. Darnet, can't they just get Angelina Jolie on the phone line from Namibia or wherever the heck she is right now, and get the deal done already and make her Wonder Woman? They need someone famous, someone who can fill the seats, and she needs to be hot! This role requires a hot babe! Wonder Woman is sort of required to show a lot of leg and show the cleavage; everyone's going to be comparing this actress to Lynda Carter. If you're just going to get some boring actress like Reese Witherspoon in the role and have her dye her hair again, like she did in Walk the Line, then forget about making any kind of a fortune. No one will pay to see a movie like that. They need to give Wonder Woman a sexy edge, a dark side. They had the right idea with Kate Beckinsale, anyway, she's a hottie.
Anyway, that's enough about Wonder Woman. Next big superhero movie coming up is My Super Ex-Girlfriend, with Uma Thurman. Sort of combines Superman Returns with The Break-Up.
(July 14): Over on CNBC this week, Joe Kernen said Pirates of the Caribbean 2 not only beat the $115 million record set by Spider-Man, but also the $120 million record set by the hit superhero movie Aquaman.
Of course, everyone at CNBC knew Kernen was joking: Aquaman is actually the fictional movie featured on the popular HBO series Entourage. Heck, I'm actually surprised a real Aquaman movie hasn't been made yet, they've made flicks featuring everyone else! (An Aquaman TV series is still on the drawing board for the CW.)
I also now hear they may get someone less well-known to be Wonder Woman. Well, she better be hot, then, because otherwise this movie will get killed at the box office.