This movie-going weekend, lots of people wanted to see the gods killing each other. And others wanted to see married couples trying to kill each other. And of course there were the Miley Cyrus lookie loos, who are creepy.
1) Clash of the Titans — $61.4M
The kraken has been released! Etc., etc. That's likely the joke that will be made about the film's boffo success over the weekend. But why must it always be the kraken analogy? Why can't we say "proud Artemis has sent a silvery arrow into the heart of her competition"? Why can't Hermes have "run an able footrace across the megaplex sky, swiftly delivering a message of wealth and prosperity"? Why can't noble, humble Hestia have..., uh "tended the hearth... of movies... well"? The point is there are other ancient Greek things! Not just the kraken. I'm not even sure the kraken is really even in seriously old-timey Greek myths. I think it might be made up for the movie. Can't crippled Hephaestus have "clanked mightily over the box office competition with the aid of his homemade robots"? I like that metaphor the best, maybe.
2) Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? — $30M
So in the first one did only one person ask "Why did I get married?" and now in this one another character from the first one is like, "Yeah, why did I get married too?" But in a weird way that implies that maybe only one marriage should have been. Like, "Why did I get married too? I should have stayed single and you could have just been the married one." Is that what the movie's about? Friends concerned with married/single balance in their group? Whatever it is, Mr. Perry continues his streak of successes, this being his second-highest opening weekend ever (the first highest was for Madea Goes to Jail). Anybody see it? Do they ever decide which friend should be married? I bet it's Jill Scott. Is it Jill Scott?
3) How to Train Your Dragon — $29.2M
Some folks were disappointed with last week's opening for this DreamWorks extravaganza, but it only dropped a scant 33% in its second weekend, so it might have longer legs than everyone thought. So that dragon has not been trained. That dragon is still wild and spitting... fire. Watch out, ladies. The dragon is going to get you. Roarrr! Oh. Oh wait. The dragon is going over to the kraken, which was also just released. And... oh my. The dragon and the kraken seem to be... Yep, they're... Yeah. That's how it's going to be. Sorry, ladies. Not that kind of dragon, I guess. Better luck next time. Ohh. Aaaand they just released each other. OK.
4) The Last Song — $16.2M
This film actually opened up last Wednesday and has made a total of $25m, already surpassing its $20m budget. It's so nice to see an arty film like this with really indie, quirky actors in the leads do well. Experimental theater duo Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston — hot off their latest La Mama show Soup, Science, Syllogism — teamed up ably with celebrated young Brooklyn performance artist Miley Cyrus (Chord & Vein, at St. Ann's Warehouse) to create this filmic tone poem, based on the theoretical blank verse text by Nicholas Sparks. Joining the troupe was newcomer Liam Hemsworth, who made a name for himself in Sydney with his well-received one-man show Brother/Noise, about the pressures of being the less-sexy half of a sexy brother duo. I saw the film this weekend and while I didn't understand all of it, I think I got the central tropes and themes. It was about the gender politics of the Velvet Revolution as they relate to globalism and the Seattle riots, right? It was also about sweet, sweet summer love, I think.
6) Hot Tub Time Machine — $8M
So this movie hasn't done terribly by any stretch, but it's certainly not on track to become the sleeper hit of the spring or anything. It could be just that it's not that funny. But you know what I'm worried about? That it's because lots of young folks don't remember the '80s anymore. I don't really remember the '80s much, but I was alive during them at least. But if '80s nostalgia stops being what's funny and relevant, then '90s nostalgia begins, which means I'm old, which means nothing good. Did you see Miley Cyrus' show in Bushwick last year, Sixteen Is a Fire, about her struggles with entering late teendom? Really searing, interesting stuff. Really makes you think. She's a genius.