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Weekend B.O. Feb. 14-16 (No Surprises Here)

Box Office
by Sergio
February 16, 2014 12:27 PM
25 Comments
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About Last Night

It was the battle between the two remakes of 80’s movies and one was the clear winner.

What was no surprise was that The Lego Movie was No. 1 again on this weekend’s box office chart. The film simply works and goes far beyond what would be considered to be a children’s movie. With a dropoff of just 29% the film looks like it will eventually hit $300 million, equaling the take of Disney/Pixar’s animated film Up, and could potentially become one of the highest grossing animated films of 2014.

But the surprise, which was actually no surprise, is that the About Last Night remake, which grossed $27 million this weekend easily beat out that hyped up Robocop remake which was originally projected to make some $40 million and fell way short of the mark with $21 million.

But who didn’t see that coming? First of all, what rom-com doesn’t do well around Valentine Day when a lot of couples (or rather women dragging their handcuffed men kicking and screaming, who would rather have 18 inch needles through their eyeballs than suffer watching a romantic comedy) are in the mood for a romantic movie.

Also Kevin Hart is about as hot as anyone can get. So hot that people will practically show up for anything he’s in, which poses two big challenges for him. One is to keep from being overexposed… Well. O.K. so maybe he’s pretty much failed on that point.

But the second is to try to find interesting projects that use his best qualities and avoid making schlock, because they’re paying you a gargantuan paycheck, which has been the downfall of many a film comic. (I don’t need to mention any names do I?)

I still don’t find him funny though...

But who didn’t see that that Robocop film wasn’t going to do what some people thought. How could anyone improve on the 1987 original, one of the best films made during the 1980s? A  darkly comic, savage and hyper violent action thriller, but also a clever satire that attacks the corrosive nature of capitalism and throws in some heavy religoius allegory to boot.

 And the even more amazing thing is that the film and director Paul Verhoeven did it all so brilliantly. (And the even more violent sequel Robocop 2 directed by Empire Strikes Back’s  Irvin Kershner is definitely a worthwhile movie).

So then how was a bowdlerized, tame PG-13 remake made for 12 year olds, with none of the original’s satiric political and social commentary was  going to be any good or even remotely interesting? Like that disastrous  2012 PG-13 remake of Verhoeven's definitely R  rated Total Recall. Just leave Verhoeven’s films alone, make up something original and get a life.

The other major relase this weekend, Winter's Tale, suffered from terrible reviews and just tanked at the box office, once again asking the question, why do they keep trying to make Colin Farrell into a movie star when nothing works, like that Total Recall remake he starred in?

Yet George Clooney's The Monuments Men, despite equally bad reviews, held up petty well, with over $43.6 million to date, and could wind up being a solid, but not a huge hit for Sony, though the overseas box office for the film will help its total box office greatly.

1) The LEGO Movie WB $48,810,000 Total: $129,113,000 
2) About Last Night SGem $27,000,000 
3) RoboCop Sony $21,500,000 Total: $26,400,000  
4) The Monuments Men Sony $15,000,000 Total: $43,670,000 
5) Endless Love (2014) Uni. $13,380,000  Total: $13,380,000 
6) Ride Along Uni. $8,759,000 Total: $116,133,000 
7) Winter's Tale WB $7,785,000 
8) Frozen BV $5,855,000 Total: $376,046,000 
9) Lone Survivor Uni. $4,076,000 Total: $118,402,000 
10) That Awkward Moment Focus $3,337,000 Total: $21,400,000 
11) American Hustle Sony $2,550,000 Total: $141,570,000 
12) Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Par. $2,340,000 Total: $47,787,000
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25 Comments

  • Daryl | February 17, 2014 7:24 PMReply

    Carey you missing the whole point I didn't say you shouldn't like what you like, I'm saying poeple should really have a choice on what they watch at the box office, why should one type of movie get all the marketing dollars and exposure. Carey I'm saying people can love both types of entertainment the same way, this is the point I'm getting at, hollywood has sucessfully conditioned the audience in saying know these types of movies that are not brand product movies want make that much money because brand product movies is the movies most people love, yeah if this is what you putting most of your money and resources in. I believe the audience is more complex than hollywood give them credit for, they treat the audience like dummies. This goes back to what I'm saying in turning the audience into brand product lovers of films. Carey you never presented your point into what I was saying about dictating trends you sidestepped it saying I'm crying, no I'm dealing with reality people don't really have a choice when it comes to hollywood and the movies they put out in the theaters. Carey you don't think this is dictation when you not giving the people what they want but telling them this is all they want? If this wasn't true, I'm going to say it again, black people would not get the sterotypical brand product of black films in the theaters when they want to see other films. Carey I'm going leave it at this.

