It’s bad movies galore as we encounter the Rottenest of the Rotten: 100 movies that scored less than 5% with the critics on the Tomatometer!
You’re going to see lots of 0% movies, and there’s even more out there, but the ones on this list all have at least 20 reviews. We wanted to make sure the movies we’re “vouching” for as the worst ever have inflicted a minimum threshold of agony on critics. And the 20-review entry applies for every other movie on this list, and that includes the usual suspects of garbage cinema, like the deep space train wreck Battlefield Earth, the box office turkey (turtle?) The Master of Disguise, Netflix’s lazy western The Ridiculous 6, and flaccid softcore Killing Me Softly (which also makes a dubious appearance in the 200 best and worst erotic movies).
You may also note a number of significant stinkers are from the past 20 years. It’s not just because Uwe Boll was employed during this time period. And, by the way, he’s actually beat by dubious directing duo Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who have four movies on the list. Instead, it’s the fact more reviews are being written and collected than ever before, so today’s disasters have a better chance of vaunting over 20 reviews. (And for movies that share the same score, more reviews means you’re placed higher within the ranking.)
But fret not: Plenty of yesteryear’s bombs are here. After all, the decade that produced Mac & Me has a lot to account for. Some of the classic trash featured includes the soul-sucking Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Speed 2: Cruise Control (see what happens when you throw Keanu overboard?), off-the-deep-end Jaws: The Revenge, and prime directive-violating RoboCop 3.
Critics Consensus:Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.
Synopsis: Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), who purchased the... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Apparition fails to offer anything original, isn't particularly scary, and offers so little in the way of dramatic momentum that it's more likely to put you to sleep than thrill you.
Synopsis: Plagued by frightening occurrences in their home, Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) learn that a university's parapsychology experiment... [More]
Critics Consensus: Monotonously fast-paced to the point of exhaustion, Getaway offers a reminder of the dangers in attempting to speed past coherent editing, character development, sensible dialogue, and an interesting plot.
Synopsis: Though he used to race cars for a living, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is now pitted against the clock in... [More]
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Critics Consensus: Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst Movie yet.
Synopsis: During a fateful night, a group of impossibly attractive 20-somethings (Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian) must dodge a series... [More]
Critics Consensus: Rather than exciting audiences with a thrilling race against time, Shadow Conspiracy suggests there may be a secret cabal duping talented actors into selecting woefully deficient scripts.
Synopsis: Presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) runs into an old professor who tells him of a secret plot to assassinate... [More]
Critics Consensus: Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.
Synopsis: When widow Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan) washes ashore on a tropical island with her daughter and adopted son, she learns... [More]
Critics Consensus: Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.
Synopsis: White Knife, an orphan raised by Native Americans, discovers that five outlaws are actually his half-brothers. Together, they set out... [More]
No awards season would be complete without the Golden Raspberry Awards (AKA The Razzies), awarded each year to the very worst movies to hit Hollywood. This year’s winners will be announced on Oscar weekend; could multiple-nominee The Love Guru take home top honors? See the full list of nominees below.
This year, a few standout films and filmmakers nabbed multiple nominations, making for really good odds come February 21, when the Golden Raspberry winners will be announced. Leading the pack is Disaster Movie (2 percent on the Tomatometer), which managed to earn six nominations; The Hottie & the Nottie (5 percent), up for honors in five categories; and Uwe Boll’s In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which also earned the Teutonic Terror a Worst Career Achievement Razzie.
After two bona-fide Tomatometer turkeys – Swept Away at 5% and Revolver at 16% – Guy Ritchie returns to more familiar roots with cockney-crime-caper Rocknrolla, and with the film currently at 63%, the critics agree he has taken a step in the right direction. A fine cast, snappy direction and trademark flashy editing add positives, whilst a poor script, naff gags and derivative plotting referencing his own previous movies drag down the movie on the negative side. All in all, a return to form, even if that form wasn’t particularly great in the first place.
The distributors have unashamedly promoted The Duchess with the tagline “There were three people in her marriage” to draw parallels with the titular Duchess of Devonshire and her direct descendent Diana Spencer, but most critics feel the comparisons and allusions in the movie itself are heavy handed and predictable. Just scraping in as Fresh at 65% on the Tomatometer, Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes deliver decent enough performances to prevent it from leaning from period drama to period soap opera.
With limited press screenings, and a review embargo until today, Nic Cage’s latest, Bangkok Dangerous, had a whiff of being Rotten before the day had even began. With a new low for Cage at 10% on the Tomatometer, the critics are wondering when the once-funny and dependable Cage will stop appearing in every pointless remake going. The biggest talking point of the movie seems to be Cage’s hair piece with Charlotte O’Sullivan of London’s Evening Standard saying, “It seems Cage wants the world to believe he still has long, flowing locks; if so, his big mistake was to graft bits of an old shag-pile carpet onto his head. Because that’s what his ‘hair’ looks like.”
The original centred on a deaf-mute hitman, but with Cage starring and producing, this interesting angle on a tired genre is thrown out in favour of Cage, you know, talking and that, so then it does just end up being a tired generic addition to the actors recent poor output.
