Beyoncé has stomped over the land and pillaged and burned, and we are all beholden to her now. Not even Iron Man and a singing, dancing teenager can stop her. We wish you good luck.
1) Obsessed — $28.5 million
Man this lady can do it all! Beyoncé, former Destiny's Child frontwoman, current bejangled pop music dancer, is now a bonafide movie actress. Sure she got good notices for Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records, but now she's got a box office hit, the credit for which falls almost entirely on her shoulders. I'm sure there are some devoted Idris Elba and Ali Larter (shudder) fans out there, and some weirdos have also been known to enjoy watching pretty ladies beat the shit out of each other (see: Anne Archer nominated for an Oscar for shooting Glenn Close), but mostly, we're betting, people responded to Beyoncé's press blitzkrieg. So I guess we can expect another thriller/actioner or two and then the harder-to-sell romantic comedy and then eventually she'll be squeaking around in a wheelchair, stricken with a palsy, as the year's previous winner, Anne Hathaway, introduces clips of the nominees.
2) 17 Again — $11.7 million
Proving to be a cultural phenomenon on a slightly smaller scale is young Zithery Efrinkle, whose comedy dropped a decent 51% in its second week. Expect another comedy or soft-touched dramedy or two before he picks up a pistol and tries to go gangster, a modern-day Baby Face Nelson, to follow that up with Gone to Cede, about a struggling, troubled Iraq war vet and the Oscar goes to, aw nuts, Ben Foster for Warhol.
3) Fighting — $11.4 million
The surprisingly decently-reviewed B-movie pulled out some pretty decent numbers, though they could have been higher if its title had been a little more straightforward. Channing Tatum is gaining more momentum in the buildup to his big starring bow in this summer's G.I. Joe: Half the Battle, about a bunch of guys in strange military outfits reading quietly in the library. It's also good news for whoever designed the laughably serious posters that have been plastered up all over town, because if the movie had flopped they'd look even sillier.
4) The Soloist — $9.7 million
This is a disappointment for Jamie Foxx, who once differently-abledly mugged his way to an Oscar, and now couldn't even crack the top three. It's also shitty for Robert Downey Jr. who has been riding a wave of goodwill and success since Iron Man came out and was good and stuff. Maybe director Joe Wright just doesn't understand swoony Americans the way he understands swoony Brits. Or maybe the studio moved the pic from its heady awards-season slot back in the wintertime to the doldrums of pre-Memorial Day because Beyoncé declared that she wanted to beat Jamie Foxx at the box office on one of his opening weekends, and you do not say no to Beyoncé, because at this point she can, and will, invade and occupy your house with impunity.
5) Earth — $8.6 million
Did you see on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday when Howard Dean was talking about the glaciers in the Himalayas melting and that in 15 years one billion people in Asia will be experiencing a massive water shortage? Again, in just fifteen years? Yeah, well. No one cares about the Earth. Help us, Beyoncé! You're our only hope. (Actually, that's not entirely true, this is the second-highest documentary debut ever, hopefully encourage the fledgling Disneynature to keep pretending that they care about the environment by repackaging BBC specials.)