Green Zone No Match for Alice at the Box Office
By John Hamann
March 14, 2010
Like Alice in Wonderland, critics were split down the middle on this one, with only 51 positive reviews out of a possible 103, with top critics coming in a little more favorable at about 58%, as 19 out of 33 found something to like. These scores definitely go against the trend we've seen from Damon, who has made some really good choices throughout his career. In the last seven years, Damon has only slipped beneath the 60% rating at RottenTomatoes three times, in The Good Shepherd (56% fresh), The Brothers Grimm (37% fresh) and Ocean's Twelve (56% fresh). Surprisingly, this is Damon's third consecutive box office disappointment, coming on the heels of Invictus, which wasn't a complete disaster. It earned $33 million at the domestic box office, but had a $116 million worldwide total and earned Damon a Supporting Actor Osar nomination. Prior to Invictus was The Informant!, one of two Soderberg films that failed for Damon, the other being Che: Part Two. The Informant! earned $33 million, while both Che films barely registered or saw a release. Next up for Damon is Margaret, from writer/director Kenneth Lonegran (You Can Count on Me, Gangs of New York screenplay), and somewhat further into the future is Hereafter from director Clint Eastwood, and True Grit, the remake starring Jeff Bridges and directed by the Coen Brothers.
Finishing a third is She's Out of My League, which had a fairly strong weekend, considering it doesn't have much of a cast, and is aimed at teens despite being R-rated. She's Out of My League earned an okay $9.6 million from 2,956 venues, and it earned an average of $3,248. This Paramount release was likely made for a song, so if it can manage a 2.75 overall multiplier, this one should make money for its studio. Starring Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder), She's Out of My League is your typical R-rated comedy; however, this one managed better reviews than most of its brethren, coming in at 51% fresh. Whoever decided to schedule this one against Remember Me should be taken to the Green Zone, as it feels like League could have been one of those summer surprises. Baruchel already has a summer date, though, as he will be showing up in The Sorcerer's Apprentice opposite Nicolas Cage.
Fourth place goes to Remember Me, the new romantic drama starring heartthrob-of-the-week, and franchise flavor of the half-decade, Robert Pattinson. Remember Me, which is likely about sadness, or looking sad, or not shaving very well, earned $8.3 million from 2,212 venues. The Summit release had a venue average of $3,744. Remember Me was the expected loser in the review department this weekend, coming in at 28% fresh. Any money made off this one has to be attributed to Pattinson, as he draws a tiny slice of his Twilight audience. Twi-hards, if you're going to check this one out, you better move quickly.
Marty Scorsese's Shutter Island manages another okay hold this weekend despite the basket full of new films this weekend. The Leo DiCaprio starrer earned $8.1 million in its fourth weekend and was off 38%. Shutter Island has now seen drops of 45%, 42% and now 38% since opening to $41 million a few weekends ago. This weekend's gross was enough to take Shutter Island past the $100 million mark, making this Scorsese's third film to do so. Shutter now has a running gross of $108 million, and should see $130 million before all is said and done.