But what can be said of Disaster Movie other than Movie Disaster? At a truly pathetic 0% on the Tomatometer, its seems that the bottom of the barrel that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had been scraping for their previous stinkers, Meet the Spartans and Date Movie, has finally given way and they have started to scrape the mouldy detritus beneath, to bring us what could potentially end up being the worst movie of the year. Devoid of laughs, humour or charm, shamelessly referencing nearly every movie from the last 12 months, seemingly without having seen half of them, Disaster Movie has managed to elicit precisely zero positive points from any of the UK critics.
Quote of the Week “You’ll find yourself less fixated on inner turmoil than whether you could feasibly slip a cocktail sausage between her perma-pouting lips.” The Duchess — Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro
Look out! Starship Troopers and Transformers are about to assault your senses in HD, and soon you can choose Harold and Kumar’s adventures. This week’s new releases are mostly stinkers (The Eye, Semi-Pro), but Dirty Harry’s got your back with a fantastic new box set. Are you feeling lucky, punk?
Make it a Blockbuster…download…night?
Are video stores headed the way of the dinosaur? Not if Blockbuster can help it. The rental chain has begun testing new in-store download kiosks where customers can zip in, ATM-style, and download movies right onto their digital media players. The goal is to have you in and loaded in 30 seconds — that is, only if you have the Archos media player, which you can buy in a Blockbuster store, which you can use portably or plug into a TV set…which sounds all too troublesome to us lazybones DVD buyers.
Choose Your Own Harold and Kumar Adventure!
Those folks over at New Line must be smoking the good stuff, because making the release of Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay a Choose Your Own Adventure-style DVD is inspired, to say the least. In addition to switching between new and alternate scenes, you can get up close and personal with the real Harold Lee and “the guy who plays George W. Bush.” Look for it July 25.
An HD Transformers extravaganza!
The web is abuzz with the official news that a Transformers Blu-Ray release will hit stores September 2, supervised by director/spectacle aficionado Michael Bay himself. The 2-Disc Special Edition is expected to boast no less than 30 extras, featurettes, trailers and Easter eggs — all in glorious, ear-shattering, eye-popping HD.
Another Starship Troopers sequel is coming…
Casper Van Dien is back as Johnny Rico, Roughneck soldier and extinguisher of space bugs, in the third installment of the saga that began with Paul Verhoeven‘s 1997 boob-, bomb-, and bug-filled satire. Ed Neumier makes his directorial debut with Starship Troopers: Marauder, which comes to DVD and Blu-Ray August 5; if you’re really Starship crazy, you can buy the entire trilogy the same day.
Disney To Make Movies for Fairies
After you’re done fueling your testosterone levels with Starship Troopers, get in touch with your softer side with the first of four all-new direct-to-DVD Disney films…about fairies! Disney’s had enough of the lame super sequels — Ariel’s racked up a lot of mileage over the years — so they’re turning their attentions to Peter Pan sprite Tinkerbell, who will appear along with her fairy BFFs and talk for the first time in Disney history — unless you count Julia Roberts in Hook, which we admittedly don’t count either.
One thing might appeal to you about this poor American rehashing of a decent Asian horror film, and that is its star: Jessica Alba. Thankfully, there’s plenty of her to be seen — and a perverse enjoyment to be had from watching her blind “concert violinist” emote around a darkened condo.
It’s a 2-disc release with precious little content to warrant the splurge. A digital copy of the film accompanies the DVD — but why, oh, why, would you want to watch it more than once?
Will Ferrell is up to his usual tricks as Jackie Moon, a 1970s R&B singer (“Love Me Sexy”) turned hoops team owner/player/coach faced trying to lead his ragtag team to league victory; zaniness ensues. The comic’s faithful can forgive the film’s intermittent laughs just for the sight of Ferrell in short shorts, but what about everyone else?
You’ll get a digital copy and unrated version of the film in the 2-disc “Let’s Get Sweaty” Edition, plus extended and deleted scenes…but if you hate the film, these extras will just pour more Will Ferrell-flavored salt into the wound. Decide if you’re enough of a Ferrell fan first.
The guys behind the “Fill-In-the-Blank” Movies are back again, skewering all things 300. If you revel in gay Spartan jokes, and snort at yet another Britney Spears jab, then you and this movie deserve each other.
Pop-up trivia and a cast and crew commentary accompany this…who are we kidding. No amount of extra features could make this DVD worth your while.
Thank goodness for good movies! Anton Corbijn‘s stirring, excellent biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis is finally here — a hauntingly intimate, jolting, and lyrical look at the tragic life and death of the pre-fame legend, cut short right as the band was on the brink of post-punk stardom.
Immerse yourself in an interview and commentary track with Corbijn, and then marvel at lead Sam Riley and fellow actors (who performed their own songs, filmed live for the movie) in extended concert scenes. Corbijn’s music videos for Joy Division and The Killers also appear on the release.
The poster says it all: Asia Argento in her underwear and stilettos, pistol in hand. But, buyer be warned: there may be little else to redeem Olivier Assayas‘ stylized neo-thriller, which also features Michael Madsen and a strange turn by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.
A single making-of featurette makes this a skimpy DVD title; rent it, unless you’ve got to bolster your private Asia Argento home video collection.
Ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky? You should, considering this “ultimate” set of all five Dirty Harry films comes with a passel of uber cool collector’s items, plus a feature-length documentary on the man himself, Clint Eastwood, and all-new commentaries by Eastwood, John Milius, James Fargo, and film critic Richard Schickel.
