A teen reigns at the box office once again, this time though, it's a boy! Plus politics and newspapers don't resound too much with audiences, nor do dark Taxi Driver-esque mall comedies.
1) 17 Again — $24.1 million
Oh man does everyone love Zac Efron. Not only did the gooey film about Chandler from Friends turning back the clock and becoming basketball star Troy Bolton handily win the top box office spot this beautiful spring weekend, but it earned a very good A- CinemaScore from the giddy exiting audience. Excited fans ranged from nine-year-old Vanessa Montez who squealed "I haven't pooped my pants that many times since Delgo!" to forty-two-year-old Dwayne Abernathy who quietly mumbled "it was worth breaking parole for, though it was hard finding a theater seat that was 1,100 feet from any of the children." He fiddled with a crumpled newspaper that he held over his crotch and then walked off toward where he'd parked his bicycle, which had been, unbeknownst to him, mangled and stolen by some local teenagers. Though, Dwayne isn't mad at them. He can't stay mad at them.
2) State of Play — $14.1 million
No one really wants to see adult drama/thrillers anymore. Even if they feature a long-haired Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren sitting sternly behind a desk. But the newspapermen as heroes pic wasn't a disaster by any means, it just wasn't as big a debut as some had hoped. Though it still beat Body of Lies, the other badly-titled Crowe picture that sputtered at the box office in the last six months. For her part Rachel McAdams just figures that if it does better than The Lucky Ones, then everything's all right with her.
4) Hannah Montana: The Movie — $12.7 million
Though losing two thirds of its opening weekend audience, this Oscar favorite is still trotting along quite nicely. Those eager to see the long, awkward father-daughter bolero dance that was rumored to be featured after the end credits were at first disappointed, then elated, then needed to go home when they discovered that waiting for them at the end was, instead, a video of swoony costar Lucas Till doing the choreography from the recent Xanadu musical's finale. An exiting audience member, 42-year-old "Jwayne Dabernathy", was quoted as saying "I haven't pooped my pants that many times since Kitt Kitredge."
5) Crank: High Voltage — $6.5 million
A small mess for Jason Statham, who has scared up surprisingly high box office with his Transporter movies and the original Crank. But this one failed to connect with audiences, who had bigger and better movies to see this weekend. Most of the tickets were purchased by confused meth heads, who wandered over to the cineplex like zombies in Dawn of the Dead, hoping to taste a powerful new batch. One tweeker was heard muttering that he "shit" on "my parole," before he staggered aimlessly into Monsters vs. Aliens and began uncontrollably weeping.
6) Observe & Report — $4.1 million
I think this can now be called a definitive box office failure. The Seth Rogen comedy—he's supposed to be the biggest laff-riot in the world right now!—has only raked in a little pile of leaves worth $18 million in its first two weeks out. Though this might also say something about the dark overtones of the film, what with the date rape controversy and the scary Ray Liotta factor. If only they'd had Zac Efron play a chipper, charming Foot Locker employee or Miley Cyrus and her cowboy boyfriend play a couple getting Glamor Shots together. Then people would have come (and, for some, come) in droves.