Box Office - Decade at a Glance: January - April 2005
By Michael Lynderey
October 26, 2009
#3 and #4 went to The Ring Two and Guess Who. The latter film, a remake of the 1967 comedy Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?, took in $68 million and thus offered a very respectable hit for stars Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher (and considering the success of Just Married in 2003 and The Butterfly Effect in 2004, Kutcher was on a roll here). The Ring Two, on the other hand, was an interesting example of a popular 2000s phenomenon, wherein almost no first-time horror sequel came even close to matching the gross of its original film (Resident Evil and Saw are the few exceptions). As previously noted, the original Ring's 2002 release inspired the massive wave of PG-13 ghost attacks - and thus maybe it was fitting that by the time Ring Two came along, the subgenre had exhausted audiences enough that attendance was dwindled out some. The movie's $75 million total (down from the first one's $129 million) was still pretty good, but it hasn't yet inspired another entry in the series. And as someone who holds the original Ring in contempt for all it has brought down upon us, I am perfectly content with that fact.
Other March efforts were led by Get Shorty's disappointing sequel Be Cool ($55 million total), the even more unpleasant follow-up Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous ($48 million to the first film's $106 million), the potentially interesting successor to Barbershop, Beauty Shop ($36 million), and the Michelle Trachtenberg vehicle Ice Princess ($24 million), which was one of 'em figure skating movies some people just insist on making. Quality-wise, I was a fan of the Bruce Willis thriller Hostage ($34 million), which mixed noir with Die Hard, and Joan Allen's terrific performance in the entertaining comedy The Upside of Anger ($18 million), a film that was undeservedly moved out of Oscar season '04. See it.
That combo of Bruce Willis and film noir stretched out into April, when graphic novel adaptation Sin City proved a more-than-worthy thematic successor to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's then-recent batch of well-received films. Directed by Rodriguez and featuring a brief segment helmed by Tarantino, the film offered a moody black-and-white anthology of violent variations on familiar genre tales. And what a cast, too - Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson and Mickey Rourke in his first vaguely comeback-ish role. It's odd, therefore - and especially with the $29 million opening and $74 million total - that we haven't yet seen that long-promised sequel.
Horror boomed some more with The Amityville Horror, an unhealthy combination of the remake and ghost movie subgenres, albeit one with an R rating. This was the third big redo, after Texas Chainsaw '03 and Dawn of the Dead '04, and at least it's a film that didn't outgross the original - totaling at $64 million might seem pretty good, but Amityville '79 pulled in an almost-unbelievable $86 million (yup, that's at least $250 million if you adjust it). Anyway, the '05 version's number was good enough to hold the remake door wide open, but at least they showed some mercy and didn't make a sequel. It's the least they could do.