Here’s the loot: five reproduced lobby cards, a poster-sized map of San Francisco detailing Harry’s hunt for the Scorpio killer, never before seen production correspondence, a 40 page hardcover book, and — best of all — a replica Dirty Harry wallet with metal badge and I.D. card.
America’s finest news source (and employer of hilarious headline writers) The Onion gets its own feature-length movie this week, skewering the news and entertainment industry with signature snark. With a nod to the Kentucky Fried Movie — though leagues below that mark in terms of, well, jokes that work — The Onion Movie won’t be the best new release of the week, but it will probably be more worth your while than Meet the Spartans.
Justly deleted scenes and outtakes aren’t funny if the material isn’t funny. But there is some hope, in the form of Mr. Steven Seagal (at the 1:00 mark):
‘Til next week, happy viewing!
Four new releases take a gamble debuting in theaters across North America hoping to hit the jackpot with audiences. The blackjack drama 21 and the spoof comedy Superhero Movie lead the way and will try their best to reach the number one spot. Other choices for ticket buyers include the soldier drama Stop-Loss and the marathon comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run in what should be another down weekend for the industry.
Kevin Spacey leads a team of math wizards from M.I.T. to a life of card-counting riches in Las Vegas in the new Sony pic 21. The PG-13 flick stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne and is based on a true story. Teens and young adults will be the target audience here as well as card sharks everywhere. The marketing has been slick and even though the film is not all that high on starpower, the subject matter and the look should help it connect with audiences. The studio has given 21 a big push and it should play as something new for young adults to get excited about instead of the same tired old formula. Competition will be a factor though, given that some of the other new flicks will appeal to the same age range. Opening in more than 2,500 locations, 21 could debut with about $15M.
Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess in 21
The spoof comedy, the movie staple that won’t go away, returns again with the new film Superhero Movie from MGM and The Weinstein Company. Rated PG-13, the pic lampoons several comic book flicks like Spider-Man and Fantastic Four and will target teens and young adults looking for immature fun. Meet the Spartans proved in January that the genre still makes money thanks to its $18.5M top spot bow. However, Superhero does not look as funny as some of the recent spoof hits as commercials are lacking in the joke department. Plus it lacks the special touch that Fox gives to these kinds of films to steer them to solid debuts. Flying into 2,700 theaters, Superhero Movie could capture about $14M this weekend.
Drake Bell in Superhero Movie
The frame’s sole R-rated title is also the best-reviewed film of the lot. Paramount’s Stop-Loss stars Ryan Phillippe as a decorated soldier home from Iraq who tries to reclaim his former life in his small Texas hometown. Channing Tatum and Abbie Cornish co-star giving the film some star wattage with teens and young adults. And good marks from critics can’t hurt. But the rating could cut into some of the sales from younger teens and subject matter remotely related to conflicts in the Middle East have driven audiences away time and time again. The studio and producer MTV Films have downplayed the war element and instead wisely focused on the young hip stars. Competition will come mostly from 21 and Superhero Movie which will play to many of the same folks and carry a more commercially viable PG-13. Landing in roughly 1,200 sites, Stop-Loss could take in about $6M this weekend.
Channing Tatum and Ryan Phillippe in Stop-Loss
An overweight man fights for his true love in the new comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run which arrives in the fewest theaters of any new release. The PG-13 film stars Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead fame and could tap into his cult fan base in the U.S. which grew bigger after last year’s Hot Fuzz. Unfortunately that audience is not large enough to command big numbers at the turnstiles. Picturehouse’s sneak previews last weekend helped to circulate some buzz but most other major films have more. Mixed reviews won’t do much to spark a frenzy either. Running low on starpower, hype, and theaters, Run, Fat Boy, Run could debut to the tune of around $4M from 1,050 locations this weekend.
Hank Azaria and Simon Pegg in Run, Fat Boy, Run
Horton Hears A Who will try to become the first film of the year to threepeat atop the box office charts but will have to fend off the advances of a couple of potential new hits. Luckily the Fox toon has no direct competition for its family audience so its decline should be less than last weekend’s. A 40% drop would give the Dr. Seuss pic around $15M over three days and boost the overall tally to $114M.
Tyler Perry will see a sizable fall for his latest venture Meet the Browns since his loyal audience shows up in big numbers on the first weekend. Look for Lionsgate to lose half of its sales and bank around $10 for a ten-day total of $35M.
Fellow sophomores Shutter and Drillbit Taylor should fall hard too. The weekend could result in a 55% fall for the Fox thriller to $4.5M and 50% decline for the Paramount comedy to $5M. Totals would rise to about $19M a piece.
LAST YEAR: Two new comedies posted strong debuts to end the first quarter with a bang. Will Ferrell‘s figure skating pic Blades of Glory opened at number one with a solid $33M for Paramount. After spending two weeks on top, the sports comedy went on to score $118.6M domestically. Disney’s animated film Meet the Robinsons snagged second place with $25.1M on its way to $97.8M. The stylish actioner 300 placed third with $11.4M for Warner Bros. and was followed by the studio’s kidpic TMNT with $9.2M and Disney’s biker comedy Wild Hogs with $8.7M.
