This weekend saw disappointing figures for two new movies, meaning that fourquels and movies based on 60-second SNL skits might have a hard time getting made for the next... oh, year or so. After that, we're good to go again.
1) Shrek Forever After — $71.2m
Though the previous two Shrek sequels (Shrek 2: It's Shrek! and Shrek 3: The Search for Eddie Murphy's Boat) both earned over $100m their first weekends, here comes the fourth movie sputtering about thirty million behind. What happened? Was it just franchise fatigue? What does this say, then, for the planned Pirates of the Caribbean fourquel? The questions about this "failure" are myriad, though none more troubling than this: What's going to happen to Mike Myers now? He's really been leaning on these movies for basically a decade. I mean don't feel too bad for him, he's made millions off these movies, but at the same time one of the trivia facts on his IMDB profile is "Frequently appears wearing his underpants in films." That shit goes on your tombstone. He can't lose the Shrek movies now! He needs them.
2) Iron Man 2 — $26.6m
You know, I don't know anyone who's actually seen this thing. Or, I mean, I'm sure I do, but they haven't talked to me about it. Nobody is talking about this movie. Who's talking about this movie? Are you? Are you a 12-year-old who liked the thing with the thing when the thing exploded? Or the electrowhips and the car cut in half? Oh there's something I've been wondering about. You're writing the sequel to one of the most most beloved big-ticket pictures in the past decade, and the villain you choose for the movie is... the Russian guy with magic electrowhips? And his name, because of his whips, is Whiplash? I really hope they play "Whip It" in the movie and maybe Ellen Page skates by. Or Ivan Drago or whatever his real name is is sitting in a diner and the waitress is like "Here ya go, hun" and gives him pie and he grabs her arm creepily and says "Wait. I need cream. Whipped cream." I would ask someone if that actually does happen but, again, I don't know anyone who's seen the damn thing!
3) Robin Hood — $18.7m
I miss Kevin Costner. That's all. Or maybe I just miss the days when Kevin Costner reigned. Simpler times.
4) Letters to Juliet — $9.1m
Though last week's opening was a little disappointing, this little jewelbox travelogue film dropped a scant 30% in its second weekend, meaning it might have some word-of-mouth legs poking out from under that gauzy Tuscan summer dress. Which could mean that Amanda Seyfried is continuing on her way to become a bigtime movie star. She might have to kill Katherine Heigl. I know they're not the same age range or even demographic, but still. Only so many women can rise out of the TV ghetto to become bigtime marketable Movie Stars at any given time, and I'm afraid they might be vying for the same spot. So, ladies. Pistols at dawn? Sabers at dusk? A long and drawn out series of poisoning attempts resulting in the death of countless servants and handmaidens? It's really up to you. Though I have to reveal my bias. I'm rooting for Seyfried.
6) MacGruber — $4.1m
Wow, this movie really performed well below industry expec—BOOM! And it only got a C- in audience polling so it won't even have word-of-mo—BOOM! Why did this happen, I mean all these people kept saying how funny it was and it tested well at SXS—BOOM! What does this mean for Will Forte's movie care—BOOM! Hm. Maybe "boom" isn't the right word to be using here.