This week's box office results are an example of why we can't have nice things. The top two films are both sequels. Audiences didn't get super worked up about the "original" opener, Guillermo del Toro's monster movie Pacific Rim. Yet the people decrying the general moviegoing public for "rejecting originality" -- a claim I keep hearing on twitter and on blogs -- have failed to admit that Pacific Rim looks JUST like Transformers Meets Godzilla in its advertisements. Which is not, you know a hallmark of the truly original, to look like a mashup of two excessively familiar things. Now, before I'm stomped by giant metallic or clawed kaiju feet, please note that though I haven't seen it I'm sure that Pacific Rim doesn't play like a Transformers sequel since one can't really mistake the filmmaking style of del Toro for Michael Bayisms. But audiences don't buy tickets based on how a movie is but how its perceived to be.
This wasn't a rejection of true originality. It was just a third place finish indicating half-interest in something that looked familiar but didn't sound familiar. Maybe they should have just called it Pacific Rim 2? Wouldn't it be awesome if some new franchise hopeful did just that, skipping the first film and testing the public's Pavlovian response to titles that end in numerals?
Of Note: Fruitvale Station, which eerily opened on the weekend of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin fiasco, opened to a big per screen averages but given the timid amount of screens it didn't make the top fifteen of the box office. If they're aggressive in expansion you'll undoubtedly see a lot of editorial attention in the media.
We'd just like to say "congratulations" to Sandra Bullock who has her umpteenth $100 million hit with The Heat. No, she didn't deserve an Oscar to commemorate her career but applause she does deserve in an industry that's notoriously resistant to appreciating its actresses. You have to hand it to her: she's been a draw for 20 years now and that's true staying power. Here, courtesy of box office mojo are her biggest hits (adjusted for inflation)
SANDRA'S TOP TEN
01 THE BLIND SIDE (2009) $264
02 SPEED (1994) $230
03 A TIME TO KILL (1996) $195
04 THE PROPOSAL (2009) $174
05 MISS CONGENIALITY (2000) $151
06 WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995) $147
07 TWO WEEKS NOTICE (2002) $124
08 * new entry * THE HEAT (2013) $112
09 DEMOLITION MAN (1993) $111
10 HOPE FLOATS (1998) $101
What did you spend your money on this weekend?