(Photo by Sony/courtesy Everett Collection)
Welcome to our guide to the worst romantic comedies ever: Movies suspiciously light on love and laughs that scored less than 10% on the Tomatometer – after 20 reviews from critics. This bubbly mix of misfires and killjoys includes infamous bombs (Gigli), questionable nuptials (The Big Wedding, License to Wed), vanity projects (Good Luck Chuck, The Hottie and the Nottie), and holiday hokum (New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day). Expect some big names to show up as well: Forest Whitaker (First Daughter director), David O. Russell (director of Accidental Love…until the money ran out and the movie was then thrown together without him), Tom Cruise (Cocktail), and Sandra Bullock, whose grating All About Steve had the distinct fortune of being Bullock’s first movie to release after her comeback The Proposal.
Now, it’s meet-cutes of the damned in our guide to the worst rom-coms ever made!
(Photo by Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection)
Robin Williams earned his big-screen debut as Popeye in 1980 on the the growing popularity of his frenzied, freewheeling stand-up routine, and his literally out-of-this-world role on TV’s Mork & Mindy. Williams’ follow-up, The World According to Garp, was quick to reveal the sensitive artist, the melancholic side to the actor that sought fulfillment in dramatic characters and movies. Of course, it was the ’80s, and the market demanded awful comedies, which Williams was obliged to make until that special breakthrough role that would propel him out of yuppie slapstick. That moment arrived in 1987 with Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam, a box office smash that nabbed Williams his first Oscar nomination and was part and parcel of Reagan-era movies like First Blood and Platoon that re-defined the American perception of the War.
Vietnam kicked off a strong run of critical praise and Academy recognition, as William appeared in Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, and The Fisher King one after the other. If comedy was beginning to look like something in the rear view mirror, Williams abruptly shifted gears into family fare, starting with 1991’s Hook, and then Aladdin (a turning point for celebrity voice actors as animated marketing draws), Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, and Flubber. Williams was everywhere in the ’90s, and it all culminated with the multiple career-launching Good Will Hunting, which got him his final Oscar nomination (he was previously recognized for Fisher King and Dead Poets) and only win.
After flops Bicentennial Man and Jakob the Liar saw him veer hard into sentimentality, Williams re-invented himself as a dark angel in 2002 with Death to Smoochy, Insomnia, and One Hour Photo. Broad comedies (like Old Dogs, Man of the Year, RV, or License to Wed) would still remind audiences of the old eager-to-please Williams, even as they repelled critics. And he could use his pre-conceived image as a genial figure in his favor in ensemble pieces like the Night at the Museum series, Happy Feet, or Lee Daniels’ The Butler. But it was obvious Williams was increasingly drawn to pitch-black comedies and dramas, which ramped up in menace over the course of The Night Listener, World’s Greatest Dad, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, and A Merry Friggin’ Christmas.
Williams’ final on-screen performance was 2015’s Boulevard, and his last voice role featured in 2017 for Absolutely Anything. A Certified Fresh 2018 documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, remains to illuminate more of his life, as we rank all Robin Williams movies by Tomatometer.
Cinema history is filled with movies that got burned under the hot summer sun, and every year, we get our share of critically panned big-budget duds (this year’s slate includes such low achievers asFantastic Four and Hot Pursuit). However, it takes a rare kind of awful to merit inclusion into RT’s Worst Summer Movies list, a compendium of cinematic horrors that were granted a wide theatrical release between the months of May and September in the years since the release of Jaws in 1975 kickstarted the blockbuster era. Without further ado, we present our countdown of the 50 worst-reviewed summer movies!
Moviegoers across North America embraced The Simpsons Movie which beat out all industry expectations for an explosive number one opening this weekend grossing more than the next four biggest hits combined. The Fox release collected an estimated $71.9M in its first weekend in theaters and averaged a spectacular $18,320 per site from 3,922 locations. The PG-13 comedy enjoyed the third largest debut ever for an animated film trailing only Shrek the Third and Shrek 2 which bowed to $121.6M and $108M, respectively.
