Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Late September Steeple Chase

In the last weekend of September, Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps sits atop the big cash pile.

As the Nikkster informs us:

1. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Fox) NEW [3,565 Runs] -- Friday $8M, Estimated Weekend $22.5M

2. The Town (Warner Bros) Week 2 [2,885 Runs] -- Friday $5.1M (-38%), Estimated Weekend $16M, Estimated Cume $49M

3. Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls (Warner Bros) NEW [3,575 Runs] -- Friday $5M, Estimated Weekend $19M

4. Easy A (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 2 [2,856 Runs] -- Friday $3.8M (-44%), Estimated Weekend $11.5M, Estimated Cume $44M

5. You Again (Disney) NEW [2,548 Runs] -- Friday $3.2M, Estimated Weekend $9.5M

6. Devil (Universal) Week 2 [2,811 Runs] -- Friday $2.3M (-52%), Estimated weekend $6.7M, Estimated Cume $22M

7. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 3 [2,642 Runs] -- Friday $1.8M, Estimated Weekend $6M, Estimated Cume $53M

8. Alpha & Omega (Lionsgate) Week 2 [2,625 Runs] -- Friday $1.1M (-50%), Estimated Weekend $4.9M, Estimated Cume $15.2M ...

You will note that there are two animated features in the Top Eight, but neither appears to be setting the turnstiles afire ...

Add On: The Owls land at #2 for the weekend.

Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps made its weekend box office debut [at #1] with $19 million. ... Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole opened in second place with $16.3 million, followed by The Town, ...


Anonymous said...

That owl cartoon was AWFUL. I got through just over half of it and had to leave. Epic fail, and another cartoon bomb.

Anonymous said...

I hear Owls of Ga'hoole is a lot like Secret of NIMH, which is a ringing endorsement for me. The combination of a big budget and darker themes is not often seen in animation. Judging by the box office, you can see why, but I'm definitely going to see this one on principle alone!

Anonymous said...

'Guardians' is one of those animated films where you wonder what the studio was thinking in ever greenlighting it. I know the books have a certain popularity, and it looks beautifully done, but at the end of the day it's a movie about a bunch of realistic talking owls in a convoluted, hokey drama. There just aren't enough literate 11-year old boys to make this movie a hit.

Anonymous said...

What the studio thought, was that there was a cottage industry in the literate-11 yo. industry for the "animal fantasy epic" genre (and usually with more interesting animals than owls), that no one had ever done one yet, and that Warner's publishing arm somehow had a breakout hit in greenlighting the movie deal for their own Barnes & Noble top-seller.
Throw in Zack Snyder, fresh on a Warner-greenlit self-indulgent high off his Watchmen CGI-FX, catching Zemeckis' Disease, and thinking It Might Be Fun to do a CGI feature.

Still, came across a snarky Village Voice headline that said it best:
"Cher or Owls: Who Can Emote Less Expression?" :)

Anonymous said...

It is a lot like Secret of Nimh: misguided bells and whistles, self indulgent crappery, and ZERO story or character.

And they both flopped.

Anonymous said...

And like Nimh, there are no "darker themes." They just pretend to be "dark."

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Nimh was briefly interesting for the startup of another animation company, not of the film itself, which failed to connect emotionally with an audience of any kind.

The studio proved what it could REALLY do with RockADoodle and A Troll in Central Park.

Anonymous said...

NiMH came out during the darkest days of the Ron Miller malaise, when we all tore a piece of our clothing, declared Disney dead after "Fox & the Hound", and even "Black Cauldron" was still another three years away...
Although it's hard to believe, us young toon-nuts of the day thought NiMH--and "Land Before Time", believe it or not, although YMMV on "An American Tail"--had "saved" 80's animation by looking like some imagined reincarnation of 30's-50's Disney, "just like the old days", unquote.
And then Disney got their act together, Mermaid/Detective happened, Bluth made Troll/Doodle, and looked like a sad and rather creepy old nutcase.
(Although it should be said that NiMH is still Bluth's least painful movie to watch, next to "Anastasia", and did rather understandably raise the hopes of a generation.)

