This weekend dragons scorched the earth, Alice fell even further down that money-lined rabbit hole, and a '10s comedy about the '80s did some pretty rad business.
1) How to Train Your Dragon — $43.3M
A computer-animated movie that's running on 3D IMAX did well in its first weekend. This is not a shocker. Nothing about this movie is terribly surprising. Though my question is this: Is there some kind of double meaning to that title? You know... like... training your dragon. Is the movie about sexual responsibility, is what I'm asking. Is there a 3D IMAX animated movie out there right now about, like, keeping it in your pants or not pressuring people into sex or something? That would be very hilarious if that was the case. I'm sure it's not the case, but I still wonder.
2) Alice in Wonderland — $17.3M
Last week I wondered why this movie, which is doing so well (about to hit the $300M mark), has absolutely no buzz surrounding it. No one talks about it! You know what else no one talks about? Mia Wasikowska. Maybe it's because her name is weird? Whatever the reason, the girl who plays Alice in the movie that is making all the money should be talked about like some kind of big-time movie star, right? Except she's not. I don't even know who I'm talking about. Who is Mia Wasikowska? Why am I talking about her? Is she in some kind of movie or something? She's one of the Idols. Is that it? She's one of the music Idols from the television. It's Crystal Bowersox, Tim Urban, and Mia Wasikowska. That's who she is. Sorry guys. Never mind.
3) Hot Tub Time Machine — $13.6M
A fairly good number for a movie about a decade that people who are juniors in college were not born in. Along those lines, I'm curious about when '90s nostalgia things are going to start happening. That totally geigh movie Definitely Maybe, with Ryan Reynolds doing his annoying serious shtick (does he have a non-annoying shtick?), sort of had a bit of '90s stuff in it with the whole Clinton election plotline, but there weren't jokes at the expense of the decade. I want to see the movie about raver pants and Hello Kitty and those horrid bowl/mushroom haircuts and wallet chains and the Rachel and all that beautiful stuff. Basically I want to watch Go again. Anyone have that on videotape?
4) The Bounty Hunter — $12.4M
Aha! This little arthouse indie held on surprisingly well in week two. Though its complex themes and spare, starkly realist acting style probably threw most of flyover country for a loop, coastal intellectuals and academics seem to really have gotten behind this little film that could. While probably not likely to earn attention once Oscar season rolls around (though look for a modest campaign push behind Gerard Butler's lyrical performance), the film ought to become a staple of film classes and independent cinema revivals for many years to come. An older generation had their Badlands, and we have our Bounty Hunter.
11) Avatar — $2M
Well, it finally fell out of the Top 10. It's about time. After fifteen weeks on the boards and $740 million in receipts, she's had about as good a run as a movie can hope to have. Who's still buying the two million dollars with of tickets? Oh, you know, stragglers. People who just woke up from comas. Astronauts. Those kinds of folks. But mostly nerds. Little ever-shrinking bands of nerdy boys who are finally going to learn Na'vi just in time for no one to care. Who should all really be wearing deodorant now that they're in high school, but they still won't. Whose sarcastic chatter always falls to a perfect silence whenever the lithe blue Zoe Saldana monster lopes onto the screen. Who will remember this winter and spring, those months in 2010, only as a time when they did a lot of the same thing, over and over again. And who will see this movie on the TV in twenty years and will pause for a second and sigh a little and will wonder when someone's going to make a nostalgia movie about all the wacky things we used to do way back in 2010.