The Simpsons Movie delivered the fifth biggest July opening weekend ever after the megasequels Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($135.6M in 2006), Spider-Man 2 ($88.2M in 2004), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($77.1M in 2007), and Austin Powers in Goldmember ($76.6M in 2002). It also ranks fifth among the biggest non-sequel opening weekends in history following Spider-Man ($114.8M in 2002), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ($90.3M in 2001), The Passion of the Christ ($83.8M in 2004), and The Da Vinci Code ($77.1M in 2006). The magic number five is also where The Simpsons Movie stands in Fox’s company history behind the debuts of the last two installments in both the Star Wars and X-Men franchises.
After building up an enormous fan base over the last 18 years, The Simpsons Movie was finally ready to capitalize on the popularity of the television series by jumping to the big screen and the audience certainly followed. Fox reported that the audience for the $75M production was solid in all four quadrants. Strong reviews from critics also helped the cause and probably encouraged many fans who have given up on watching the weekly series to return for the theatrical fun. The studio’s marketing department also deserves a gold medal for its unorthodox campaign which really commanded the attention of the public. From the contest between different towns named Springfield to host the premiere to the conversion of a dozen 7-11 stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the studio was able to generate massive amounts of excitement with creative new ideas.
Dropping a notch from its top spot debut, Adam Sandler and Kevin James cuddled up in second place with the comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry which fell 44% to an estimated $19.1M. The Sony release has laughed up a solid $71.6M in its first ten days and should find its way to the neighborhood of $125M. Chuck is performing much like Sandler’s 2002 summer comedy Mr. Deeds which bowed in late June to $37.2M, tallied $73.6M in ten days, and finished with $126.3M.
Another former number one followed. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix dropped 48% to an estimated $17.1M in its third weekend and boosted its 19-day cume to $241.8M. Phoenix posted the smallest third-weekend gross of any Potter film to date, however a final domestic cume close to the $290M of the last installment Goblet of Fire still seems possible.
The hot musical Hairspray posted a decent hold in its second weekend dropping 43% to an estimated $15.6M for New Line. The ensemble pic featuring John Travolta and Queen Latifah watched its total soar to $59.3M after only ten days which already makes it the studio’s top grossing film in two years. The PG-rated entry looks to pass the $103.3M of last winter’s Dreamgirls and may reach about $110M.
Catherine Zeta-Jones headlined the new romantic dramedy No Reservations and found moderate success with an estimated opening of $11.8M. The Warner Bros. release debuted in 2,425 locations as an alternative choice for adult women and averaged a good $4,849. Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin co-star in the story of a chef whose life changes after her sister’s death leaves the woman to care for her niece. Reviews were mixed.
The action smash Transformers placed sixth in its fourth weekend with an estimated $11.5M. Down 44%, the Paramount/DreamWorks co-production boosted its cume to $284.6M putting it at number 31 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after The Matrix Reloaded which grossed $281.5M in 2003. Transformers is now the third biggest hit ever for Paramount after Titanic ($600.8M) and Forrest Gump ($329.7M) and also the third largest in DreamWorks history trailing the last two Shrek installments.
Two new flops rounded out the top ten. Sony’s Lindsay Lohan horror flick I Know Who Killed Me bowed to an estimated $3.4M from 1,320 theaters for a weak $2,576 average. The R-rated torture pic was never tracking well and its star’s recent arrests put the nail in the coffin for the film’s release. MGM opened the golf comedy Who’s Your Caddy? with an estimated $2.9M averaging only $2,846 from 1,019 sites.
Four films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The Warner Bros. romantic comedy License to Wed tumbled 64% to an estimated $1.3M lifting its cume to $41.7M. A mediocre $44M final should result for the Robin Williams pic. Rival comedy Knocked Up has been one of the year’s top comedy performers and fell 48% to an estimated $1.2M giving Universal a superb $145.1M to date. The low-cost $30M production should finish its domestic run with just under $150M.
The Steve Carell epic comedy Evan Almighty grossed an estimated $1.1M, down 57%, pushing the tally to $96.3M. Produced for $175M, the PG-rated pic will have to work hard with second-run business in order to crack the $100M mark for Universal. It will also have to soar internationally and on video if it wants reach break-even.
