With the modest success of his latest, Spielbergiest movie, J.J. Abrams is close to ascendancy. The same cannot necessarily be said for the new X-Men, but inexplicably can about The Hangover Part II.
1) Super 8 — $37M
J.J. Abrams' stirring documentary about the motel business, Super 8 fared decently in its opening weekend. While it didn't post the Huge kind of numbers that movies like The Hangover Part II and Comic Books: The Motion Picture have earned this summer, this movie isn't based on anything pre-existing, so it was likely to be a bit smaller than more familiar products like Transfomers: Nothing But Noise and Light For Two Hours. So, eeryone should be proud! Oh, plus, it only cost $50 million to make, which is like bargain basement for a summer movie, so that's something to consider too. $50 million! This movie basically showed up to school wearing lunch bags for shoes and Dolly Parton's coat of many colors and all the other summer kids laughed at it, but Super 8 held tall, and whaddaya know, it won the T-ball game this week. Good for this humble little Hollywood studio movie that cost the GDP of a South Pacific island nation to make.
2) X-Men: First Class — $25M
Dropping a wobbly 55%, this prequel of sorts has yet to earn $100 million (it's pretty close though), which is not terribly good for a big superhero movie in its second week of June release. I wonder what about it isn't catching on? No big stars, maybe. I mean, we all love the work of Glenn Morshower and genetically created farmboy Lucas Till, but they're not exactly bringing all the boys to the yard. I don't know, I saw it. I liked it? I liked that it wasn't going for all the dark and serious import of the first X-Men movies. Two of those are good movies, but this lighter comic booky take was fun too. Plus, Fassbender and McAvoy (FacAvoy? Massbender?) really have this summer's greatest romance. All those pained looks and gently rolling tears! The scene where they're lying in a bed drinking champagne! That scene where they have sex for twenty minutes! OK, that last one doesn't happen (gotta wait for the Blu-ray!), but you get the idea. They're deeply in love. You should see it! It's cute. And, hey, they could use the money.
3) The Hangover Part II — $18.5M
How are people still going to this? Doesn't it feel like everyone who wanted to see it has already seen it? Is this really the kind of movie where you're like "Oh, Tree of Life is sold out. I guess I'll go to Hangover 2: Another Hangover"? I guess there is a monkey, so the movie has that going for it. But it also has Ken Jeong, so they kinda cancel each other out on the funny scale. (No, angry commenter, I am not calling Ken Jeong a monkey, I am saying that compared to Ken Jeong, a monkey is basically Thalia, muse of comedy.) I don't know. I just don't really get why $18 million worth of people still saw this thing in its third weekend. Are there that many Mormon bachelor parties going on this time of the year? I guess there must be.
7) Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer — $6.3M
A not-bad debut for Ms. Moody, whose film is showing on considerably fewer screens than the top five movies. So Heather Graham can take it as consolation that, though they wrote her out of the Hangover sequel (and replaced her with the acting dynamo that is Jamie Chung), she is at least in something that's doing some business this summer. Sure it's in a movie called Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, and it seems important to capitalize that "NOT" for some reason, but whatever! I'm not in any movies this summer. Are you in any movies this summer? I bet most of you aren't. Actually that's kind of sad. Let's all make a movie together. Chrissy Dissy and the Nothing Rhymes With Autumn. $50 million please, Hollywood!
8) Midnight in Paris — $6.1M
Expanding to eight hundred more screens than last week, Woody Allen's pretty little wistful sparkle about the City of Light is performing quite ably. I guess there are that many old gay book critics having birthday parties this time of year. I guess there really are.