Box Office - Decade at a Glance: January - April 2008
By Michael Lynderey
December 15, 2009
The 8th brought out another big earner: Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey re-teamed for Fool's Gold, a critically-reviled little non-gem that opened with $21 million and finished with a strong $70 million - not up to the par of the team's earlier How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days ($106 million), but considering the reviews, more than adequate (and frighteningly leggy). The weekend's other comedy, Martin Lawrence's family reunion-fest Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, fared well enough with $42 million, though Lawrence was far from his golden days in the Big Momma suit.
Valentine's Day weekend's really where the action was at this month. Ranking highest was Jumper, a somewhat cheesy action-thriller that nevertheless gave Hayden Christensen his one solid non-Star Wars hit, opening with $27 million and finishing with $80 million. Next, The Spiderwick Chronicles was another entry in the book-based fantasy cannon, pitting children against forest goblins bent on conquering the world (no joke). This one was a dark little film, but effective, and played out nicely - $19 million opening, $71 million total. Needing no plot explanation was Step Up 2 the Streets, an aptly atmospheric, occasionally entertaining entry in the urban dance sweepstakes - this one finished well, with $58 million to the first film's $65 million (of course, both totals are more than either film should have realistically expected). And we are getting a threequel in this series, folks, like it or not.
Last but not least, the less visible of the weekend's titles was the well-made romantic drama Definitely, Maybe, which finally gave Ryan Reynolds a good lead role, matched opposite supporting actresses Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, and Rachel Weisz. But despite the good reviews and well-timed release, this one managed no more than $32 million. Blame it on those who were busy looking for fool's gold in... well... Fool's Gold. The rest of the month wasn't particularly memorable, but there was one big surprise - thriller Vantage Point, which seemed to come out of nowhere in opening with $22 million and finishing with a hefty $72 million. It looks like the mix of a twisty, implausible, terrorism-themed plot with some name actors (Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, and an all-too brief Sigourney Weaver) worked well for this one, and word-of-mouth was better than critics gave it credit for.
The month was capped off by yet another Larry the Cable Guy movie (Witless Protection, $4 million total), odd-sounding Christina Ricci fantasy Penelope ($10 million), Michel Gondry's bizarre video-on-demand comedy Be Kind Rewind ($11 million), Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson doing nothing particularly lurid in 1500s-set The Other Boleyn Girl ($26 million), and the cinematic misadventures of Charlie Bartlett, a suspiciously arrogant high schooler ($3 million). Grossing more than any of those films, but presenting perhaps the biggest disappointment, was Will Ferrell's basketball comedy Semi-Pro. This one oddly teamed Ferrell up with Andre 3000 and Woody Harrelson, but reviews tore it apart and the total was one of his lowest yet - $33 million. Could this be the last of his many sports comedies? We shall see.