BUT, that didn't stop NiMH from becoming a new holy symbolic legendary buzzword (like "Fritz" or "Heavy Metal") to be uttered in whispered reverence every time fanboys want a "new revolution in animation" just based on production hype, and don't particularly what the final result should look like.
And which "revolution" this entry in Warner's new Dee-light is...not.

Anonymous said...

you sound like eric J on animated news

Anonymous said...

Nimh is NO "holy buzzword." That's a fantasy.

The film itself is a shameless mess, beginning to end. It's not about ANYTHING. And the "designs" and animation are all over the place and very unappealing.

bluth leaving Disney was akin to a kid attempting to take his ball and go home.

The best thing that happened to Disney at that time was bluth leaving--he was a cancerous sore, with a cult like mentality the business is far better off without.

Anonymous said...

Having briefly worked for Bluth years ago, I wholeheartedly agree. And his fervently anti-union stance at every incarnation of his studio merit's special mention. He's certainly no saint--who is? But there's no need to put rosy colored glasses on his "place" in animation history. It's just not very noteworthy.

Anonymous said...

Nimh is NO "holy buzzword." That's a fantasy.
The film itself is a shameless mess, beginning to end.

Oh, sure, I never said the movie itself was a "holy buzzword" (although it had a good Jerry Goldsmith score and the only time Dom DeLuise played a likable non-annoying character)--But then, the movie itself is not the point.
More specifically, the fans' dream that some lone maverick would arrive out nowhere, start his own studio out of spit and shoelace, and "show Disney how to do it", unquote (ESPECIALLY in 1982), just like all us good loyal Disney fans remembered.
The fact that it was an ex-Disney taking his ball and playing in his own yard only fed the fanboys' King Arthur Studios myth.

We know what happened to Bluth, and we know why he bankrupted three studios...And yet fans still talk about "the next Secret of NiMH" every time they get restless.
In LOG's case, someone made the association that NiMH had a cool-looking owl in it took and...well, you can see how these things happen. :)
(Especially when the fan gushes that it's "really dark", like he remembers everything from his childhood.)

Anonymous said...

I don't remember there being an owl in Nimh. But then, someone once told me there was a CAT in it, too...but the designs were so bad I couldn't tell.

Anonymous said...

Really, I'm surprised no studio has optioned the Redwall series yet. It has great crossover Wind in the Willows with knives.

Anonymous said...

NIMH deserves to be a cult classic though. The story is very dramatically told, the adaptation was a big improvement over the (already solid) source material. The sustained tone of grim suspense was something that had never been done before.

And the production value of the animation was well above what Disney and others were putting out at the time... I think you have to evaluate NIMH apart from any baggage you have about Bluth. It was quite an achievement for a studio's first feature.

Anonymous said...

HA HA! Good one. nimh is one of the weakest stories ever in cartoon-ville. Instead of confronting the issues, bluth, as usual, covers over them with sugar and spice. There's no sustained tone of anything but the smell of shinola.

The production value was just different. Not better, not worse. But that doesn't matter when the story is so piss poor. Audiences didn't and don't care for it. It's no "cult" film. Just pure juvenile, immature crap.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! You've summed up an entire generation of animators thoughts about bluth and his work! While I can admire bits and pieces of things artists at his studios have done, the films--all of them--expose what a very limted--and limting "talent" don bluth was. Working in and around L.A. during the early days of bluth (on Ventura, through them running away to Ireland, then running away from Ireland to Arizona---and watching the swath of disappointed dreams of artists who wanted to "believe" his b.s. was, I believe, ultimately a service to the industry: it's a BUSINESS, and don't believe the lies. Especially from a charlatan such as don bluth.

Site Meter