A handful of films expanded into wider release this weekend. MGM’s military drama Rescue Dawn grossed an estimated $1.7M from 500 locations for a $3,304 average and $3M cume. The sci-fi thriller Sunshine grossed an estimated $1.3M for Fox Searchlight resulting in a $2,750 average and a total of $1.6M. The Don Cheadle film Talk To Me averaged $6,986 from 115 playdates for a weekend estimate of $803,000. Total sits at $1.9M for Focus.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $165.7M which was up a potent 52% from last year when Miami Vice opened at number one with $25.7M; and up 58% from 2005 when Wedding Crashers rose to the top spot for the first time with $20M in its third frame.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
scored the ninth number one opening of his career with his latest comedy
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry which edged out former champ
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the top spot at the North
American box office. The frame’s only other wide opener
Hairspray enjoyed a
magical debut of its own with a strong third place bow. Overall, moviegoers
spread their dollars around as for first time in more than three years, four
films grossed over $20M each over the same weekend.
Universal won a slim box office victory with the launch of
Chuck and Larry which grossed an estimated $34.8M to lead the frame.
Debuting in 3,495 theaters, the PG-13 pic about two straight firefighters who
pretend to be gay for the domestic partner benefits averaged an impressive
$9,950 per location. Though a solid first place performance, Chuck and Larry
also delivered the worst opening for one of
live-action comedies since the 2000 flop
His more dramatic turns in films like
Reign Over Me
have attracted modest openings, but his mainstream laughers typically debut near
the $40M mark. Sandler still stands a good chance of earning a $100M blockbuster
for the sixth consecutive year.
Falling down one spot to the runnerup position was
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which grossed an estimated
$32.2M in its sophomore session. Down a steep 58%, the Warner Bros. release
lifted its 12-day cume to a stunning $207.5M. Second weekend declines are
typically large for high-profile tentpole films. Phoenix’s drop was a bit
smaller than the 62% for both
Spider-Man 3 and
of the Caribbean: At World’s End which each debuted on a Friday in May.
However, it was larger than the drops for fellow midweek openers
Live Free or
Die Hard and
which witnessed sophomore declines of 47% and 48%, respectively.
The animated rodent film
dropped 39% to fifth place with an estimated $11M in its fourth outing to boost
the cume to $165.6M. Although the acclaimed comedy is on its way past the $200M
mark, it will end up being Pixar’s lowest-grossing film since 1998’s
A Bug’s Life. Fox’s
Live Free or
Die Hard followed in sixth with an estimated $7.3M, off 35%, lifting the
total to $116.5M. By Tuesday the new installment will become the top-grossing
Die Hard film edging past the $117.3M of 1990’s Die Hard 2, however
ticket prices were much lower when all previous John McClane pics were released.
The Warner Bros. comedy
Wed fell 49% to an estimated $3.8M and gave the
film $38.7M to date. The hit thriller
1408 scared up an
estimated $2.6M, down 47%, giving MGM a cume of $67.5M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
According to Variety, young actor Josh Flitter (recently seen in Nancy Drew and License to Wed, the poor kid) has been cast in the lead of the third Ace Ventura flick. Needless to say, Jim Carrey will not be involved.
David Mickey Evans will be helming the movie; you might remember him from titles like The Sandlot, The Sandlot 2, and two of those really lame Beethoven sequels. The AV3 screenplay comes from the writing team of Heimberg, Sank and Heimberg — first-timers all around, as far as I can tell.
Our source indicates that the movie will “center on the son of Ace Ventura following in his father’s footsteps by becoming a pet detective for the 7th-grade set and tracking a stolen baby panda after his mother’s wrongly arrested for the crime.” Production gets underway in September. No word on if this is expected to be a direct-to-video release, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me.
Hogwarts fans flexed their muscles at the North
American box office showing up in droves once again for the extended opening
weekend of "Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" which seized control of the multiplexes
with its top spot debut. Most holdovers fared well too as no film in the top ten
suffered a decline of more than 50%.
Flying in and winning the box office crown, the fifth "Harry
Potter" film grossed an estimated $77.4M over the Friday-to-Sunday weekend
period and an eye-popping $140M since its Wednesday launch. That gave Warner
Bros. the second best Wednesday-to-Sunday opening in history trailing only the
$152.4M of "Spider-Man 2"
which debuted just ahead of the Independence Day holiday in 2004.
