September has come in on tiptoe, and booming summer box office has gone away. We now have the quieter (read that as smaller) kind of turnstile returns. But let's visit Nikki Finke, with her tap dance on Nic Cage's head already in progress:
.. [T]his looks to be the slowest box office weekend of the entire year (and perhaps the worst weekend in 7 years), with Lionsgate's predictable hit man action pic Bangkok Dangerous the only new wide release. And still Nicolas Cage can't attract an audience. It barely opened Friday with a paltry $2.7 million from 2,650 theaters for what should be just an $7.5 million weekend -- much less than the tracking showed, or about what his film Next debuted to in 2007. Clearly the only reason anyone wants to see Cage is if he's starring in a Marvel comic book movie like Ghost Rider (and Sony is making the sequel, Ghost Rider 2) or Disney's National Treasure franchise. ...
A small aside here. There's plenty of Big Name actors (Willis, Ford, MacGuire) who command sizable paydays when they star in the gargantuan tent-pole blockbusters for which they're known (Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Spidey, etc.), but do pretty much nothing box office-wise when appearing in a non-franchise feature film.
I know the Nikkster rules Hollywood, but why pick on poor old Mr. Cage? There are others in his leaky boat.
Meanwhile, Tropic Thunder looks as if it's going to end up #2 for the weekend, and will probably break through to triple digits in the next week or so.
Downlist, House Bunny is in the third slot while the mighty The Dark Knight resides majestically at #4 and now has $508 million in the hooper.
Sadly, animation is far out of the Top Ten. Clone Wars is fading quickly. It collected $300,000 on Friday and stands at $31,360,000. And 18th place Fly Me To The Moon has a total of $7.2 million.
My tall hopes for Space Chimps have long since been dashed.