This weekend Alice beat Matt who beat Jay, but barely. Jay beat James but only because James is old. Marty and Leo keep beating each other. Yes, in that way.
1) Alice in Wonderland — $62M
People really want to see this movie. That's all we can really take away from this. Entertainment Weekly told us this morning that 13% of the film's grosses are from IMAX, which is a decent chunk, but not enough for people to really blame its high numbers on crazy IMAX ticket prices. Plain and simple, folks are just wanting to see this Alice movie. Why are we so surprised? Did we underestimate the Mia Wasikowska fanbase? Did Anne Hathaway bring all the boys to the yard? No, of course not. Mostly people just like to look at cool shit doing cool shit. That crazy topsy-turvy thing is now doing a crazy topsy-turvy thing. This is what people like. Take heed, Whit Stillman.
2) Green Zone — $14.5M
Yikes. This movie stars Matt Damon, was directed by the Bourne guy, and cost $100m to make. And yet, is bomb. A movie about bombs (well, sort of about bombs, not like Hurt Locker about bombs, but about bombs) bombed. What does this teach us? Should Paul Greengrass have hired Mia Wasikowska? Probably. But really this is just another chapter in the long narrative that pop thinkers are crafting about how America Doesn't Want Iraq Movies. It's sort of true! Remember In the Valley of Elah? Despite its cumbersome title, that was a fine little film with good acting and all that. And yet, nobody saw it. This year's Best Picture Academy Oscar™ winner, The Hoit Lockah, was all about the Iraq and yet it's only grossed $16m so far at the ol' box office. People don't want to be faced with real trouble. People don't want to be made to think about real trouble. They'd rather have Alice doing group things with Johnny Depp and his band of merry drunks than watch Matt Damon skulk around Baghdad, whispering things into an earpiece. So much for grownups.
3) She's Out of My League — $9.6M
Remember Undeclared? What a great show. So funny, so heartfelt, but not in an obnoxious way. And its star, Jay Baruchel, was just the cutest little squiggle of a person, wasn't he? All teeth and wild hair. Well now it's nine years later and little Canadian Beaker is all grown up and starring in movies like this one, bargain
root cellar Jurdd Apatown (Slovenian Judd Apatow) movies about Geeks and Hotties and how Geeks and Hotties are real classifications of people, not just thin archetypes drawn up by movie comedians about six years ago. Sigh. That's what he's doing now, all these years —nine!— later. Time heals all wounds, but also makes new ones. Undeclared: if you haven't seen it, Netflix that business. It's good.
4) Remember Me — $8.3M
No one will remember you, movie! Ha ha! You will not be remembered. Summit Entertainment, the new-ish studio that produces Twilight and purchased Robert Pattinson from the back of a gypsy caravan some years ago, didn't spent a mint on making this picture, so they should be happy with this number. But any hopes that Bobby Patentleather could bring goils in droves to non-Shimmervamp movies are perhaps dashed by the film's fourth place bow. Or maybe teen goils just didn't want to go see a movie about Edward Cullen falling in love with a guy named Emile. Maybe teen goils hate freedom. Or maybe the Lean Olin Fan Club's bus broke down on the way to the theater, so they couldn't go see the movie, and that's why grosses were lower than they could have been. Maybe it's not the vampyr's fault at all! Maybe it was just a shitty movie and Lena Olin's dedicated fans were stuck standing by the side of the road, reciting lines from Polish Wedding and eating Swedish meatballs.
26) The Twilight Saga: New Moon — $115,000
See, the Sparkle still shines! This flick came out seventeen weeks ago, and is still raking in small mounds of money. Where are the 195 theaters that this is playing? Who is seeing it still? Are there small groups of girls, close friends, thick as thieves, who are sitting at Jill's house bored one rainy Saturday, trying to figure out what to do, and after a long while of clocks ticking and someone weakly humming "One Time" for a bar or two, Riley or Madison or some other bullshit name says "Wanna just go see Twilight again?" And everyone shrugs their shoulders and is like, OK sure, and Jill's mom drives them down to the local multiplex and shakes her head and says "You girls and this movie," and Macy gets popcorn even though everyone else is trying to be skinny because she always gets popcorn, will always get popcorn, and they all sit in the dark of the theater, reciting the lines quietly to themselves, and this is many afternoons for all of them, and they all always end the same.