Superheroes Are the New ShakespeareS

Screw Hamlet and Henry and regular Hero. Who Kenneth Branagh should have been focusing on all this time are superheroes. Superheroes like Thor, who has brought him by far the biggest of his directing career.

1) Thor — $66M
Behold! Bow before the mighty blond, bearded foreigner! No, not Thor. Kenneth Branagh! Who knew, right? Who knew that an English Shakespeare dork could take the reins of a behemoth superhero explode-a-thon and make it work? Good for him! I'd kind of thought the blossoming trend of having smaller artsy directors do big, grand event movies like this was snuffed out when Ang Lee managed to make a movie about a quiet, pensive Incredible Hulk, but I guess not. I know, I know, several of Branagh's earlier films, like Henry V and Frankenstein, weren't exactly tiny, but they weren't exactly Michael Bay movies either. I say we go further down the list of indie directors and do some really against-type hiring. Think about Mike Leigh bringing us a chatty, ambiguously ended Jubilee movie, or an acerbic-yet-wistful take on Aquaman from Nicole Holofcener! They could just work.

2) Fast Five — $32M
Dropping a steep sixty-something percent from last week's dizzy debut, this quiet Brazilian travelogue film from John Sayles is still a certified hit. It seems likely that a lot of last week's Fast Five audience was this week's Thor audience, and they can't be in two places at once. We'd say that this coming weekend their poor eyeball-tired girlfriends might get a break to see something they might want to see, namely Bridesmaids, but alas that futuristic vampire movie Priest also comes out on Friday, so there could be a fight. Sorry, ladeez!

3) Jumping the Broom — $13.7M
What's harder, taking the ferry and booking some expensive B&B and renting a car (or bikes) and having to buy a gift and a new dress for a Martha's Vineyard wedding, or plopping down thirteen bucks and buying some ten-dollar popcorn and seeing a Martha's Vineyard wedding in the comfort of your own local movie theater? The second one! The second one is definitely easier, hence this small movie's success this weekend. It's already doubled its production budget! This is how all (real) weddings should be done. Just call up Fathom Events and have them broadcast your wedding on movie screens rather than forcing everyone to spend $600 in a single weekend to watch you kiss and say dopey things to each other like weirdos in person. Your wedding isn't all about you, you know. Don't be so selfish.

4) Something Borrowed — $13.1M
A considerably more expensive, but also slightly wedding-themed, romantic comedy, Something Borrowed still did decently enough. Though for all the PA-barking, cord-dodging nuisance they caused yours truly by filming outside of our offices last year, the movie really should have done a lot better. This movie isn't all about you, Kate Hudson! It's about me too. And if I want to walk down the street to get to work, I don't want some uppity New York Film Academy graduate PA on a bad walkie-talkie power trip telling me I can't. They were almost as bad as the Eat Pray Love PA who once walked into my apartment building to tell me (and others) that we couldn't stand in our hallway while they filmed their silly movie. Jerks, all of you!

11) Insidious — $1.3M
With a budget of $1.5 million and so-far receipts of a little over $50 million, this is basically this year's most profitable movie so far. Way to go, everyone! I can't wait for all the knock-off movies like Irredeemable and Repulsive and just plain old Disgusting. That'll be a good one. Disgusting, starring Greg Kinnear and Kate Beckinsale. "There's a ghost in this house and it is... disgusting."