The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: Three Straight Weeks At #1 For 'The Help'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 4, 2011 3:53 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There are all sorts of qualifiers to this summer becoming the most financially robust in box office history. Chief amongst them are both the inferior product, but also the illusion of 3D prices, which do an excellent job of covering up the consistently-dropping attendance numbers. In other words, money is money, inflated or otherwise, and not enough people balked at the enhanced prices, even though a number of 3D films loudly flopped this summer.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 28, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Dominates 'The Help'; One Franchise Reaches Its 'Final Destination'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2011 4:27 AM
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  • 3 Comments
All is forgiven between the public and the “Planet Of The Apes” franchise. This relationship seemed on the outs as soon as Tim Burton gave us Apebraham Lincoln a decade ago, but “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” has healed all wounds. While not keeping pace with that last Apeventure, 'Rise' has still taken only two weekends to cross $100 million at a much lower cost, a total no one at Fox was expecting. When the dust settles, this offering, which held well-enough to suggest strong word-of-mouth, will have outdistanced many of its genre companions from this summer, particularly those benefiting from the 3D price bump.

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Rise With Massive $54 Million, Audiences Rise Against Ryan Reynolds

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 7, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 12 Comments
“The Planet Of The Apes” saga is one of the healthier franchises in movie history. All the sequels occurred within a reasonable time frame, and while they were of varied quality, each one had their own separate reason to exist, and none were truly embarrassing. By comparison, the remake in 2001 was so far removed from the series’ original ethos that most won’t even acknowledge it as part of any continuity. Nevertheless, that atrocity opened to $68 million, which nears $100 million when adjusted for inflation. So while some may have been burned by the series thanks to Tim Burton, ten years might have been the appropriate time to reboot and still retain a base that remains aware of “The Planet of The Apes” as a sketchy form of “cinema history.”

Weekend Box Office: Bond & Indiana Jones Lasso 'The Smurfs' For First Place

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 31, 2011 5:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Update: Well, the tickets have been tallied and it's not quite the box office deadlock that was reported over the weekend. "Cowboys & Aliens" have emerged victorious squeaking out a 800K lead over "The Smurfs," taking in $36.4 million over the blue boys $35.6 million.

Weekend Box Office: 'Captain America' Is Number One, Because That's Just How America Does It

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 24, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Marvel is doing the right thing with their superhero productions. They wisely didn’t break the bank after “Iron Man” did a little under $100 million in its opening weekend, instead opting for future adventures within their universe for around the same cost every time. Even with “The Avengers,” said to be the big kahuna in Marvel’s strategy, they kept costs down thanks to cheap multi-film contracts and economic micromanaging.

Weekend Box Office: 'Cars 2' Continues Pixar Formula, 'Green Lantern' Plummets

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 26, 2011 5:27 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The numbers on “Cars 2” don’t actually matter, except for the stat-hounds regularly following the weekly box office noise (us!). “Cars 2” exists to facilitate Disney’s biggest merchandising cash cow, a multi-billion (annually!) property that needs no further justification. As Pixar seems like a studio that hopes to branch out into more ambitious directions (in theory), they will need something to keep the lights on when, and if, they should fail. Even if the reviews continue to be the worst ever received by a Pixar film, the “Cars” franchise will live on.

Weekend Box-Office: Is 'Green Lantern' The End Of The Superhero Gravy Train?

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 19, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 14 Comments
Perspective is necessary. $53 million is a whole lotta money. $53 million could buy several houses, it could feed many people, it could save lives. $53 million is also a pretty good opening for a somewhat higher-budgeted film, provided advertising isn’t through the roof and there aren’t a massive amount of back-end benefactors involved. But for “Green Lantern,” which cost upwards of $200 million before a massive ad campaign even by superhero standards, this is not a strong opening.

Weekend Box Office: 'Super 8' Is A Super Performer For Paramount, 'Judy Moody' Has A Bummer Summer

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 12, 2011 6:53 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Call this one a victory for Paramount, and a big one at that. “Super 8,” which opened to $37 million, was advertised with only the slightest of peekaboos, an ad campaign that played less coy and more stubbornly mysterious. While the film was pitched on the name of Steven Spielberg, the filmmaker has his name on a lot of projects annually, and the wealth of offerings has become so consistent that it no longer tilts the needle.

Weekend Box Office: Despite All Warnings, Everybody Sees 'The Hangover Part II'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 29, 2011 6:58 AM
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  • 39 Comments
In the future, sequels to all our popular films will not require writers, directors, or even new talent. Sure, they might re-hire some of the people responsible for the first film, but by and large, the leading users of Xerox technology will be Hollywood executives. At least, that’s if the mammoth opening for “The Hangover Part II” is any indication, as the film took advantage of the holiday weekend to score an expected $137 million over this five day period. Critics seemed to do everything short of design spreadsheets to illustrate just how Todd Phillips and company were replicating the exact story of the first film (arguably, the marketing campaign did the same), but audiences, who loved the earlier installment enough to make it a massive word-of-mouth hit, were apparently happy enough to indulge the funnymen (not women, though -- sorry, ladies!) behind the picture one more time.

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