Unbelievably, Fox almost didn’t release their animated Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who on the Easter weekend. Until a couple of weeks ago the film was going to be released the week before (and still was in a few cities), when most kiddies were still swapping ringtones in the schoolyard.
The studio will be glad they made the switch though, as armies of rugrats piled into theatres over the weekend to make the film UK box office number one, and pass it a cool £3 million in the process.
It’s generally accepted wisdom ’round these parts that Seuss doesn’t translate to a British audience, seeing as, unlike in the States, he is not required bedtime reading for our crumpet-scoffing nippers. But it seems that despite our relative unfamiliarity with the artist’s peculiar brand of gurn-tastic, inky nonsense, a combination of the film’s strong reviews (it’s at 79% on the Tomatometer) and bedraggled parents literally dragging their unkempt spawn to cinemas to stop them rampaging through their dining rooms conspired to give the film top spot.
A similar healthy formula worked for the second placed movie – and another newcomer in the charts – The Spiderwick Chronicles. Based on the books by Tony Di Teerlizzi and Holly Black, this CGI-happy children’s fantasy, starring the gnomic Freddie Highmore, was praised by critics for having several genuinely scary moments and not being too cutesy. High praise indeed and perfect fodder for today’s hoodied, Harry Potter-obsessed, iPod-thieving youngsters.
Arguably even more successful than either of these child friendly entries however was breakdancing sequel Step Up 2: The Streets, which came third in the charts but nabbed more dough per screen than any other film in the top five. It seems ‘The Kids’ were enthralled by the sweaty, pumped-up dance sequences, and didn’t care one jot about the ropey acting, lack of correlation with the original, and, as some reviewers noted, some rather unsavoury racial stereotypes. Empire‘s Anna Smith summed up the thoughts of jaded critics, saying the film “suffered from a real lack of charisma… still, the dance bits are good.”
Sadly a film without any redeeming features whatsoever also made a strong showing this week. Yes, of course we’re talking about Fox’s Meet the Spartans, which aimed not only to spoof Zack Snyder‘s 300, but also ingeniously skewer the pomposity of today’s celebrity culture. Naturally, seeing as this was written by two of the witless scribes behind Scary Movie and Date Movie, the best way to do this was to simply repeat scenes from/simultaneously pimp last year’s Fox movies and especially TV shows (American Idol, America’s Next Top Model) and hope their audience of braying morons would reward themselves with a self-congratulatory laugh for making the association in their tiny minds. Still, it made Fox over £1 million in the first four days, so fair play.
From the ridiculous to the sublime, and ending on a high note, the Guillermo del Toro-produced Spanish-language horror The Orphanage snuck into our top ten, despite only opening on a select 74 screens. Featuring superb performances, a haunting atmosphere and the obligatory terrifying deformed child, here’s hoping this film gets a wider distribution in the next few weeks.
The annual convergence of the Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day holidays has lead to a unique situation this year as studios are all releasing their wide openers on Thursday hoping for strong five-day starts for their pictures. The two effects-filled movies heading up the charge are Fox’s science fiction actioner Jumper and Paramount’s fantasy adventure The Spiderwick Chronicles attacking over 3,400 theaters each. Buena Vista counters with its dance saga Step Up 2 The Streets while Universal offers the romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe.
With something for everyone, and the two holidays giving a boost to overall moviegoing activity, the North American box office should be robust this weekend although it may not be able to match the record-shattering frame from a year ago. The last time Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday was in 2002 but all five wide releases that year had traditional Friday bows. This time studios felt no need to leave business on the table on the typically strong love holiday so openings were scheduled a day earlier.
The Presidents’ Day frame is often used by studios to launch effects-driven sci-fi films and audiences always turn out. Last year saw Ghost Rider bow to $52M over four days, Constantine opened to $33.6M in 2005, and Daredevil debuted to $45M in 2003. Jumper will play to most of the same people, however it boasts less starpower and its literary source is not as famous. Plus it faces more competition for the action audience with Spiderwick taking away some of the younger crowd and Fool’s Gold stealing away some women and adult couples.
Jumper lacks the goods people expect from a solid sci-fi flick and Christensen proves once again that he’s no leading man so lukewarm buzz from first-day audiences on Thursday may water down some of the weekend rush. But a strong marketing campaign will get the upfront audience to show up this weekend before the large declines set in. Invading 3,402 theaters, Jumper could open to around $30M over four days and $35M over five days.
Hayden Christensen in Jumper
With virtually no other options for the family audience this weekend, Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies hope to have a clear shot at reaching their target audience with the PG-rated fantasy pic The Spiderwick Chronicles. Based on the best-selling books, the effects-driven film aims to connect with kids over a weekend that is typically a good one for that crowd. Don’t expect Harry Potter numbers here, but Spiderwick could appeal to the same people who powered Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia to a $28.5M launch a year ago over the four-day holiday session.
The studio has given an extended marketing push to the film and fans of the books are likely to be curious as to how the leap to the big screen was made. Reviews have been generally positive so that should help persuade parents to give a green light to a trip to the multiplex this weekend. Enjoying the widest release of all new flicks with 3,847 theaters, The Spiderwick Chronicles might premiere with roughly $24M over four days and a five-day haul of $27M.
