In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Make no mistake: this was a slow and bad weekend at the box office, an example of the January doldrums at their absolute worst. However, this was probably the only environment where a film titled 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' could have flourished, so at least someone is happy.
Is Jessica Chastain a movie star? Probably not. At least not yet. However, this weekend proved that she's well on her way to being one. Headlining the top two films at the box office in a single weekend is a great start. The Oscar nomination certainly doesn't hurt either.
You really only need to say one thing about the opening weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty': it made more in three days than 'The Hurt Locker' did in its entire run. If there's anything that's going to alleviate getting snubbed for at the Oscars in the Best Director category, it's that.
Here's the thing about January: it's usually a wasteland. With the studios concentrating on their Oscar campaigns and the profitable summer months still half a year away, this month is where all of the crap usually gets dumped. However, this is also one of the few months where crap has a chance of performing well, hence the success of last year's 'The Devil Inside' and now 'Texas Chainsaw 3D,' which took the weekend with a strong $23 million opening.
Well, now we know why the box office was so incredibly light last week: everyone was waiting to see things this week! Although 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' clung to the top spot for the third week in a row, it was a very tight race, with only $4 million separating the top three films.
Who says Christmas is about staying warm by the fire and exchanging gifts with your loved ones? Everyone knows that the holidays are all about movies! A depressing musical adaptation of a Victor Hugo novel and an ultra-violent revenge fantasy may not sound like Christmas material, but the opening days of 'Les Miserables' and 'Django Unchained' prove otherwise.
Was there ever any doubt that 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' was going to dominate this weekend? Heck, it's probably going to dominate next weekend, too. If audiences embrace it like they did 'Lord of the Rings,' it may even dominate the week after that. The big question now is whether or not Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth will make a bunch of money, but exactly how many bunches.
There's no use beating around the bush here -- this was a pretty dull weekend at the box office. There was only one new release, but it was a dump that bombed rather spectacularly and the rest of the line-up is essentially the same as last week, with only a few titles shuffling around. It's the the quiet before the storm...the storm being 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' which opens in a few days.
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