pretty sure i can’t say it better than mojo did- “‘gravity’ holds, ‘captain’ floats, and ‘machete’ bombs”. i personally expected captain phillips to take the top of the box office this weekend. not because gravity isn’t a spectacle of cinematic design. but rather because… well.. there isn’t much to the story. but i’m going to leave that debate up to the critics. for now, i’m going to stick to the stats and reports from this weekend.
from my vantage point it seems gravity’s success this weekend can be contributed to one simple fact- the idea of this revolutionary experience that one can only fully attain if they are in the theater watching the movie. from all the reviews and conversations i have over heard this last week, it is clear that audience are telling their friends, ‘see it in 3d/imax!’. and while, yes, i do have a growing disdain for the use of cheap cinematic thrills such as 3d, i am willing to admit that this films use of the technology might just be the best use ever.
so naturally audiences are flocking to theaters in droves- with a cast like gravity, with the design and flash the movie holds, and the marketing the film has had, everyone wants to see it on the biggest screen possible. in fact the film’s 3d shares accounted for 82% of this weekends’ growth- which is 2% higher than last weekend even! and the film’s imax shares are doing incredibly well as well- the film just set the record for highest second weekend ever for the format bringing in $9 million- which according to mojo topped the dark knight rises $8.99 million, but whose really counting?
so yes, this movie is an experience and a half, and maybe we finally have found the perfect way to allow 3d to enhance the feeling a film has, but if there’s still little to the story, will it keep audiences coming back? mojo is predicting the film will hold strong in the box office until early november when films such as ender’s game and thor: the dark world hit imax theaters, forcing this movie to hit the shelves. and there in lies my point- if the film can’t be enjoyed with the similar if not new level of entertainment a few months down the road in the privacy of my own home, am i really going to spend the money to buy the movie? no. if the film makes $300 million before leaving theaters then warner brothers will have done well for themselves, but i’ll be interested to see how the dvd and blu-ray sales do.
now, before i go any further, i just want it to be understood i am NOT a a huge fan of captain phillips. i think it’s a descent movie worth seeing, but the major thing i think the movie has going for it is that, you guessed it, it has a story! no doubt the film won’t come close to attaining the level of success gravity will by the end of it’s exhibition run in theaters, but i am still going to sit here in my film pretension and argue its as good if not better than gravity simply because it has a story. may not be a great one but it has one. and i don’t even like tom hanks really. at all!
and as far as machete kills ‘bombing’ at the theater, all i’m going to say is, “i appreciate when the predictable happens.”
overall the top 12 brought in $108.2 million, which is 10 precent off from last year’s numbers, but still not bad when you consider the last several years. one think is for certain tho- academy season is upon us and i couldn’t be more excited! my wallet is about to get a lot lighter over the next few weeks.