Yes, somehow Johnny Depp has managed to be involved with a successful film. I know it's quite a rarity, but today it worked. Meanwhile Matt Damon didn't do too badly for himself either, which is a good thing.
1) Rango — $38M
Wowee! Who would have guessed that a computer animated film about a cute animal starring Johnny Depp would have done well in today's 2011 world? That is shocking! I mean usually these days it's Lolita Davidovich period musicals or yet another film in Kathy Najimy's hugely successful psychosexual steampunk erotica franchise that gets the top spot. But no, not here. Bucking trend, Rango, a movie with a distinct lack of 23-minute-long gay sex scenes, a la last week's number one hit Flowers for Gregory, ended up at the top of the heap this week. (Just as Eddie Redmayne ends up at the top of the heap, so to speak, in Flowers for Gregory.) I don't know that this represents any sort of sea change in American cinema, though. EW reports that the film earned a withering C grade from audience polling, meaning that this time next week we'll be back to what we're used to: hit adaptations of obscure Russian novels set in the future and starring Justin Bond, with Eileen Atkins as his love interest. Just classic American hit-making right there!
2) The Adjustment Bureau — $20.1M
For a furniture-based movie, this did really well. Also for a Matt Damon-based movie! Dude's been having trouble at the box office since Jason Bourne flitted off into the distance — what with disappointments in The Informant!, Green Zone, and Hereafter — so this is a good shot in the arm for his bankability. Sure it's not a huge Rango-style number, but it'll do. Especially because there doesn't seem to be a lot of whiz-bang in this movie other than Matt Damon. I'd wager that people really went to the damn thing to see him. Which they should, everyone should. Matt Damon is an American treasure and should be celebrated as such. Those are just facts. Matt Damon: Early and often.
3) Beastly — $10M
So what do you think? Does Alex Pettyfer have it? This was his big spring to become a movie star, with I Am Number Four and Beastly debuting within weeks of each other and all eyes on his chiseled British physique. So did he do it? Or did his tabloid stuff with Dianna Agron get in the way, overshadowing the only modest receipts for I Am Number Four and Beastly's decent debut? Hard to say! And you know what? I'm just not sure I care. Just not sure! I probably just do not care at all! (Plus he's got another big movie, Andrew Niccol's Next, still coming up. So this story is not over.)
11) Take Me Home Tonight — $3.5M
Oh well. This movie was apparently made in 2007 and is only just now getting released. Sad. The Topher Grace period has ended. One good thing that's come out of this, though, is an IMDB review I found just now, which includes wonderful lines like "Every time Topher stepped on the screen my face lit up and a big grin was left on my face." and "I was not alive in the eighties, but boy do I wish I was. Everything in the eighties was better. The films, music, stars, events, video games, etc. Things nowadays are not what they used to be. Take Me Home Tonight is in the spirit of films like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused. It's a film with strong leads, decent jokes, a good nostalgic factor, and one hell of a groovy premise." Hahaha. Yes. "Groovy." That's what everyone was saying in the '80s. Groovy. I also like the concept that the 1980s had better "events." What sort of events does this young lad mean, I wonder? Like, sad historical events? Music concerts? What?? It baffles and tickles the mind to think about! You should also read the opening to his Forrest Gump review, which operates under the assumption that that movie is hailed as some sort of modern masterpiece of cinema. Ha. Ah, youth.
34) HappyThankYouMorePlease — $30K
This movie had the highest per-screen average this week by a wide margin, so ol' Ted Mosby has that to celebrate today. He doesn't have much else to celebrate. I mean, he's been telling his kids the same meandering story for six years, the kids and everyone else have grown tired with it, his friends have become squawking caricatures, his Creator is named "Carter Bays," and no one likes him. But at least his movie did well on two screens this weekend. At least there's that. How I Got Out of Bed This Morning. Sigh.