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The Playlist

Box-Office: R-Rated 'Due Date' Can't Outwit The Animated 'Megamind'

  • By The Playlist
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  • November 7, 2010 7:29 AM
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It had all the ingredients of a big winner. "Due Date" was widely known as Todd Phillips' R-rated follow-up to the massively successful R-rated "The Hangover," and he had that film's biggest breakout comedian Zach Galifianakis onboard, plus one of the world's biggest stars Robert Downey Jr. But perhaps seasonal timing is everything. "The Hangover" was a surprised hit in the early summer of 2009, and perhaps R-rated comedy that's occasionally nasty doesn't work quite as well in the fall. It's also possibly one of those instances when audiences actually listened to critics for once. "Due Date" was met with mixed reviews and currently holds a rather pitiful 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, far worse than any of us would have anticipated. So while we drubbed the film in one review and then said in another, "hey, it wasn't that bad," clearly its caustic notes -- which some of us actually appreciated -- didn't work with audiences or critics so much. That said, its 2nd place $33.5 million opening wasn't dreadful by any means and is nothing to be ashamed of, but in terms of box office punditry, well, it slightly underperformed. Conversely "The Hangover" made $44 million on its opening weekend, but positive word of mouth meant the following weekend drop-offs were remarkably low (only 28% in its 2nd weekend and a remarkable 18% in its third weekend when the film started picking up steam as the runaway hit of the summer). So yeah, not a disaster for Phillips by any means, but he'll want to top this with "The Hangover 2" to keep his comedy cachet up there and frankly, with a well-known sequel like that, doing double what "Due Date" took in is conceivable.

Review: 'Megamind' Can't Defeat A Dull Story

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2010 4:47 AM
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It's hard for Pixar's competition to keep up, but if anyone has been able to give them a run for their money lately it's DreamWorks Animation. Earlier this year, the studio scored a critical and commercial hit with "How To Train Your Dragon," last year they had the hit "Monsters Vs. Aliens" and with "Madagascar" and "Kung Fu Panda" they have two solid franchises (and that's not counting the "Shrek" series). Sure, they may not all get the plaudits that Pixar's films generate but audiences love them and moreover, they've done it largely without seeming to ride the coattails of other films or trends. Until now.

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