Freddie Highmore and friend in The Spiderwick Chronicles
In the summer of 2006, Buena Vista scored a surprise hit with its low-budget teen dance drama Step Up which grossed a hefty $65.3M after its $20.7M debut. So no one is surprised that the sequel bug hit this pic resulting in Step Up 2 The Streets which will aim for the same teenage and young adult crowd. Rated PG-13, the new installment will have a built-in audience to tap into which will help it at the box office this weekend. Add in that virtually all students have a long weekend away from school and the potential becomes big. However Streets is not surrounded by the excitement that the first film brought with it for the target audience. For these types of films nowadays, lightning strikes once at the box office and future revenue comes from direct-to-DVD sequels. Plus Channing Tatum who became a big star with teen girls thanks to the first film, is not starring this time. Disney is trying a theatrical approach and is using today’s hottest urban music to keep the franchise relevant and hip. Ethnic youth may contribute some solid numbers. Step Up 2 The Streets will break into 2,470 locations and may gross around $15M over the Friday-to-Monday period and $18M over five days.
Step Up 2 the Streets
Van Wilder himself Ryan Reynolds stars with a little miss full of sunshine Abigail Breslin in the new dramedy Definitely, Maybe which will target female audiences over the long weekend. The PG-13 film finds the actors playing a father-daughter pair examining the dad’s love options with various women. Universal’s Valentine’s Day offering lacks the starpower to become a big hit and competition will be quite tough given all the other options already out there for adult women. Reynolds is more known for male-skewing comedies so selling him in a chick flick could be a stretch. Debuting in 2,203 theaters, Definitely, Maybe might take in about $8M over four days and $10M over five days.
Abigail Breslin and Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, Maybe
Last weekend’s top choice Fool’s Gold should see a sizable drop thanks to not-so-great word-of-mouth and ample competition from new releases. But the holiday frame will help cushion the blow. Look for the four-day tally to drop by about 30% from the three-day opening weekend figure to about $15M. That would give the Warner Bros. adventure flick $42M after 11 days.
Martin Lawrence‘s comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins could see a similar decline due to similar reasons. Both sophomore comedies have earned a troubling C+ average grade from over 1,000 users of Yahoo Movies. Universal’s family reunion pic may drop by 30% and grab about $11.5M over the Friday-to-Monday session boosting the 11-day total to $31M.
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus should continue dropping fast at the box office but with all the loot it has already taken in, future grosses are just Disney gravy. The 3D concert pic may tumble by 50% to roughly $5M across four days and lift the stellar cume to $60M. After the third week, the numbers should shrink as U23D expands into many of the same Hannah auditoriums on February 22.
LAST YEAR: The Presidents’ Day holiday weekend box office was on fire as five new releases injected a stunning $122M in business into the marketplace over the four-day span. Nicolas Cage led the way with the comic book flick Ghost Rider which bowed to $52M over the long weekend for Sony on its way to $115.8M. Disney posted muscular results in second with its new fantasy pic Bridge to Terabithia which opened to $28.5M over the Friday-to-Monday session leading to a $82.3M final. Eddie Murphy‘s comedy Norbit dropped from first to third with $19.9M. Debuting behind it were the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics with $15.9M and the Tyler Perry pic Daddy’s Little Girls with $13.1M. Final grosses reached $50.6M and $31.4M, respectively. Bowing in sixth was the thriller Breach with $12.3M on its way to $33.2M.
The masses have spoken, and according to Meet the Spartans‘ grosses, they apparently want more spoof movies — something Bo Zenga is ready and willing to provide.
Variety reports that Zenga — who wrote Soul Plane, appeared as “EMT” in 1994’s Cagney & Lacey reunion movie, and acted as a producer on Scary Movie — has set up a new film, to be titled Stan Helsing, at Stone Village Pictures. Zenga will write and direct the project, which Variety sums up below:
Action takes place on Halloween night, when a videostore clerk, Stan Helsing, must reluctantly save a town from the six most-feared monsters in cinematic history.
Zenga, who most recently served as a producer of 2006’s Turistas, tells Variety:
“‘Stan Helsing’ spoofs the six biggest movie monster franchises of all time, which collectively have grossed over $1 billion worldwide. We expect to take a healthy bite of that number.”
He could just be playing hardball with the studio, of course, but we prefer to take Sly at his word, and here’s what he told The Guardian:
“This is the last Rambo just as Rocky Balboa is the last Rocky. I can’t go any further. It was a miracle that it even got done.”
The fourth Rambo debuted last weekend to a surprising second-place finish behind Meet the Spartans. Not the most dignified way for the character to go out, but hey — you can certainly do worse than a 35 percent Tomatometer and #2 at the box office, and maybe Stallone doesn’t want to find that out the hard way.
After being bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly, high school loser Rick Riker develop superhuman abilities like incredible strength and armored skin. Rick decides to use his new powers for good and becomes a costumed crime fighter known as “The Dragonfly.” However, standing in the way of his destiny is the villainous Lou Landers. After an experiment gone wrong, Lou develops the power to steal a person’s life force and in a dastardly quest for immortality becomes the supervillain, “The Hourglass.” With unimaginable strength, unbelievable speed and deeply uncomfortable tights, will the Dragonfly be able to stop the sands of The Hourglass and save the world? More importantly, will we stop laughing long enough to notice?
