The summer is over and September is upon us. The result? One of the most boring weekend box office reports in months. Months! The month or so following the end of the summer movie season is traditionally one of the worst of the year, the time when Hollywood unleashes all of the films that they have little faith in, a buffer between the blockbuster months and the award season months. In other words, it's the exact kind of climate where a movie like 'One Direction: This is Us' can thrive.
Despite a bunch of new releases with all kinds of wide and varied appeal, this weekend's box office top 10 looks suspiciously like last week's. Apparently, none of the newcomers could match Lee Daniels' 'The Butler,' which effortlessly claimed the top spot once more.
There's something thematically appropriate about a movie telling the story of a butler who quietly influenced the United States taking the number one spot at the box office over its flashy, bigger rivals. Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' took multiplexes by storm this weekend, taking down last week's competition as well as a handful of seemingly strong newcomers.
In a weekend with four new major releases but no definitive frontrunners, the Matt Damon sci-fi action flick 'Elysium' snagged the top spot over some seemingly powerful competition. Director Neill Blomkamp's film continues this summer's trend of R-rated fare opening big ('The Purge,' 'The Conjuring,' '2 Guns') and proves that there's plenty of box office success to be had in the typically slow final weeks of the season.
Ah, the continuing appeal of the one and only Denzel Washington. How much do people love this guy? They love him so much that they'll transform just about any movie he appears in into a respectable hit, even if that movie is a poorly marketed (but well-reviewed) action movie based on a comic book that no one read. We shouldn't be surprised that '2 Guns' shot to the top of the box office, but we are a little. Oh, Denzel Washington, you always catch us off guard.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding James Wan's 'The Conjuring' going into this weekend. "Scariest movie of the year." "Best horror movie in a long time." And so on. But it paid off. 'The Conjuring' not only won the box office, it won the box office in a way that R-rated horror movies often don't. Between this and 'The Purge,' R-rated horror is officially back in a big way.
Which would you expect to win the Fourth of July weekend: the Disney-produced, Johnny Depp-starring revival of an iconic American hero or the sequel to a French-made, Steve Carell-starring animated movie about a lovable supervillain? Well, it looks like American audiences simply aren't interested in westerns, even the uber-expensive ones starring Captain Jack Sparrow with a bird on his head. 'Despicable Me 2' destroyed 'The Lone Ranger' over the holiday weekend. Like, totally wrecked it. Mercilessly.
I am not a monster. I want to be very clear and upfront about this. Yes, those little squibbling yellow marshmallows called “minions” in 'Despicable Me' and 'Despicable Me 2' are adorable. I don't care how much of a tough guy you think you are, when these little buggers are vrooming about the screen and warbling and wobbling and making exaggerated facial expressions; it is biologically impossible for a human being not to smile. They're wonderful and the design team that creates them (and the scientists who code the array of imaging rendering computers) should all continue to take a bow. With this qualifier out of the way, allow me to warn anyone over the age of 10 or 11 that 'Despicable Me 2' stinks.
What happens when two new releases that look like sure-things smash into the unstoppable wall that is a Pixar movie? Well, you get one second place hit and one severe disappointment. 'The Heat' still looks good next to the continued success of 'Monsters University,' but it made 'White House Down' stumbling at the starting line look all the more horrible.
Zombies may be really hot right now, but there's one thing that is (and probably always will be) a bigger deal: Pixar. Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' performed quite well in its opening weekend, but even the biggest zombie movie of all time couldn't keep pace with 'Monsters University.'
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