  • CareyCarey | February 18, 2014 12:37 AM

    "I'm saying poeple should really have a choice on what they watch at the box office,"

    ... and I am saying - AND HAVE BEEN SAYING - throughout this entire tread - THEY DO HAVE A CHOICE! Did you not hear me saying... or have you missed the fact that the movies you are bemoaning ARE IN THE SMALL MINORITY! Listen Daryl, do you know (obviously not) the ratio of "Blockbuster movie" (brands-whatever) to those not in that classification? When, or if you ever find those numbers, I believe you should feel slightly embarrassed and take a seat while waving the white flag.

    Come on man, I'm telling you, just stop this nonsense-->hollywood has sucessfully conditioned the audience in saying know these types of movies that are not brand product movies want make that much money because brand product movies is the movies most people love"

    Hollywood hasn't "conditioned" anyone to love anything! The FACT is, the box office says most people love those films you're calling brand movies (ALWAYS HAS). And Hollywood cannot condition, persuade nor force me, or anyone, to love that which they do not, especially since, on any given weekend there are a plethora of films to choose from.

    "Carey I'm going leave it at this" Yeah man, now we're agreeing, so just stop man, you're making little to no sense whatsoever. For instance "This goes back to what I'm saying in turning the audience into brand product lovers of films.... when you not giving the people what they want but telling them this is all they want"

    WOW! Say what???!!! **INTERPRETER WANTED/NEEDED!** No degree necessary but affluent in rigamarole helpful**

  • Josh | February 17, 2014 10:48 AMReply

    Oh relax. I said I enjoyed it, I wasn't comparing it to The Third Man. Though your concern over my movie watching habits is touching.

  • Josh | February 17, 2014 8:54 AMReply

    I enjoyed Robocop. There actually was a story and the action didnt overwhelm the movie. Felt it was a step in the right direction as far as action movies go.

  • sergio | February 17, 2014 9:39 AM

    You wouldn't say that if you have seen the original film. You know you should really try to should expolre movies made before 1990.

  • Daryl | February 16, 2014 6:46 PMReply

    CC I'm not going to get in a debate with you about Kevin Hart success, that's for another conversation. I stick by what I say. We can debate about this in another form that's just about his success because trust me I can back up what I say. CC about hollywood turning the movie audience into brand product lovers. Let me explain, Hollywood and the music industry is controlled and is Wall St. It's less of a risk if you just put out brands, hence built in audience. The only risk is if the brand do something to go bad or it's not a hot brand no more. Originality is too much of a risk, that's why you see less of these movies made. In the late 60's and 70's when you had filmmakers telling personal stories that were box office successes that was too much of volatile market because it was too hard to predict a movies success because the stories were so different that you didn't know which one the audience was going to come out for. Why you think you got so many comic book movies and franchises or formulatic movies coming out because 85% percent of the time they can predict how a movie is going to do, hence the brand product audience. CC you say the audience doesn't see movie as a product instead of an art,bs. CC how do you explain these movie franchises that are on movie 7 and 8 one when all the ones after the first movie in the franchise sucked after it, it's because if you have a brand product audience they will continue to come year after year for that same brand until the wheels finally fall off and it's on to another brand movie franchise. Avatar is the last movie in the last 15 years that was an original story with no built in audience that was the number 1 movie of the year. So CC please give me your facts on why we don't have a brand product audience.

  • CC | February 23, 2014 12:02 AM

    Boomslanger, one more time. If all you and Daryl say is true, what's YOUR purpose? Was you comment meant to school us (pull our coats) on the evils of the boogieman (Hollywood). And then, once you've opened our eyes, we should... what?
    Stop watching films for entertainment? Stop watching brand films even if they are one's favorite movies? Write our congressman? Cry and point more fingers? Stop laughing at Keven Hart, even if he inspires one to laughter?

