A dull Memorial Day weekend left two debuts struggling with, and ultimately losing to, a sophomore movie. That's not something that usually happens over the big moviegoing holidays, but it's 2010, and 2010 is a crazy year.
1) Shrek Forever After — $55.7m
Well, I'll be. The big green goo monster actually does have a little oomph left in him on the fourth go-around. We'd all written the movie off after a somewhat disappointing opening weekend, but here it is, winning the coveted Memorial Day four-day-weekend crown. Though, it was a pretty lackluster weekend for moviegoing, one of the worst in years, so don't go buying that diamond encrusted yacht just yet, Mike Myers. Or do. Whatever. You can probably afford it anyway. All that Wayne's Word 2 and 54 money. Just know that the Shrek donkey ride through Payday Kingdom is probably at its end. But don't worry, I've already started work on my animation screenplay Drek, about a Scottish vampire named Drekula. Vampires are huge these days! The always-dynamic Cameron Diaz can play the Mina Harker part. With Eddie Murphy as Renfield, obviously. And Antonio Banderas as... Van Helsing? Sure. So whaddaya say, Mikey? Are you in? All I need from you is a "Yes." And seventy million dollars. That's all!
2) Prince of Persia: Armed and Fabulous — $37.8m
Hm. For a movie that cost a sweet $200m to make, this is not a terribly auspicious debut. Especially for a four day holiday weekend. Disney's hopes for a sand-strewn new Pirates-type franchise are probably dashed. So what should they try next? They've done a theme park ride and a video game... What about an actual physical game? "Summer 2013, James McAvoy, Emma Watson, Aaron Johnson, and Geoffrey Rush [houses in the Cotswolds don't pay for themselves now do they?] are all trying to... Capture the Flag." Or, OK, same cast: "Summer 2013... Prepare... to have... your can... KICKED." The sad thing is, I would probably see the Capture the Flag movie.
3) Sex and the City 2: The Sands of Time — $37.1m
Uh oh! We've gone from feeling sassy to assy. Forget the "nik," we're wearing Manolo Blahs. Talk about getting fucked! And other such nonsense. While a third place finish is a little unfortunate for the ladies, they did do big business last Wednesday, bringing their cumulative box office total to some $56 million. Which is pretty much pure profit, as the bulk of the film was sponsored by the Spanx corporation. We'll have to wait and see if the film performs well enough for a threequel. Oh can you just imagine? Carrie's upset because Big wants to retire and move to a sprawling, gorgeous farm upstate. Miranda wants a second baby but fears she's too old, plus Steve's bar is in trouble. Charlotte is really stressed because she's been running around town talking to florists and whatnot trying to plan Samantha's funeral. And Stanford and Anthony! Oh gosh, they get tangled up in some pink taffeta and finally [spoiler alert] Carrie comes by with a huge pair of novelty scissors, laughing hysterically, and says "Gays in a blanket!" and the audience cheers and she bows and Michael Patrick King comes out and does a sad soft-shoe and then the moment turns quiet as they lower Samantha's coffin into the ground, while Aidan stares out from behind a tree. And that's all before the opening credits! See you in 2012, Best Movie Ever Made.
9) MacGruber — $1.9m
Well, nuts. Dropping a hefty 53% in its second weekend, MacGruber has been unable, in two weeks of summertime box office release, to recoup its meager $10m budget. It's just another case of something that's somewhat funny and zeitgeisty that comes from SNL appearing to have some broad appeal, because everyone forgets that SNL and soda commercials are free to watch. But when you gotta pay for it? Well, an ad that says "Hey guys, want to spend $11 on this skit, stretched out over an hour and a half??" rarely seems to get people racing for their wallets and car keys. If they did a Target Lady movie, I would run for my wallet and no-car keys. That I would see. Just imagine, you'd get to see inside her house! With all the decorations and knickknacks! It'd probably have to be a dramedy, though. 'Cause after a few minutes, her whole life would start to seem pretty sad, I'm betting. So. Maybe it wouldn't really work. What skit do YOU want to see turned into a movie?
28) Agora — $43,200
These numbers might seem like small potatoes, but just know that, in the summer, a film about an ancient philosopher and the rise of Christianity had the highest per-screen average of any movie out, by a mile. Sure it's only playing on two screens nationwide, so that sorta forces the issue, but still. Good for ol' Hypatia. She deserves it. After all, she was chopped up and burned alive like fifteen hundred years ago, so she's been due for some good news for a long time.