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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: well, there’ll be no living with Ratner now


“Be ya best friend ever, Pat, if you say, ‘Make it
so, Mr. Ratner’ while that nerdy grip is watching.”

Oh my god, we’ll never see the end of fauxteur Brett Ratner now that his damn X-Men movie broke all sorts of records this Memorial Day weekend: $120 million between midnight showings last Thursday/early Friday and the holiday Monday, the best showing ever for a film over this particular long weekend, far outpacing the previous record holder, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which hauled in $90 million in the same period nine years ago. But even though, Last Stand also surpassed both X-Men and X2 over their opening weekends — they made, respectively, about $55 million and $86 million in their first three days — Box Office Mojo snarkily points out:

Both beastly debuts were on non-holiday frames and carried production budgets significantly lower than X-Men: The Last Stand‘s reported $165 million to $200 million plus.

Damn, someone gave Ratner $200 million to play with? This guy, who has had to clarify such things as “I’m a filmmaker first, party animal second”? The guy who, even though he insists he’s a “serious film-maker” is moving on the grand artistic challenge of Rush Hour 3? The awful thing is, after this debut for Last Stand, someone is going to take him seriously and back his “dream project…a musical.” And then we’ll all be sorry, won’t we?

Meanwhile, Al Gore brings new meaning to the phrase “hot movie” with his global-warming doc An Inconvenient Truth, which earned $365,787 at only four New York and Los Angeles theaters. As the IMDB notes, that’s

$91,447 per theater, the highest-ever average for a documentary. (By contrast, X3 averaged $32,554 per screen.)

To be fair, even Ratner’s budget couldn’t pull off the spectacular sights Gore had to work with, like Hurricane Katrina and the melting of Greenland. But wait till X4: I hear they’re gonna crash Australia into Antarctica… if there’s anything left of that icy continent, that is.

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