Cocktails and Movies: Weekend Review – “Wait. What Happened?”

You didn’t see much this weekend, but Cocktails and Movies will tell you what you DID see.

More people obviously watched Game of Thrones last night than care about Will Smith and son…

cocktails and movies

See? There’s the problem.

Did you hear that? That whooshing sound in the background is Will Smith’s box office beginning to make its first lap around the drain; so much so, that Wild Wild West looks like a positive career move. (Even though it’s a guilty pleasure for some of us here at Cocktails and Movies – actually, just Mike) Yes, the once crowned “King of July 4th weekend” has fallen so far from the lofty post he has occupied for so long. All this thanks to his eagerness to try and turn his son into a cash cow, (hey, just give him a damn allowance like normal people!!!), and M. Night Shyamalan’s lack of ability when it comes to anything remotely cinematic. This movie underperformed so much that John Carter made more money in three days last March! (Again, another good film we here at C&M happen to enjoy for its own merits. – again, Mike. Tim hasn’t seen it.)

Enough beating a dead Theatan, let’s take a look at who landed where:

Box Office Results 5/31 – 6/2 (courtesy of Box Office Mojo):

1. Fast and Furious 6: Actual – $34.5 mil., Prediction: $57 mil.

2. Now You See Me: Actual – $28.1 mil., Prediction: $27 mil.

3. After Earth: Actual – $27 mil., Prediction: $23 mil.

4./5. (tie) Star Trek: Into Darkness / Epic: $16.4 mil

6. The Hangover Part III: $15.9 mil.

7. Iron Man 3: $8 mil.

8. The Great Gatsby: $6.3 mil.

9. Yei Jawaani Hai Deewani: $1.7 mil.

10. Mud: $1.2 mil.

Team NO2 for the win AGAIN this past weekend! Fast and Furious 6 both lived up to the series reputation and exceeded it, as its 64.5% drop fits the profile of the series’ last two installments, but still managed to secure the first 3-peat consecutive #1 slot for a Fast and Furious film ever! Universal’s gamble on bringing the Fast franchise back into Summer Movie Season (the first installment since Tokyo Drift to do so) has paid off as the boys and their toys drove to the box office bank and deposited another $35 million into their accounts. Fast & Furious 6 is now sitting at $170 million domestic, making back it’s $160 million in production budget already). If you thought there was any chance that this franchise was finished, you’ve been proven wrong, kids!

Speaking of gambles, Now You See Me had two potential strikes against it this weekend: being up against Fast and Furious 6 and opening next to a Will Smith movie. Somehow though, Jesse Eisenberg and his group of rag-tag magician thieves stole the #2 slot away from After Earth which could have marked a significant come back by Smith and Shyamalan, and launched the career of the younger Smith into the stratosphere. That is, if the movie was any good. It was a quick funeral as After Earth opened to a paltry $27 million, which was better than any of us were giving it credit for. This film has not only come under fire for Will Smith’s latest flagrant display of nepotism, but because according to some familiar with the lore of Scientology (which Mr. Smith has been linked to for quite some time now) it’s propaganda for L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings.

How Shyamalan continues to get money for such crap projects is beyond us, and ultimately the lesson learned here is this: the “post-apocalyptic Earth” craze may be over (unless there’s zombies in it). Either that, or maybe we just don’t care to see movies in which stars try to shove their offspring down our throats. It’s as if they think that they’re automatically superstars just because of their family name. If this chilling trend continues, we shudder for the arrival of the offspring of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West…

What’s is most interesting this weekend, besides Vin Diesel rebuilding his box office cred and taking Dwayne Johnson for the ride, is the fact that we have a virtual tie this weekend for 4th place. Both Epic and Star Trek Into Darkness ended up coming out of this weekend with a $16.4 million payday, which is mutually beneficial as it keeps Star Trek in the top 5 and it keeps Epic at the same slot as it was last weekend. Star Trek is more of a winner though, as it’s already had three weeks of Box Office to account for. Epic, at best, is a modest success, but really goes to show how weak of a hold Fox and Blue Sky Studios have on the children’s demographic. Don’t cry for Fox though, because The Croods manages to be as resilient as a cockroach at the box office, racking up enough money that Blue Sky will probably get away with Rio 2 being as forgettable as Epic or Rio were. We’ll see if the tie breaks either way as the final numbers are printed.

Iron Man 3 is still in the top 10 with a 7th place slot, while Hangover Part III continues its fall from disgrace in 6th place. For a second weekend to a well-established trilogy’s third entry, that’s pretty bad. At least Iron Man 3 has staying power and has slowly slipped to this slot over the course of some very successful weeks. So far, Hangover Part III and After Earth are going to be the most talked about bombs of the summer, and there’s undoubtedly going to be a couple more coming down the pike. (Mike has a feeling The Lone Ranger is going to be joining that list.)

cocktails and movies yeh-jawani-hai-deewaniFinally, just a neat side note about the power of a limited (but strong and loyal) audience, 9th place went to an Indian film that was only released in 161 theaters: Yei Jawanni Hai Deewani (This is Youth, Crazy One), a Bollywood Romantic Comedy/Coming of Age film. We here at Cocktails and Movies, in addition to our love of fine spirits and libations, also love to celebrate the magic of film. For a film with such a niche audience, and with such a limited reach, to make it to the top 10 is something we like to see. We’ve championed Mud for doing the same thing in the past, and we’re glad to see Yei Jawanni Hai Deewani add a little more flavor to the box office stew. (Though talking about Bollywood now has us hankering for some delicious Curry. The spicier, the better!)

And that was the weekend that was! May was filled with starting gate blockbusters, but June has its fair share of hits ranging from the potential homegrown sleepers (The Purge) to the pre-ordained golden children (Man of Steel). Act I of Summer Movie Season is now past, and Act II is just getting warmed up. You’re gonna want to keep Cocktails and Movies bookmarked in your favorites, as we’ve got plenty more reviews, features, and polls coming your way to keep you occupied until Friday’s “Flicks to Pick”.