Cop Out, Crazies, Voted Off Shutter Island
By John Hamann
February 28, 2010
In a battle between Cop Out and The Crazies for second, Cop Out unfortunately comes out on top. The Kevin Smith helmed film, stars Bruce "I will work for food" Willis, and Tracy Morgan, who just needs a decent a vehicle to break out. A decent vehicle this is not, and only the usual suspects showed up to watch the film, giving Cop Out a weekend gross of $18.6 million from 3,150 venues. The Warner Bros. flick had a venue average of $5,894, and was whipped by The Crazies in at least that department. For Bruce Willis, this is his best opening since Live Free or Die Hard ($33.4 million opening), but discounting that and animated work, we have to go back to 2005's Sin City opening ($29.1 million) for a better result. Since Sin City, Willis has appeared in 12 films, so you get an understanding of where his opening average is these days. For director Kevin Smith, his worst work has proved to be his biggest opening weekend. Smith's biggest opening before Cop Out came in 2001, when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back opened to $11 million. It's amazing that such a big name in Hollywood finally gets his biggest opening (at $18 million) after releasing 11 films, where the biggest earner made just over $30 million at the domestic box office. Unfortunately for Smith, Cop Out's 19% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes marks the lowest rating of the director's career. I guess that proves that in Hollywood, crap pays. It will pay for Warner Bros. as well, as the budget for Cop Out came in at only $30 million, which means this one will likely make money for the studio.
Third spot goes to Overture Films' The Crazies, a remake of the George Romero classic. Once thought to be horror movie roadkill, fantastic reviews and an excellent marketing campaign for The Crazies turned it from a $6-$7 million opener into a $16.5 million opener. The Crazies earned that from only 2,476 venues, which gives it a solid venue average of $6,670. From director Breck Eisner, son of Michael Eisner and director of Sahara, The Crazies not only opened well for a horror remake, the reviews were to die for. At RottenTomatoes, 102 reviews were counted, and of those, a shocking 72 were fresh, giving it a fresh rating of 72%, something never seen in horror remakes. Using an example like October 2009's The Stepfather, The Crazies both outgrossed and out-reviewed it. The Stepfather opened to $11.6 million, and came in at a laughable 11% fresh at RT. March 2009's Last House on the Left opened to $14 million and was 45% fresh. The remake of The Hitcher in 2007 opened to $7.8 million and was 19% fresh. A film like The Crazies will give horror fans hope that their classic films can be remade into decent movies – that it is possible. This one cost only $20 million to make, so expect to see a sequel before you know it.