Given the ease with which family fare always tops the charts whether animated or live action -- this time the story of a dolphin with a prosthetic tale (?) flipper (?) fin (?) I don't know these terms -- you'd think taking the family to the movies didn't cost as much as people always claim it costs when they complain about how much it costs (whew): parking, food, multiple tickets.
Also: Dolphins are cute and all but I'm only seeing Dolphin Tale if you can promise me that it contains a musical sequence in which Olivia Newton-John reprises her treacly "Promise (The Dolphin Song)" from the 80s.
With Morgan Freeman on back-up.
Anyway, don't mind me. I'm just bitter because I'd prefer it if adults went to movies for adults in droves. That way TV wouldn't be able to hog all the entertainment intended for adults. (Moneyball is doing well but people really should be queuing up in droves, you know?)
Box Office (U.S.) Baker's Dozen -estimates
01 DOLPHIN TALE $14.2 (cum $37.5)
02 MONEYBALL [review] $12.5 (cum $38.4)
03 THE LION KING 3D [review] re-release $11 (cum $408.1)
04 50/50 [review] new $8.8
05 COURAGEOUS new $8.8
06 DREAMHOUSE new $8.2
07 ABDUCTION [review] $5.6 (cum $19.1)
08 WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? new $5.6
09 CONTAGION $5 (cum $64.7)
10 KILLER ELITE $4.8 (cum $17.4)
11 DRIVE [review] $3.3 (cum $27)
12 THE HELP [review] $3.0 (cum $159.3)
• In limited release land the apocalyptic visions of Michael Shannon in TAKE SHELTER had the best opening weekend at just 3 theaters but with a sturdy $18,000 per screen (in other words the houses were four times as full as those of the top films in wide release). The extremely well reviewed gay romance WEEKEND did a tiny expansion from 1 theater to 6. It also became available On Demand so one suspects it'll make a hefty percentage of its revenue there.
• The Help finally left the gold-lined interior of the top ten list in its 8th week, falling just short of Bridesmaids staying power (which fell the same distance in its 9th week). The sole advantage of The Help (#12 of the year right now) if it hopes to topple Bridesmaids (#10 of the year) for bragging rights of "Highest Grossing Non-Franchise Film of 2011" is that it's in more theaters than Bridesmaids was at this point. The Help is still $10 million behind. It might be a squeaker or it might be all over if Real Steel and The Ides of March rip most of its screens away next Friday.
•Somehow Dream House opened to $8.2 million even though you can see the whole movie from start to finish in the trailer. If people keep buying tickets to movies whose trailers reveal every detail, Hollywood will keep making trailers filled with more egregious spoilers than even the laziest and most bitter critics would dare type. Sigh. At least Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz found each other in the process.
•I don't want to make too much of a point about what could merely be a coincidence but Contagion's numbers week to week are very similar to Crazy, Stupid, Love.'s numbers (to the point where they both hit $64 million on the 4th weekend!) Will their twin performance be the new standard for what happens when you just cram your movie full of multiple well-liked stars who aren't always bankable on their own?
What did you see over the weekend?
If it wasn't Dolphin Tale, what could convince you to see that movie?
If it wasn't Moneyball what are you waiting for?