weekend box office: ‘Vice’ pays… sort of
So, Michael Mann remakes his own work, doing it the way he wants this time — no TV network execs breathing down his neck today — and his darker, grimmer, less-Miami-ish vision for Miami Vice earns a little over $25 million during its first weekend. Which sounds pretty good, until you compare it to Mann’s last film — at least according to the people who watch box-office numbers and put great store in them: Collateral brought in about the same amount of moolah this time last year but cost half as much to produce.
Box Office Mojo suggests a reason for Vice’s underperformance, if that’s what it is:
Miami Vice’s positioning was in the league of such recent high profile, late summer action pictures as the Farrell-led TV show adaptation S.W.A.T., the Miami-set Bad Boys II and Universal’s The Bourne Supremacy, but its box office was significantly lower. Its marketing lacked a distinguishable plot, crackling character interaction and spectacle to get the job done. Instead, the ads boiled down to nifty music videos, with nary a note of Jan Hammer’s famous theme music from the TV show.
I’ll spot Mojo Bourne Supremacy, which is as smart as it is kickass, but I refuse to condone the likening of S.W.A.T. or Bad Boys II to Vice — Mann’s latest ain’t no simplistic action blow-up junk, and honestly, it’s way more than even the smart-but-kickass popcorn of Bourne. Maybe a release later in fall would have accorded it the greater respect it deserves: this isn’t a summer movie. It’s not escapist — it’s the opposite, sucking you into its nightmare. Hardly the stuff of summertime fare.
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