Our initial answer to that last question is “yes, probably,” but you know what? As trailers for spoof films go, this one isn’t so bad. Of course, you can never go too far wrong with a scene involving Leslie Nielsen and a nailgun, but still. Watch the clip below!
While Brady and Manning duke it out in Phoenix, the $15 movie ticket aims to conquer the multiplexes over Super Bowl weekend. That’s the admission price that theaters are charging moviegoers that line up for Disney’s Hannah Montana concert film which opens Friday on a wave of fan frenzy that has given the hot pic event-film status with young girls everywhere. But other ladies that got their big break from a television series will enter the weekend race at the North American box office too. Jessica Alba stars in the supernatural thriller The Eye while Eva Longoria Parker headlines the comedy Over Her Dead Body. Guys will be tossed their own entry in the form of the nature comedy Strange Wilderness. Disney and Lionsgate will be the studios competing for the box office trophy as Sony’s seven-year streak of ruling Super Bowl weekend will come to an end.
Tween girls who couldn’t get their parents to shell out a grand for a scalped ticket for Hannah Montana’s live concerts can now cough up a Hamilton and a Lincoln and see the big show at their local multiplex. Disney goes 3D for its special one-week-only engagement of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert which aims to capitalize on the immense fan base for the Disney Channel superstar. The G-rated musicfest will play mostly to girls but should lure in nearly 100% of its target demographic with what has become a major event film for lovers of all things Hannah. With a trim 74-minute running time, theaters will be able to squeeze in six showtimes per day to maximize their revenue. School teachers nationwide may have to brace for record high absenteeism on Friday.
The Hannah Montana phenomenon has become a cash cow for the studio. Thanks to last year’s live concerts which sold out within minutes, fans have wasted no time in pre-buying their movie tickets for Best which has been a top seller all through December and January. Fandango.com reported on Wednesday that the film accounted for a whopping 91% of all tickets purchased with over 1,000 showtimes already sold out coast to coast. Rival MovieTickets.com stated that Best has already joined its all-time top ten list of pre-sales ranking alongside tentpole sequels from franchises such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Helping Montana-mania at the box office will be those increased $15 ticket prices which will allow the overall grosses to swell.
Best of Both Worlds could very well be one of those box office surprises that exceeds all expectations thanks to intense demand plus brilliant marketing and distribution. This could be a Borat-type weekend when the film with the fewest theaters actually beats out all of its competitors for the top spot. In fact the numbers could climb really high if parents join their daughters for the show, or if repeat business kicks in with fans seeing the film multiple times since it will only be on the big screen for seven days. The Super Bowl should not be much of a distraction since young females are typically the quadrant least interested in the big game. Hitting the stage in 683 movie theaters with digital 3D facilities, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert could open to about $17M this weekend.
That Hannah Montana movie.
Jessica Alba won’t be singing on any stage but the pregnant actress will hit the big screen for the fourth time in eight months with Lionsgate’s new supernatural thriller The Eye. A Hollywood remake of the hit Hong Kong horror flick about a blind woman who sees frightening visions after an eye transplant, the PG-13 film should play to genre fans everywhere over a weekend that welcomes scary movies. Openings for recent fright flicks over Super Bowl weekend include $14.7M for last year’s The Messengers, $21.6M for 2006’s When A Stranger Calls, and $19M for Boogeyman in 2005. All were Sony releases. All opened at number one. That studio’s Screen Gems unit and Lionsgate are the two industry leaders when it comes to mining riches from horror films.
Although there are no other major horror flicks out there, The Eye will still face formidable competition. Hannah Montana is a very different type of film, but it will take some teen girls out of the picture. Young males also have plenty of other choices out there. But Alba is a decent box office draw despite the weak launch of her last thriller Awake which debuted to only $5.9M. The Eye is in a much better position to find success, though. A scary trailer, a creepy one-sheet, a commercially-friendly rating, and a popular star in the lead all will contribute to a solid debut. The Eye opens in 2,436 locations on Friday and could scare up roughly $14M over three days.
Jessica Alba and friend in The Eye.
Eva Longoria Parker headlines her first feature film with Over Her Dead Body which will target women too old to enjoy a Miley Cyrus concert. The PG-13 pic finds the Desperate Housewives actress playing a ghost who haunts a psychic that is falling for her ex-fiance. Paul Rudd and Jason Biggs co-star in the New Line release. Body should skew heavily female and Parker has the potential to one day become a box office draw. But this may not be the vehicle to spark that change. The concept is not very intriguing and mixed reviews will probably keep it from finding a large paying audience. Plus fellow ABC heavyweight Katherine Heigl already has a lock on women with 27 Dresses which has been well received. Opening in 1,977 theaters, Over Her Dead Body could debut to around $6M.
Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd and Lake Bell in Over Her Dead Body.
Paramount targets young men with its new comedy Strange Wilderness which stars Steve Zahn, Justin Long, and Superbad‘s Jonah Hill. The R-rated film will face many tough challenges in the marketplace such as competition from the Super Bowl and the restrictive rating that will affect much of the core audience’s ability to buy tickets. Zahn is no marquee name and is not a reliable anchor for a mainstream comedy. And despite hefty declines, films like Meet the Spartans, Rambo, and Cloverfield will steal away over $20M in combined business from the exact audience Wilderness is trying to reach. Overall interest is not very high so a launch in 1,208 theaters should lead to an opening weekend of around $3M for Strange Wilderness.
