Well, it looks like we have an answer to the question of whether or not audiences are interested in a historical, racially charged baseball movie. Brian Helgeland's '42' opened at the top of the box office this weekend, instantly breaking the record for biggest opening for a baseball movie. Sure, it's a minor record to break, but a record is a record.
You can't imagine two films more different than 'The Croods' and 'Olympus Has Fallen,' but right now the two of them sit on top of the box office chart, both temporarily linked by the fact that a bunch of people apparently wanted to see them this weekend. It's the first time in forever that two films have opened to over $30 million at the same time...but it wasn't golden for all of the new releases.
For the second week in a row, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' lived up to its title and dominated the box office. One of the newcomers managed to fare surprisingly well in the face of Sam Raimi's blockbuster...but another simply got crushed.
'Jack the Giant Slayer' may have taken the number one spot at the box office, but no one is celebrating -- it may sit at the top, but it sits at the top of one of the weakest box office weekends since, well, last weekend.
With Hollywood focused on the Oscars, this was one of the dullest box office weekends in recent memory, with each of the new releases arriving with a shrug, last week's champions plummeting and 'Identity Thief' climbing back to the top of the chart.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
Is Melissa McCarthy a movie star yet? The opening weekend of 'Identity Thief' suggests that yes, she is. After all, all of those people weren't flocking to this movie because of Jason Bateman (as delightful as he is). Anyway, all of this pretty much means that McCarthy's asking price just doubled.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
You really only need to say one thing about the opening weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty': it made more in three days than 'The Hurt Locker' did in its entire run. If there's anything that's going to alleviate getting snubbed for at the Oscars in the Best Director category, it's that.
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