    In short, I fail to see the significance or relevance of your comment?

  • CC | February 22, 2014 11:06 PM

    " why we have a branded product vs original work at the very top of the Hollywood's productions' list "

    DUH! Could it have anything to do with the audience telling them (with their dollars) the types of movies the majority prefer? That IS NOT what Daryl as been un-clearly stating.

    So Boomslanger, what exactly is YOUR position? Think about that and I'll go back to watching Hamlet on TCM.

  • Boomslang | February 22, 2014 8:54 PM

    what I got from the Dary vs carey carey exchange is that Carey loves hearing his own voice and does not take the time to read and process Daryl's comments.

    The guy clearly explains why we have a branded product vs original work at the very top of the Hollywood's productions' list . Even holocausts movies are very much formulaic and it is clear which product work.

  • CareyCarey | February 17, 2014 6:04 PM

    "Carey in a nutshell what I'm saying hollywood would love to get it to a point where 95 percent of the audience is branding product."

    ... and McDonalds would love to get everyone to eat greasy Quarter Pounders. **Shrugging shoulders** ... and what's the price of tea in China?

    So in essence you're standing on your soapbox talking a whole lot of nothing. Granted, it's harder to get "other" films made but THEY ARE being made - as indicated by my list. That reminds me, the Oscars is the primary source of rating superior/best films - regardless of their political influence. That said, if they don't get it right every time, without question the films they champion belong in the conversation. So it's NOT wise nor very smart NOT to use them as a primary source of reference when the conversation is focused on the best films. If you have a better barometer/source, please let us know.

    " Carey also all the films on your lists didn't do 50 million."

    Cherry picking much? Okay, I'll give you them. But you conveniently side-stepped my point. I could replace them with 100 more films (THAT ARE NOT BRAND FILMS) to refute your porous argument that Hollywood has turned the public into brand robots.

    In short, one more time (and the last time) you can bemoan, cry and point fingers at "Hollywood" all you want, and "brand" films will continue to rule the box office roost. However, those films are actually in the minority (again, as my list will attest to) To that point, there are millions of film lovers and hundreds of filmmakers who satisfy their film watching experience from the other side of the street. Nothing, and nobody, will ever change that.

    So, one more time, what's YOUR purpose? Was you comment meant to school us (pull our coats) on the evils of the boogieman (Hollywood). And then, once you've opened our eyes, we should...

    Stop watching films for entertainment? Stop watching brand films even if they are one's favorite movies? Write our congressman? Cry and point more fingers? Stop laughing at Keven Hart, even if he inspires one to laugh?

    Listen young man, here's what I'd suggest you do. Do YOU. And listen to the subtle message in the song "I Can't Make You Love me"

    I can't make you love me if you don't
    You can't make your heart feel something it won't
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
    But you won't, no you won't
    'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

  • Shrugging | February 17, 2014 12:31 PM

    Avatar wasn't Pocahontas meets Ferngully? And the built in audience was about the brand "3D"

  • Daryl | February 17, 2014 6:19 AM

    CC and Carey we can agree to disagree. CC you missing my whole point I never said those films was not getting made, I said it's getting harder and harder to release those films to the theater because of hollywood wanting to have a brand product audience. CC you fooling yourself if you don't think these shady corporations can't dictate trends, CC if you spend enough money and flood the market you can dictate trends, hence hollywood spends over 50 million dollar in marketing on a film. You might have that small film every now in then that don't fit the formulatic films be a success but that 's a very short list.How many artists have you heard complain about the corporation making them make their movie a certain way or putting out certain music, that's not dictating trends. So how much choice do people really have? CC also how many times have you heard black people complain about hollywood images of them and want to see something different but hollywood stills give them the same stereotypes, we all know it's a market for different black films but they don't put them out, that's not dictating trends?