Steve Zahn and friend in Strange Wilderness.
Last weekend’s front-loaded boy flicks will get shoved aside this time by the girls. After opening at number one, the spoof comedy Meet the Spartans should see a hefty drop thanks to football fever, competition from new releases, and an upfront bow that attracted most fans last weekend. A year ago, Epic Movie fell by 55% in its sophomore session and a similar decline is in store for Spartans. Look for a $8M frame and a ten-day cume of $29M for Fox.
Sylvester Stallone settled for the vice president’s job on last weekend’s chart with Rambo and with most fans charging theaters in the beginning, not much of an audience will be left. Plus the Lionsgate film lacks the positive vibe that the actor/filmmaker saw with Rocky Balboa last winter. A 55% fall would give Rambo roughly $8M and a sum of $31M after ten days.
Fox could enjoy a solid third frame with its chick flick 27 Dresses which has been holding up well since its strong opening. A 40% decline to $8.5M would give the Heigl hit $57M after 17 days. Diane Lane also could see a reasonably good hold for her crime thriller Untraceable which may drop 40% to $7M for a ten-day tally of $20M. The monster flick Cloverfield fell hard in its second weekend and another sizable drop of 55% could give Paramount $5.5M and a 17-day total of $73M.
LAST YEAR: Super Bowl weekend saw teen girls edge past their moms at the box office as the thriller The Messengers bowed at number one with $14.7M beating out the $13.1M debut of the Diane Keaton pic Because I Said So. Final grosses reached $35.4M for the Sony spookfest and $42.7M for Universal’s star-driven comedy. Holdovers rounded out the top five. Epic Movie dropped from the top spot to third with $8.4M, the hit comedy Night at the Museum followed in fourth with $6.4M, and Smokin’ Aces placed fifth with $6.1M.
Okay, so maybe Rambo had its opening weekend coming-out party ruined by an embarrassing second-place finish behind Meet the Spartans. You think that means another sequel is out of the question?
According to Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily, Harvey Weinstein is already making lemonade out of Rambo‘s $18.1 million gross, saying he expects the film to wind up raking in $150 million worldwide when all is said and done. Weinstein (or, as Finke refers to him, “Harv”) is already talking plot for the next sequel, saying he’s interested in “bringing the character back to the United States.”
Of course, as Finke is quick to point out, The Weinstein Company is only a co-distributor on the franchise at this point, and a sequel would “not benefit [TWC] one bit.” (It’s worth noting that the Weinsteins actually passed on Sylvester Stallone‘s idea for the current sequel.) So why is Weinstein so excited about another Rambo? Maybe it all boils down to the fact that, as he told Finke, “I like the idea of an older guy kicking ass.”
Moviegoers chose an army of spoof comedians over an aging one-man killing
machine as Meet the Spartans
outgunned Sylvester Stallone‘s Rambo
to claim the number one spot in a close race at the North American box office.
Both new releases walked away with solid performances and should become
moneymakers. Ticket buyers also flocked to see the Academy Award nominees for
Best Picture with four of the five contenders posting sales increases. Many box
office milestones were also reached as Juno
surpassed $100M, Alvin and the Chipmunks
and National Treasure: Book of Secrets
both cracked the $200M mark, and I Am Legend
vaulted past the $250M barrier. Overall, the box office remained healthy and
showed incredible depth as for the first time ever in the month of January,
seven different movies topped $10M in weekend grosses.
Teens and young adults wanted laughs and they got them from Fox’s latest spoof
comedy Meet the Spartans
which won a slim victory with an estimated $18.7M in its opening weekend. The
PG-13 pic averaged a muscular $7,188 from 2,605 sites and debuted on par with
the studio’s other early-year spoof hits Epic Movie
which bowed on top to $18.6M a year ago this week and Date Movie
which enjoyed a second-place launch in February 2006 with $19.1M. All three
films came from Hollywood’s current spoof kings Jason
Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
Spartans used the same formula of sending up recent blockbuster hits and
pop culture favorites and young people showed up showing no signs of getting
sick of the genre. The $18M production featured no A-list stars and instead
relied on recognizable faces like muscle man Kevin Sorbo,
hip hop star Method Man,
Carmen Electra, and Borat‘s Ken Davitian. Date and Epic reached $48.5M and $39.7M respectively so Fox looks
to have another profitable venture on its hands.
lost out on bragging rights at the box office this weekend, but his new action
still performed well opening to an estimated $18.2M. Produced by Lionsgate and
The Weinstein Company, the R-rated shoot-em-up vehicle averaged an impressive
$6,598 per location. It was the first adventure for the character in nearly two
decades following long after 1988’s Rambo III. The first three films helped to
define the action genre in the 1980s grossing a combined $610M worldwide. As
expected, Rambo skewed heavily male with 67% of the audience being men,
according to studio research. The age breakdown was evenly split between those
over and under the age of 25. Although Rambo settled for the runnerup
spot domestically, it should become a much bigger hit overseas than Spartans.
romantic comedy 27 Dresses
held up well in its second weekend grossing an estimated $13.6M for a moderate
drop of 41%. Fox has collected an impressive $45.3M in the first ten days and
could be headed for a $80M finish. Dresses cost $30M to produce.
