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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

North American box office: ‘G-Force’? Really?

Armed guinea pigs beat Harry Potter?

1. G-Force: $31.7 million (NEW)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $29.5 million (2nd week; drops 62%)
3. The Ugly Truth: $27.6 million (NEW)
4. Orphan: $12.9 million (NEW)
5. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $8.4 million (4th week; drops 52%)

actual numbers, not estimates
Oh, god, I’m not gonna have to see this silly guinea pig movie now, aren’t I? Just to see what all the fuss is about. Almost $32 million? That’s insane. Wisecracking furball stereotypes with automatic weapons kick Harry Potter’s ass? What kind of crazy universe are we living in?

More than half of G-Force’s take can be accounted for by 3D showings, which come with a premium price tag, according to Box Office Mojo, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. I mean, it doesn’t mean we can relax and sigh with relief that this performance was some sort of anomaly, because it means that this “anomaly” will become the reality. Hollywood doesn’t need stars (never mind actually good actor) or scripts: all it needs is high concept + 3D for a guaranteed box office win. Just you wait: This time next year, we’ll get an R-rated talking-animals-go-to-Vegas-for-a-bachelor-party movie. In 3D.

I really hope we see The Ugly Truth take a huge tumble next weekend, because at least that will mean that all those many people who ventured out to see it this past weekend hated it, and told their friends to avoid it. If the movie holds well — and, I must be honest with myself, the almost-as-odious The Proposal is still going strong, and will easily pass $150 million within two weeks — that means that either no one cares how hateful and misogynist this flick is, or that they don’t even notice. I’m not sure which explanation is worse.

At least the movies with the best per-screen averages deserve it:

In the Loop: $23,983 (on each of 8 screens)
500 Days of Summer: $19,244 (85 screens)
The Ugly Truth: $9,579 (2,882 venues)
G-Force: $8,576 (3,697 venues)

(Note to self: Must review those two indies soon…)

And, actually, four of the next five films in the ranking are IMAX documentaries, those 45-minute jobbies you see at science museums. It’s nice to know that people are still going to museums…

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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