Monday Morning Box Office: Disaster Movies

Disclosure: As charter members of the vast media conspiracy bent on portraying international superstar Tom Cruise in a negative light, all figures from the weekend box office numbers may be presented in a way that unfairly advances our dark agenda. Proceed with caution.

1. Mission: Impossible III—$24.5 million
Bolstered by a second consecutive weekend on top (though one that's still about 50 percent lower than last weekend's unimpressive number), official Paramount box office apologist Rob Moore told the AP, "It's not a bad start." Hardly poetry, but he was undoubtedly distracted by daydreaming about the sweet moment when their movie finally limps across the $100 million mark, and it's time again for Paramount to take out a cheery, full-page ad (screw it, let's do a two-page spread and give those eight zeroes room to breathe) in Variety publicly thanking Cruise for not making his incredibly expensive, disappointing™ movies with another studio.

2. Poseidon—$20.3 million
It takes a special kind of bomb to allow M:i:III to remain on top for a second weekend, one so profound that it leaves flustered executives scrambling for something, anything to cling to in their moment of desperation. Box Office Mojo quotes Warner Bros. president of distribution Dan Fellman doggy-paddling for the lifeboat of meaning floating amidst the wreckage of Poseidon's disastrous debut: "We did outperform the tracking. But it's too early to assess the financial viability of the movie at this moment. I think cruising is an international activity, and [director] Wolfgang Petersen has had great success overseas...We're going to wait it out." If cruising enthusiasts don't show up at the international box office, all is not lost; non-seafaring shuffleboard fans could still turn out in impressive numbers, or, failing that, the studio could make a last ditch appeal to tidal wave geeks.

3. RV—$9.5 million
Robin Williams' return to the big screen makes us long for a simpler, more innocent time, when the most outrageous things our movie stars did were appearing on Carson coked out of their minds and marrying their nannies.

4. Just My Luck—$5.5 million
This is how big a flop Poseidon was: We don't even have the strength to talk about how badly Lindsay Lohan's movie performed. Damn you, Poseidon, damn you to hell.

5. An American Haunting—$3.7 million
We're confident that when An American Haunting slips out of the top five, it will be quickly replaced by some other horror movie we have no interest in seeing.