On what turned out to be the year's most patriotic weekend, Americans flocked in droves to go see a bunch of American meat-bodies zoom it up in another country. Some others went to go look at a fake bird in that same country, but mostly people watched the cars.
1) Fast Five — $83.6M
Oh good heavens. Really, guys? Really? And this news coming on the same morning that America rejoices for finally, once and for all, killing terrorism. Well, we're right back at square one now. Sigh. You know, it's pretty hard to make fun of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Jordana Brewster — who keep coming back for these sad movies — now that they've gone and made the most popular movie ever made. I mean it basically is. Sure Avatar made, what, seven billion dollars in its first two hours, but Avatar didn't have greased-up hot babes and muscle cars. So it may have made a little more money, but it's still not as popular as Fast Five. So congratulations, Paul and Vin and Jordana and whatever Verminous Skumm-like creature slithered out of the sewer and whispered terrible things in studio heads' ears lo those many years ago when this franchise was created. Congratulations to them. And shame, deep shame, upon the rest of you, who zombie walked to the theaters, filling the air with your zombie farts, and plopped down $12 a head to sit in the dark and watch the vroom-vrooms, chuckling your glottal chuckles, popcorn spilling out of your mouths, boners pressing against jeans, thighs chafing in too-tight skirts, eyes heavy with goopy glaze. I hope you're all proud of what you've become, and what you've done to this nation. (In all sincerity: The Fast/Furious movies are so much fun! I don't blame anyone for seeing them. But $83 million??? Yikes.)
2) Rio — $14.4M
Aaaaand then there's everything else. This animated gewgaw has earned just over $100 million in its three weeks of release, meaning it's increasingly likely that you'll be forking over $50 to take you and your brood of scraggly ragamuffins to go see Rio 2 in a few years. (Oh, yeah, between now and then you are somehow going to end up with a brood of scraggly ragamuffins. Sorry.) Who knows where they'll adventure to in Rio 2, maybe some jungle in the South Pacific, or maybe to New York City, a sort of Madagascar in reverse. Of course, I haven't seen the first Rio, so maybe there can't be a sequel. Maybe everyone dies? Does everyone die at the end of Rio? Or do they, being in Brazil with them and all, zoom off with Vin and company? That sounds likely. Those damn street racers!!
5) Prom — $5M
Though it only cost $8 million to make, it's likely that Disney was hoping for a little bit more from this season-specific t(w)een fever dream. I guess the boys won out and their dates got dragged to Fast Five instead of seeing the movie they wanted to see. I'm afraid that might be what happens all too often. Come on, teen dudes. Be gentlemen. Go see Prom. You'll probably end up liking it! You know you will. Same way you'll end up liking your actual prom. You'll be squirmy and uncomfortable and think everything about is stupid and gay, but then once you're actually there and the good-time jams are pumping and the lights are swirling and, yeah, ok, everyone looks really good in their dresses and tuxes, before you even realize it you'll be grinning like an asshole. And if that's not incentive enough, just remember that, well, a movie like Prom is more likely to stoke certain, uh, feelings in your date than something like Fast Five is. (Maybe. Probably?) Just think about that. Put that in your baseball cap and think on it. Meanwhile: everyone who saw prom — girls, gays, whoever — omg was it is sooo good???
6) Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil — $4M
Aw nuts. This is a disappointing debut for the sequel to a movie that made $16 million in its opening weekend. Especially considering this sequel had about twice the budget of the original. It's confusing, then, that the promotion was so lacking and that they'd go forth with a lesser lead voice, swapping Anne Hathaway for Hayden Pannypants. Choosing to not promote a sequel that features a dimmer star than the original but that costs twice as much does not seem like good business! Now I'm no businessman, so who am I to say, but from the layperson's perspective, this just doesn't really make that much sense. Oh well. Still can't wait for Hoodwinked Three: Hooda, Coulda, Woulda.
16) Dylan Dog: Dead of Night — $885K
Well... that didn't work. This indie-ish picture based on a popular Italian comic book series wasn't on that many screens (875), granted, but I'm sure there was some hope that it would do a little bit better. Ah well. Hey, at least Brandon Routh can now say that, relatively speaking, Superman Returns was a hit! "Well, yes, Superman Returns was the biggest hit of my oeuvre." At least it's a hit somewhere! They can't take that away from you. They may try, they may try and try and try, but they can't take that away from you. Well, I suppose that there might be some crazy thing where Life Is Hot in Cracktown turns into a DVD cult classic, but barring that, Superman Returns will always be a big hit in Routhland. And that's that.