Comparing "Phoenix" to previous "Potter" films or even to this summer’s biggest
opening weekends would be pointless since those blockbusters all debuted on a
Friday. The latest wizard film did set a new Wednesday opening day record with
$44.2M which ranked as the fifth best opening day overall. The budget was
reportedly in the neighborhood of $200M.
Overseas, Warner Bros made a deep impact as well collecting a staggering $190.3M
over five days from 44 territories from over 12,000 prints. In North America,
the PG-13 film launched in 4,285 theaters with over 9,000 total prints. That
gave "Phoenix" a jaw-dropping global opening of $330M in just five days. The
film also set Imax records around the world.
Author: Gitesh Pandaya, www.boxofficeguru.com
Optimus Prime and his robot heroes seized the number one spot at the North American box office with an explosive opening for "Transformers" over the extended Independence Day holiday frame. The Paramount/DreamWorks co-production grossed an estimated $67.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and an amazing $152.5M since its early opening last Monday with 8pm preview shows.
Internationally, the Michael Bay-directed actioner has grossed a stellar $93.6M to date from 29 markets putting the global haul at $246.1M and counting. Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and newcomer Megan Fox led the cast while executive producer Steven Spielberg’s name played prominently in the film’s marketing campaign.
"Transformers" played in an ultrawide 4,011 theaters in North America and averaged a scorching $16,854 for the weekend and a stunning $38,021 over the 6.5-day opening week. The PG-13 film began its explosive run on Monday night with $8.8M in ticket sales and followed that with $27.9M on Tuesday, $29.1M on the Wednesday holiday, $19.2M on Thursday, $22.5M on Friday, $25.9M on Saturday, and an estimated $19.2M on Sunday. The Sunday estimate could be conservative as other studios estimate the weekend gross to be closer to $68M or even $69M meaning final numbers could inch up slightly on Monday.
With a production budget of $145M, "Transformers" is one of the least expensive summer tentpoles this year. "Spider-Man 3" and the third "Pirates" saga reportedly cost $250-300M each to produce and next weekend’s "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" also carries a mighty high pricetag. By comparison, the Autobots flick seems rather inexpensive. The pressure certainly was on Bay after his last film "The Island" cost $125M and grossed a puny $35.8M for DreamWorks two years ago. This time, the studio will be rewarded as "Transformers" not only started off with a bang, but is pleasing audiences too and could enjoy more solid weeks ahead. Its main foe will come from "Potter" which invades multiplexes this Wednesday to get a headstart on what surely will be a gargantuan five-day debut.
Paramount set a new record for the biggest opening week for a non-sequel as its 6.5-day tally edged out the $151.6M that "Spider-Man" grossed in May 2002. The webslinger’s figure would be roughly $170M at today’s prices, though. Still for Paramount and DreamWorks, "Transformers" marks the biggest live-action opening in company history and their third largest overall debut after the third and second "Shrek" installments.
Adjusting for eleven years of ticket price increases, "Transformers" sold about as many tickets as "Independence Day" did during its extended debut over the same Fourth of July holiday week. Both were effects-driven non-sequel summer action films with ensemble casts about alien forces threatening the safety of Earth. "Independence Day" began its run with 6pm shows on Tuesday night and grossed $96.1M from 2,882 theaters over 5.5 days which at today’s prices would be about $125M. "Transformers" collected a slightly better $133.3M in its first 5.5 days. Of course, the comparisons are not exact since ID4 had an earlier start with its Tuesday previews and "Transformers" played in 1,129 more theaters, but the fighting robots did generate the same early July excitement that the alien blockbuster did over a decade ago.
Shia LaBeouf must be hoping that his career will take off the way Will Smith’s did back then. The young actor will star opposite Harrison Ford next Memorial Day weekend with Paramount’s fourth "Indiana Jones" film which certainly makes his stock climb, and will be looking for a much fatter paycheck when "Transformers 2" negotiations begin.
Moviegoers who preferred rats over robots spent an estimated $29M on the Disney/Pixar hit "Ratatouille" which dropped to second place after losing only 38% of its opening weekend sales. After a stellar midweek holiday period that saw the G-rated toon grossing $33.5M from Monday-to-Thursday, the ten-day cume soared to $109.5M. "Ratatouille" is now catching up to Pixar’s "Cars" from last summer which dropped 44% to $33.7M in its second weekend for a ten-day tally of $117.1M. The rodent pic trailed "Cars" by 22% after the first three days, but has now cut the gap to only 6%. "Ratatouille" could find its way to the vicinity of $225M.
