Pixar showed Honest Abe where it’s at; Brave’s opening weekend saw the animation giant’s first female-led film pull in $66.7 million at the box office, well exceeding the $16.5 million earned by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which debuted at third place and as of this writing has a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of only 37%. It looks like Theodore Roosevelt: Sasquatch Tamer might be benched for the foreseeable future, huh?
Neither Tom Cruise nor Adam Sandler had the power to take down a bunch of talking animals at the box office; new releases Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy took in a disappointing $15 million and $13 million over the weekend, respectively, leaving Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Prometheus alone in the top two spots for one more week.
Despite being one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the director’s quasi-sort-of-prequel-well-no-not-really-it’s-a-companion-film was unable to grab the number one spot at the box office, falling victim to the powerful formula of children’s movies + summer vacation = money. But even though Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted came out on top, earning $60.3 million over its opening weekend, the $50 million pulled in by Prometheus is none too shabby.
After three weeks of box office dominance, The Avengers has finally be unseated by new release Men in Black III, which handily won the crown this Memorial Day weekend with a gross of $55 million. Still, it was more a good weekend than a bad one for Marvel, as The Avengers, which has earned over $1.3 billion worldwide thus far, became the number four highest-grossing film of all time.
Coming home from war is a wrenching transition for the returning veteran. “Soldier’s Home”—a short story in Ernest Hemingway’s early collection, In Our Time (1925)—masterfully captures the returning war veteran’s sense of dislocation and alienation from a “normal” life after confronting the horrors of war. Though written shortly after the end of World War I, Hemingway’s story distills the essence of the returning vet story to which moviemakers have returned again and again over the intervening years. In some ways, the battle to readjust to civilian life can be as difficult and daunting as facing enemy fire in a distant land.
To commemorate Memorial Day and to honor our war veterans, MM has chosen five movies that represent the most riveting and heartfelt examples of the “coming home” genre.
It’s three weeks of box office dominance and counting for The Avengers, which easily kept new release Battleship from the number one spot and became Disney’s highest-grossing film ever in the process. The superhero extravaganza’s $55 million weekend gross brings its domestic total so far $457 million; add in international receipts and its worldwide haul is now $1.18 billion, the fourth-highest ever.
The Avengers handily overpowered Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows over the weekend, becoming the top film at the box office for the second week running and, incidentally, topping $1 billion at the worldwide box office after only 19 days of release. The superhero ‘stravaganza’s domestic box office gross of $103.1 million (that’s only its weekend gross, by the way—total domestic is $373.1 million so far) is over three and a half times what poorly reviewed new release Dark Shadows was able to pull in.
So, you might have heard—The Avengers did pretty well at the box office this weekend. If by “pretty well” you mean it shattered the record for best three-day weekend with its $200.3 million haul. Add that to the $441.5 million it’s earned internationally since it came out just over a week-and-a-half ago, and the superhero extravaganza has racked up $641.8 million in just 12 days. All very good news for distributor Disney, which definitely needed a post-John Carter morale boost.
Superhero movies tend to come in just one of two flavors: Exceptional and terrible. They either work as visually breathtaking, escapist fun… or they don’t. This summer features a slew of upcoming superhero flicks, including The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. The latest, Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated The Avengers, hits theaters today.
New wide releases The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Five-Year Engagement, Safe and The Raven failed to snatch the number one spot out of the hands of last week’s winner, Think Like a Man, which returned to the top of the box office for the second week running. Second place went to Pirates, while another holdover from last week, The Lucky One, claimed spot number three.
Sayonara, The Hunger Games! After a month of ruling the roost, new release Think Like a Man grabbed the box office behemoth’s number one spot, earning $33 million over the weekend to The Hunger Games’ $14.5 million. Fellow new release The Lucky One also bested The Hunger Games, grabbing the number two spot with its $22.8 million weekend haul. Chimpanzee, the final new wide release, earned $10.2 million, enough to land it at number four, while last week’s runner-up The Three Stooges fell three spots to number five.
The Hunger Games fought its way to the top yet again, becoming the first film since Avatar to claim the number one spot four weekends in a row. While the box office juggernaut’s weekend gross of $21 million marks a 35% drop from last weekend, it still handily outpaced new releases The Three Stooges and The Cabin in the Woods, which earned $17.1 million and $14.8 million and came in at two and three, respectively.
The Hunger Games once again showed up-and-comers who’s boss, out-earning both new release American Reunion and new(/old) release Titanic 3-D by a substantial margin. Still, those two movies didn’t do too shabbily themselves, their $21.4 million and $17.3 million weekend grosses grabbing them spots two and three, respectively. Meanwhile, Wrath of the Titans’ $15 million weekend gross was enough to land it in spot number four, while Mirror Mirror squeaked into the top five with a weekend gross of $11 million.
Well, they were worthy contenders, but The Hunger Games managed to defeat Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror both, holding onto its number one spot for the second week running with its weekend gross of $61.1 million. New releases Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror came in second and third, respectively, while last week’s runner-up 21 Jump Street slid two spots to number four. Rounding out the top five was Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
Everyone knew that The Hunger Games would triumph at the box office last weekend, but the extent to which the much-anticipated teen phenomenon raked in the dough exceeded even the most optimistic box-office expectations. With its weekend gross of $155 million, the movie had A) the biggest non-sequel opening of all time, B) the third-biggest movie opening of all time and C) the biggest March opening of all time. Perhaps most surprising is that The Hunger Games is now D) production company Lionsgate’s highest-grossing movie—after just three days. Geez, slow down a bit, The Hunger Games—don’t you think you’re raising the bar a bit too high for your sequels?