Weekend Wrap-Up

Shutter Island Shuts Competition

By John Hamann

February 21, 2010

That is one strange yoga pose.

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Somewhat surprisingly, Shutter Island wasn't as critically accepted as some of his other works. At RottenTomatoes, Shutter Island finished at 67% fresh, with 100 reviewers out of a possible 149 finding something to like. That's a new low for a Scorsese film released in the last ten years. As Reagen Sulewski alluded to on Thursday, Scorsese may have been freed of his bonds of chasing a Best Director/Best Picture award after scoring with The Departed, and may be loosening up somewhat as his career moves forward. Critics have called Shutter Island unapologetic, which to me is fantastic news for a Scorsese film. It will be interesting to see where this Paramount release goes following opening weekend, but for now, Paramount's decision to delay Shutter Island is a very good one.

Finishing second is Valentine's Day, the horribly reviewed rom-com with a bevy of stars, including Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx and Bradley Cooper. After a four-day opening last weekend that brought in $63.1 million (the three-day was $56.3 million), there was no way Valentine's Day could hold that kind of momentum, coming off the long weekend and having such poor critical response (17% fresh at RT). This weekend, Valentine's Day took in $17.2 million, and was off a nasty 69% from its debut last weekend. With the long weekend, and the titular day falling last Sunday, a 50% drop was expected for this one, but this kind of plunge indicates that word-of-mouth is definitely against it. Warner Bros. doesn't care, though, as Valentine's Day has already earned $87.4 million against a budget of $52 million.


Avatar moves from fourth last weekend to third place this weekend, as the James Cameron Oscar bait shows no signs of slowing – long weekend last weekend or not. After a three-day take of $23.6 million last weekend, Avatar dropped only 32% to $16.1 million. It now looks like it will take down the $700 million mark in the next few weekends, and could finish with as much as $720 million. In terms of the inflation-adjusted box office chart, Avatar now sits at 15th, behind Return of the Jedi's $715 million. Its domestic total now sits at $687.8 million, and its foreign total has reached $1.7 billion. Amazing.

Fourth goes to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson got off to a great start last weekend as well, but it looks like its Fox compatriot Avatar may be getting in its way. After a four-day gross of $38.7 million and a three-day total of $31.2 million, Percy Jackson fell hard, earning $15.3 million and dropping 51% from that three-day total last weekend. I don't think even the smartest schedulers at Fox could have thought Avatar would still be grossing more than $15 million ten weekends following its release, but if they had, I don't think we would have seen Percy Jackson until April. Regardless, this is still likely a franchise starter for the studio, as Percy has now earned $58.8 million against a budget of $95 million.

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