Despite direct competition from "Transformers," "Live Free or Die Hard" performed well shooting up an estmated $17.4M for third place this weekend. Down 48%, the PG-13 action sequel upped its cume to $84.2M after 12 days. A final domestic tally of $130-140M could result.
Robin Williams saw only mild results for his latest comedy "License to Wed" which grossed an estimated $10.4M over the weekend and opened to $17.8M over its extended six-day launch period. Playing in 2,604 theaters, the PG-13 pic averaged a mediocre $3,998 over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Critics trashed the Warner Bros. release which tried to position itself as counterprogramming to the testosterone antics of the fighting robots over the holiday week.
Dropping 46% to fifth place was the pricey comedy "Evan Almighty" with an estimated $8.1M in its third weekend giving Universal $78.1M to date. 2003’s "Bruce Almighty" grossed a much mightier $171.4M in its first 17 days and cost half as much as "Evan" to produce.
MGM’s hit thriller "1408" followed with an estimated $7.1M, down only 33%, for a solid cume of $53.8M. Universal’s comedy "Knocked Up" also held up well dipping 29% to an estimated $5.2M. The impressive total stands at $132M which is already 21% better than the final gross of director Judd Apatow’s last film "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" which laughed up $109.3M in 2005.
Fox’s comic book sequel "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" suffered the worst drop in the top ten falling 55% to an estimated $4.2M for a $123.8M total (9% behind its predecessor). Lionsgate expanded its Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" from 441 to 702 theaters and grossed an estimated $3.7M, off just 19%, pushing the cume to $11.5M. George Clooney and pals rounded out the top ten by looting an estimated $3.5M with "Ocean’s Thirteen," down 42%, and raised the sum to $109.1M (5% behind "Ocean’s Twelve").
Three new films debuted well in limited release over the weekend. MGM’s Vietnam war drama "Rescue Dawn" opened in six theaters with an estimated $104,000 for a potent $17,375 average. With $161,000 over five days, the Christian Bale film played to an older male audience and expands to the top ten markets this Friday. Fox Searchlight’s thriller "Joshua" bowed in six sites as well and grossed an estimated $51,086 for an average of $8,514. The distributor will widen the run into about 140 locations this coming weekend. Warner Independent opened its comedy "Introducing the Dwights" in four playdates and collected an estimated $31,000 for a three-day average of $7,750. Five-day total was $46,000. On Friday, the R-rated pic will expand to about 40 theaters.
Two films fell from the top ten over the weekend. The megahit "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" became the 25th film in history to sail past the $300M mark with its estimated $3M take in its seventh frame. Down 39%, the Johnny Depp adventure upped its total to $301.7M from North America keeping it at number 25 on list of all-time domestic blockbusters. A final gross of $305-310M seems likely domestically. Overseas ticket sales have surpassed $614M putting the global gross at a colossal $916M and counting.
Focus enjoyed a good hold with its star-driven drama "Evening" which took in an estimated $2.3M, off 33% in its sophomore frame. But the ten-day cume is still only at $8.3M meaning a not-so-impressive $15M final seems likely.
Among the summer’s biggest hits, "Shrek the Third" grossed an estimated $1.4M, down 48%, while "Spider-Man 3" dipped 42% to an estimated $350,000. Total domestic grosses stand at $316.6M and $334.4M, respectively, and both films have now joined the Top 20 on the all-time domestic blockbusters list.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $156.2M which was down 25% from last year when "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" shattered the opening weekend box office record with $135.6M; but up 15% from 2005 when "Fantastic Four" debuted on top with $56.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Megatron and his sinister robot chums invade the North American box office aiming to extract riches from the multiplexes over the extended Fourth of July holiday week with the tentpole action vehicle "Transformers."
Also entering the marketplace, but likely to gross only a fraction of the cash, is the comedy "License to Wed" starring Robin Williams. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, moviegoers have all different kinds of schedules with some having only one day off from work while others are taking extra time for themselves. That will make for a tricky box office trajectory since ticket buyers have many films to choose from and many days to make their trip to cinemas.