    Carey to you I'm going to say what I said to CC, I never said those films were not getting made I said it's getting harder and harder to make those films and release them to the theaters. Carey also all the films on your lists didn't do 50 million. I would give you a couple of examplers were you are wrong. Fruitvale Station 17 million worldwide, Nebraska 15 million worldwide, that's just 2, it's some more, so you coming at me about facts when you don't have all your facts rights. Carey you going to use the oscars as an example, that's branding at it's best. Come on Carey ,we all know how political the oscars are so I wouldn't be using that. Harvey Weinstein is notorious for spending big money and using gimmicks to get his films oscars votes, so let's leave the oscars out of this. Carey in a nutshell what I'm saying hollywood would love to get it to a point where 95 percent of the audience is branding product. Hollywood is all wall st now and they just care about profits, I know it's a business but the problem with wall st when you let them take over like hollywood has, it's not just profits it's about more profits. You can have a 4 milliong dollar movie with a marketing budget of another 5 million do 35 milliong but that's not good enough because that's not enough profits. It got to be the franchise that they can sell toys, videogames, clothes and other merchandise with. This is really about greed not profits. Carey before you say people decide this, I would argure how many independent distrbutors complain about big studios keeping their films out of theaters or the theater owners ending the run of their movies at theaters because of studio pressure, again, this is not dictation when you are limiting the choices? My point hollywood wants to keep this audience as small as possible for these type of films because if that market started getting big it would mean they would have to finally start doing some work and you know they can't have that.

  • CC | February 16, 2014 7:52 PM

    "I can back up what I say. CC about hollywood turning the movie audience into brand product lovers"

    Listen Daryl, first and foremost, the premise of your argument is simply WRONG! It's the AUDIENCE who dictates what appears on the screen. Their voice is heard through their dollars. Least we forget, the movie business is a "for profit" BUSINESS. So viewing trends will always rule the roost. Having said that, even though "brand" films and those with a built in audience and "formula" movies bring in the most money, on EVERY weekend there ARE several movies/genres that one can see, which do not fall in the category you're bemoaning. So I fail to see the relevance or the significance of your comment. My position is that the audience has not changed their viewing habits. To imply that the studios mandate what we love (has turned us out) and what we must see, is a preposterous suggestion. Those who love the films you appear to disdain, will continue to do so. And those who love a different affair, will continue to do so as well. And those films ARE being made EVERY day.

    In short, there's no doubt top box office films of the last 20 years, Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Harry Potter, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Marvel's The Avengers, The Lion King, Spider-Man, ect, will draw the majority of viewers. However, there are millions of film lovers and filmmakers who satisfy their film watching experience from the other side of the street. If you don't believe me, take a look at the Oscar winners and nominees for the last 20 years. There's not a "brand", formula or franchise film nowhere to be found. So again Daryl, what's your point?

  • PBD | February 16, 2014 3:54 PMReply

    No surprises? About Last Night was expected to do $24 million for the 4 day weekend, including Presidents Day tomorrow, and it's already made $27 million in 3 days, and you say "no surprises"? I know it just bothers you so much to see these Kevin Hart films do so well Sergio but at least practice some integrity in your reporting. It would be easier to respect you. After tomorrow, this would've made a lot more than the $24 million that analysts were predicting for the whole 4 days. It's already beaten that gross after 3 days. I expect to see white mainstream press continue to underestimate these black films at the box office, but you'd think the black press would've figured it out by now. SMH

  • sergio | February 16, 2014 4:25 PM

    What are you talking about? I clearly state in my article in my piece that there's no surprise that About Last Night did so well. That what the "no surprise" is about. Where do I say that I was not expecting it to do well?

    And I've never asked for your your "respect" I don't want it. Please I beg you DO NOT RESPECT ME.

  • Daryl | February 16, 2014 3:09 PMReply

    This is the attitude of the audeince at the box office, they love remakes or franchises. Hollywood and Music excutives has sucessfully turned people into a brand audience, that's why it's getting harder and harder to do original and interesting stories and get them in theaters, it's just a small audience out there for those type of films now. The majority of the audience just see movies as a brand product instead of an art, they like seeing the same recycled junk over and over, they are what you called a built in audience. As far as hollywood making Colin Farrell into a movie star that's always been the case with white actors and directos, they can have flop after flop and still get big money to do another movie. This guy hasn't had a hit in years but still gets to star in big budget movies. This just tells you hollywood is all about who you know and connections, you will get fooled if you think otherwise. Paul Veerhoven made 3 classic films, Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instint which hollywood couldn't resist leaving alone, none of the the remakes or part 2 with Basic Instint has done well, the reason being these are not brand films, they became hits and classics because of the director not because they were a brand. That's why you can not remake Spike Lee or Tarantino films. Their films is about the director more then anything else. Sergio you are on to something about Kevin Hart, his success is not about talent and hard work, it's a lot more to it, but that's another conversation.