Not as lucky in its sophomore frame was last weekend’s top film Cloverfield which tumbled 68% to an estimated $12.7M taking fourth place. The $25M
sci-fi actioner has grossed a solid $64.3M in ten days and should end its run
with roughly $85M for Paramount.
new crime thriller Untraceable
enjoyed a respectable opening in fifth place with an estimated $11.2M from 2,368
theaters for a solid $4,730 average. The R-rated pic about an internet killer
played to young adults with 59% of the audience falling within the 18-34 age
range, according to studio research. Sony’s latest release was budgeted in the
$30M range and played evenly to men and women with females making up 51%.
Fox Searchlight’s hit comedy Juno
became the company’s first ever $100M blockbuster over the weekend as its four
Academy Award nominations helped to keep the quirky film strong. The pregnancy
pic lost 108 theaters but saw its gross inch up 4% to an estimated $10.3M
boosting the cume to $100.2M. Oscar buzz has given this year’s top-grossing Best
Picture nominee renewed interest in the marketplace. Produced for less than
$10M, Juno should now find its way to more than $125M domestically.
Armed with eight Academy Award nominations, Paramount Vantage expanded its
oilman saga There Will Be
Blood by more than doubling its run and jumped up to the number
eight spot with an estimated $4.9M. The Daniel
Day-Lewis starrer averaged a solid $5,522 from 885 locations after widening
from 389 sites last week. Cume is now $14.8M. The specialty distributor is using
a strategy similar to the one employed by Warner Bros. three years ago for Million Dollar
Baby by slowly building buzz in late December and January before expanding
nationally on the weekend after the Oscar nominations are announced. The wait
allows a hard-to-sell pic to gather enough kudos to validate it before making a
big push with the paying public. Blood will expand again on Friday
reaching 1,350 to 1,500 total sites and hopes to keep the black gold coming in
week after week.
Rounding out the top ten were National Treasure: Book of Secrets
with an estimated $4.7M, off 38%, and Mad Money
with an estimated $4.6M, down 40%. Disney’s adventure sequel lifted its total to
$205.4M while the heist comedy from Overture hit $15.3M after ten days. Money
should finish off with about $25M.
Debuting quietly outside of the top ten was the stepdancing drama How She Move
which bowed to an estimated $4.2M from 1,531 sites for a weak $2,716 average.
Paramount Vantage attracted an urban audience of young females for the PG-13
film which was acquired at last year’s Sundance Film Festival for $3M.
The concert film U23D,
which had its premiere at this year’s Sundance, rocked the box office opening in
only 61 theaters to the tune of $946,000, according to estimates, for a powerful
$15,508 average. Released by National Geographic, the G-rated Imax pic was shot
in Mexico City and Buenos Aires on the band’s lucrative Vertigo tour.
Four films including a pair of megablockbusters fell from the top ten this
weekend. Fox’s runaway smash Alvin and the Chipmunks
eased just 35% to an estimated $4.6M in its seventh frame and boosted its
amazing cume to $204.2M. The family comedy has performed well above expectations
over the holiday season and beyond and smashed through the $200M mark on Friday,
its 43rd day of release. Budgeted at under $70M, Alvin should conclude
its domestic run with $215-220M.
Fellow December 14th opener I Am Legend
hit a milestone of its own this weekend shattering the quarter-billion domestic
mark. Will Smith‘s
gargantuan hit grossed an estimated $2.2M, down 55%, for a total to date of
$251.7M. The sci-fi thriller surpassed 1997’s Men in Black to
become the actor’s second highest grossing film ever trailing the $306.2M of
Independence Day. MIB still sold more tickets since its $250.1M gross
a decade ago would amount to $370M+ at today’s prices. Look for Legend to
reach around $255M from North America and over $600M worldwide.
Another rapper-turned-actor, Ice Cube,
saw his latest entry First Sunday
tumble 58% to an estimated $3.3M in its third outing. The $20M Sony comedy has
made off with $34.5M in 17 days and should end up in the vicinity of $40M. Best
Picture nominee Atonement
added screens but slipped 14% to an estimated $4M for a $37.9M sum. It was the
only film up for Oscar’s top prize to see sales decline from last weekend. Focus
should, however, continue to see respectable numbers in the weeks ahead as the
title remains a contender.
Other Academy Award-nominated films in the Best Picture race expanded too and
captured a little more business. Miramax’s No Country For
Old Men, which won top honors on Saturday from the DGA for directors Joel and Ethan Coen,
grossed an estimated $2.5M from 1,107 locations for a $2,261 average in its 12th
frame. Warner Bros. put the George Clooney legal drama Michael Clayton
back into wide release but collected just $2.1M, according to estimates, from
1,102 playdates for a mild $1,869 average in its 17th weekend. Totals now stand
at $52M and $41.5M, respectively. Major Oscar nods can lead to extra box office
revenue for films that did not reach their full potential the first time around,
however there are added marketing and distribution costs associated with these
The top ten films grossed an estimated $109M which was up a remarkable 33% from
last year when Epic Movie opened at number one with $18.6M; and up 17%
from 2006 when
Big Momma’s House 2 debuted in the top spot with $27.7M.