Paramount sets off the fireworks with "Transformers" which already got an early start to the holiday week with a strong $8.8M in ticket sales on Monday night with shows beginning at 8pm. The PG-13 film from director Michael Bay is adapted from the popular toys and cartoon series that became a cult favorite in the 1980s, but instead has been geared up to fit modern summer movie standards with action, humor, and plenty of special effects. Shia LaBeouf stars alongside Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and John Turturro.
[Editor’s Note: "Transformers" broke records for having the biggest opening on a Tuesday at $27.9 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. As of Wednesday night (the original "official" release date), "Transformers" had raked in $36.7 million at the box office — a figure that grants the flick the title of Best 4th of July opening ever. That number (what many have pointed out amounts to over $36 million in 36 hours of release, or $1 million per hour and $16,666 per minute) results from the Paramount release’s $8.8 million Monday night take combined with $27.9 million on Tuesday. An additional $29.1 million from Wednesday’s moviegoers bumps the current "Transformers" box office to $65.7 million — and there are four more days to go.]
"Transformers" is trying hard to follow in the footsteps of "Independence Day" which eleven years ago this week wreaked havoc on the box office with a Fourth of July opening week gross of $96.1M over five and a half days beginning with Tuesday night shows starting earlier at 6pm. That would amount to about $125M at today’s ticket prices from 1,129 fewer theaters than what the robots in disguise now control. Both films are essentially disaster pictures about alien forces that invade Earth that are driven by amazing special effects and feature ensemble casts with no huge stars.
The fanboy crowd has been energized for months for "Transformers" so that vote is locked in. To really see the grosses soar, Paramount and DreamWorks will need non-fans to pony up the dough and take interest not because they remember watching the cartoon as a kid, but because it looks and feels like good escapist summer fare. Luckily the pic delivers on that. Appeal to teens and young adults is potent but older adults looking for action may be tempted to buy a ticket for Bruce Willis in the latest "Die Hard" sequel. In addition, younger children afraid of mean transforming robots will instead line up for "Ratatouille." But so far reviews have been pretty good for its genre and fans are giving high marks too as witnessed by the encouraging A- average grade from over 6,000 votes on Yahoo Movies.
Other effects-driven sci-fi action tentpoles opening over this extended holiday week include 2002’s "Men in Black II" with $87.2M over five days, 2003’s R-rated "Terminator 3" with $72.4M over five and a half days, and $100.5M over five days for "War of the Worlds" in 2005. Optimus Prime should soar higher since it has a full six and a half days of play this week by the time Sunday night arrives. Invading 4,011 theaters, "Transformers" might gross about $67M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a stellar $130M from Monday night through Sunday.
Taking one of his worst beatings from critics in years, Oscar winner Robin Williams hit multiplexes on Tuesday with his latest comedy "License to Wed" playing a wacky priest who puts a newly engaged couple through a series of tests before marrying them. The PG-13 film stars Mandy Moore and "The Office"’s John Krasinski as the lucky twosome. The Warner Bros. title is slotted into this extra long holiday week as counter-programming to the Decepticons and hopes to appeal to women and adult couples not interested in the summer’s umpteenth action extravaganza.
Aside from the former Mork, "License" has no real starpower at the box office. Even Williams has struggled to pack them in on opening weekend in recent years. His last film "Man of the Year" bowed to $12.3M last fall. Word-of-mouth is not likely to be very positive and if anything, the early opening may spread bad buzz as by Friday many will hear from friends that they should avoid this pic. The midweek debut will also dilute the weekend numbers too. A stronger title could have excelled this week with the target audience given all the testosterone flicks, but this one just doesn’t have the goods. Opening in 2,401 theaters, "License to Wed" might collect about $11M over the weekend and $18M during the extended Tuesday-to-Sunday debut period.
Disney and Pixar enjoyed a brief three-day stint in the number one spot last weekend with "Ratatouille" before being pushed aside by the Autobots on Monday. Second weekend drops for Pixar’s summer toons include 44% for last year’s "Cars" and a slimmer 34% for 2003’s "Finding Nemo." The rodent flick is well-liked by moviegoers and competition for younger children is not too direct this coming weekend so a decline in between those two may result. A 35% drop would give "Ratatouille" about $30M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $109M.