  • CareyCarey | February 22, 2014 11:13 PM

    "hollywood [is] turning the movie audience into brand product lovers" ~ Daryl

    Boomslang, my position, Hollywood IS NOT and HAS NOT "turned the audience" into anything.

  • CareyCarey | February 22, 2014 10:48 PM

    Boomslang, even if what you say is true, what in the world does that have to do with "Hollywood and Music excutives has sucessfully turned people into a brand audience"?

  • Boomslang | February 22, 2014 9:06 PM

    Carey ,

    From that long list , most of the movies you listed already HAD a built-in audience, a super large readership . Hence why they performed well at the box office . It was no surprise. A handful benefited from the fact the events they were loosely based on were fresh in the nation's memory. Others had are historical and benefit from an equally large readership. Even as niche products they would have recouped the budget spent promoting them.

    Essentially the break out hits like district 9 are few and far between .

  • CareyCarey | February 17, 2014 4:54 AM

    Daryl, please pay attention to why your allegations are the words of someone who's less than informed.
    The Artist
    The Descendants
    The Butler
    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
    Fruitvale Station
    The Help
    Hugo
    Midnight in Paris
    Moneyball
    The Tree of Life
    War Horse
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Lincoln
    Les Miserables
    Life of Pi
    Amour
    Django Unchained
    Argo
    American Hustle
    Captain Phillips
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Gravity
    Her
    Nebraska
    Philomena
    12 Years a Slave
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    The Kids Are All Right”
    Winter's Bone
    Black Swan
    Blue Valentine
    The Fighter
    The King's Speech
    The Fighter
    Animal Kingdom
    The Illusionist
    The Prisoner
    The Blind Side
    District 9
    An Education
    Precious
    A Serious Man
    Up
    Up in the Air
    The Hurt Locker
    Crazy Heart

    Now Daryl, you may recognize some of those films which came out over the last 5 years. But did you know all of them did over 50 million at the box office (not a small crowd). Also, most film critics rate them as "quality" films. And it's safe to say most, if not all of them are interesting, unique and/or original films. And btw, the majority of moviegoers would have no problem saying those film were the best films of the last 5 years.

    So tell me, what type of a person stands on a soapbox day after day, telling anyone who will listen that "Hollywood and Music executives has sucessfully turned people into a brand audience, that's why it's getting harder and harder to do original and interesting stories... it's just a SMALL AUDIENCE out there for those type of films now. The majority of the audience just like seeing the same recycled junk over and over"

    Huh Daryl, who would make such a claim when the truth (looking right in their face) speaks differently? And what advice would you give to someone who makes such unfounded accusations?

    I don't know, but you gotta slow down man.

  • CC | February 16, 2014 5:35 PM

    ^^^ A sh*t load of nonsense! re: Kevin Hart "his success is not about talent and hard work". What the hell are you talking about? That man has been on the grind for years. His talent speaks to the returns he's now receiving for all his hard work. Geez, how do you define "talent" and "hard work"?

    And this nonsense-->" Hollywood and Music excutives has sucessfully turned people into a brand audience". What the #^&%? What viewing trends have changed from "then" and now, and who's responsible for those changes? What is your reference source?

    And wait, your silly nonsense continued--> "The majority of the audience just see movies as a brand product instead of an art" WTH?!

  • cherokee rose | February 16, 2014 12:54 PMReply

    Technically it was a battle of 3 80s remakes if you throw Endless Love into the mix but who's counting?

  • sergio | February 16, 2014 3:16 PM

    The author of the book Endless Love and gone publicly on record saying how much he hates the remake and says people shoud just read his book instead

  • kid video | February 16, 2014 2:52 PM

    At least the 80s Endless Love pic, produced a hit song that a lot of people got married to at that time.

  • sergio | February 16, 2014 12:58 PM

    Good catch. I completely forgot that remake of that Franco Zefferilli film with Brooke Shields as well. Oh well it didn't do all that this weekend but it still did better than Winter's Tale

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