As this summer's movie season continues to falter, a third-week runner beat a slew of new releases for the lackluster top spot. A cult-potential sci-fi film disappointed, and Katherine Heigl shot her way to the middle.
1) Shrek Forever After — $25.3m
This will definitely be the last Shrek movie. It'll likely be the lowest-grossing film of the franchise, probably by a sizable margin, so there won't be any "Ha, just kidding!" resurrections a few years down the line. This is it, folks. Get your Shrek while you can. Take it all in. Won't you miss its cold, unlovely computer animation? Its increasingly pleased-with-itself, lazy humor? Its Eddie Murphy showing up in his pajamas to scream for a few hours and then having the dumptruck full of money follow him home? "Just dump it on the lawn, yeah that's right. The kids like to play in it." Now I guess you'll just have to wait expectantly for Ice Age 4: Leguizamo's Oil or something. How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hairy Palm Sunday. Toy Story 4: Andy's Funeral. Get excited!
2) Get Him to the Greek — $17.4m
He got to the Greek! Sort of. He got to the parking lot, at least. He' almost there. He's on his way to the Greek. For an R-rated comedy like this one, with a modest-ish $40m budget, this opening is pretty aight. Especially because they ought to have another week or two of comedy dominance, until Adam Sandler and his band of grumpy middleagers come farting and wheezing into cineplexes toward the end of the month. So that's right, guys! Eighteen glorious days of Russell Brand ruling the comedy world! And P. Diddy. Right now, because money says so, Russell Brand and Puff Darling are the funniest men in America. Happy Disappointing Box Office Summer 2010.
3) Killers — $16.1m
Qu'est-ce que c'est? This film didn't... totally tank? Unfortunately no, it didn't. It could have done better if it starred, like, Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise (someone should make that movie!), but considering it starred the two most unlikable actors on the face of the planet, this wasn't a total stinkfest. Then again, the flick did cost seventy-five million dollars. Yes! Someone sat in an office and looked at pictures of Kitty Heigl and Ash Kutcher and was like "Hm... I think I'd like to spend seventy-five million of my hard-earned doughlars to watch these two chipper chumps paw at each other and shoot handguns." That's a sentence that one of those old Hollywood tycoon types actually said! Can you believe that? About them?? The only time I would pay seventy-five million dollars to see a couple shoot guns and paw at each other would be a bizarre action remake of Harold & Maude starring Meryl Streep and Zac Efron. I just really want to see Meryl Streep shooting a shotgun and stuff, but she probably wouldn't do it unless it was for something slightly arty, and thus Harold & Maude. Yes, it'd be wildly creepy. Yes, of course. But that'd be the fun of it. Plus, Zac Efron could then answer interview questions by saying "Well, working with Meryl..." and that'd make him really happy. I'm telling you, big Hollywood tycoon, there's your seventy-five million dollars. A May-December older lady action picture written and directed by a blogger. It'd still be better than Killers!
6) Marmaduke — $11.3
It's funny to think about little kids not liking a movie. I mean, there must be some kids movies that children just don't like. Delgo, for example. I'm pretty convinced that a lot of kids were just like, "No, I don't care for this. Please, get me some apple juice" about Delgo. One hopes, for the sake of our nation's future, that kids also felt like this about Marmaduke, an indepth exploration of Owen Wilson's anomie. One hopes that kids got distracted while the CGI dogs flailed on screen and started squirming and playing with their seats and tugging on their mothers' sleeves and the parents were just like "Oh thank god," and everyone fled the theater. We shouldn't underestimate kids' taste. Did your kids like Marmaduke? One movie I just didn't care for when I was a kid? All Dogs Go to Heaven. Just wasn't my cup of tea. I did not have any positive feelings for that film. Is Marmaduke 2010's All Dogs Go to Heaven? Just maybe.
8) Splice — $7.45m
Hm. I was kind of hoping that this movie, which got reasonably good reviews, would be the District 9 of this summer. It appears that won't be the case. Not that it's opening numbers were terrible. The $30m film could have done a lot worse. But Nicole Sperling is telling me that the thing earned a D in audience polling, which is incredibly low and pretty much kills its word-of-mouth sleeper chances. I guess The Awl was right. Sigh. Anyone who saw it this weekend who liked it? Should I still see it? Is it worth the trip to Kip's Bay? (Is anything worth going to Murray Hill for?)