Bruce Willis will have his hands full with "Live Free or Die Hard" on the second weekend thanks to fierce direct competition from "Transformers." A 50% drop would not be surprising and would give Fox around $16.5M for the session boosting the 12-day tally to $83M. Universal’s "Evan Almighty" should continue its rapid slide and dip by 45% to roughly $8M. That would put the Steve Carell comedy at $78M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: After a long four-year term as the top opening of all-time, "Spider-Man" had its record stolen by Captain Jack as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" crushed the industry mark with an eye-popping three-day bow of $135.6M. The Disney smash easily became the biggest blockbuster of the year with $423.3M domestically and a towering $1.065 billion worldwide and it still stands as the third largest global grosser of all-time. "Superman Returns" tumbled down to second place falling by a disturbing 59% to $21.8M for Warner Bros. Fox’s "The Devil Wears Prada" enjoyed a better sophomore hold dropping 46% to $15M for third place. Rounding out the top five were Adam Sandler‘s "Click" with $11.9M for Sony and Disney/Pixar’s "Cars" with $10.7M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies we have disrupted nuptials ("License to Wed," starring John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) and metamorphisizing robots ("Transformers," starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox). What do the critics have to say?
As "The Office"’s lovably smug Jim, John Krasinski has built up a lot of cred with the twentysomething crowd, which may have been effectively blown with "License to Wed." Krasinski and Mandy Moore star as an engaged couple who go through rigorous pre-marriage counseling, run by a maniac preacher as played by Robin Williams. Critics label Krasinski’s and Moore’s characters as bland and barely sketched out, resulting in a movie that completely flatlines when Williams isn’t around to do his kooky and increasingly aggravating shtick. At 14 percent on the Tomatometer, potential "License to Wed" ticket buyers should get cold feet.
If last week’s "Live Free or Die Hard" was a summer tentpole throwback to the pre-CG days of crazy stuntwork, then "Transformers" is the complete opposite. It’s a slick, special effects driven extravaganza about two warring robot factions, the Autobots and the Decepticons, who take their fight to our planet. Shia LaBeouf leads a small ensemble cast of humans caught in-between the fight. "Transformers"’ detractors call it an obnoxiously loud film with corny dialogue. Supporters praise the film for being… obnoxiously loud and corny, a fun popcorn flick that is Bay‘s bread and butter. With a 59 percent Tomatometer (and a surprising 73 percent from Cream of the Crop critics), "Transformers" is for the fans and the curious looking for a raucous, out-of-control time at the movies.
Also opening in limited release: "Rescue Dawn," a harrowing war drama from director Werner Herzog, is at 88 percent; "Joshua," psychological horror in the vein of "Rosemary’s Baby" and "The Bad Seed," is at 67 percent; "Introducing the Dwights," a coming of age drama about a boy and his fame-seeking mother, is at 63 percent; and "The Method," a Spanish import about a company’s bizarre hiring method, is at 56 percent.
Recent Robot Movies, Robot Movies Featuring Robin Williams
63% — "Robots" (2005)
59% — "I, Robot" (2004)
73% — "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001)
38% — "Bicentennial Man" (1999)
42% — "Transformers: The Movie" (1986)
So far you’ve only glimpsed Autobots and Decepticons in fleeting, as they smash their way through clips and trailers or loom in the distance of production stills. Now peek at the first detailed visage of a "Transformer" online!
It’s a close-up shot of the apparently very popular "Bumblebee" character, only he’s not in vehicle form in this pic. He’s got a face and everything! Click here to see the goods.
Seems like we’ve been talking about the flick forever, but "Transformers" is scheduled to plow into cinemas come July 4th. Needless to say it won’t have many competitors that weekend. (As of right now, the only other wide release that weekend is a Robin Williams / Mandy Moore comedy called "License to Wed.")
I know it’s obvious to even point it out at this late date, but "Transformers" marks the first collaboration between controversial director Michael Bay and universally-adored producer Steven Spielberg. That alone makes the movie worth checking out, if you ask me.
Anyway, how ’bout that Bumblebee pic?