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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Wrap Up

The story of this weekend at the box office was the same story as last weekend: City of Angels. It dropped only 15 percent (to $13 million), which is really quite remarkable for a film that got mixed reviews and that deals with some difficult subject matter for the word-of-mouthers, but it stayed on top, because, to quote some guy somewhere, “chicks dig it.” Chicks also seem to dig The Object of My Affection ($10 million, second place) which, like City of Angels, offers up an unusual on-screen love relationship. The theater I saw it in was filled with teenaged girls. Now they all want gay apparitions of their very own. Speaking of gay apparitions, Lost in Space (haunted by Jonathan Harris, the original Dr. Smith, nowhere to be found in the new film) falls 43 percent to $7.7 million and third place, followed by Titanic (10 percent of the post-iceberg apparitions are likely to be gay), which fell only 14 percent to fourth place with $7.3 million. Paulie did better than expected, and the word-of-mouth (it’s not just “Babe with a Bird”) is good, so the $5.4 million fifth place start could be just the beginning, much as with DreamWorks’ last animal dramedy, Mouse Hunt. (I saw the film out of deference to reader Alex. W and was pleasantly surprised. More on this in Wednesday’s rant).
The Second Five starts with Species II, which dropped a surprisingly modest 47 percent (OK, it’s not modest, but try finding someone who likes this movie!) to sixth place and $3.9 million. The Odd Couple II fell only 23 percent (any more and someone would have broken a hip), staying in seventh place, but dropping to $3.7 million. Mercury Rising fell 35 percent for eighth with $3.6 million, tied with The Players Club, which dropped only 22 percent. Don’t be surprised if Ice Cube‘s directorial debut ends up outgrossing Bruce, Alec and the stupid title. Finally Major League: Back to the Minors was sent to the showers, with only $2.1 million in its debut.
THE GOOD: Our own Veronica Mixon so amused Mark Ramsey with her comments on Jennifer Aniston that he quoted her in his Movie Juice review of The Object of My Affection. So, they both get a plug. Click here to read Ms. Mixon’s interview with Jen and here to find Ramsey’s RC-referential review.
THE BAD: Nightwatch crashed and burned, hopefully never to be seen again. Is that bad?
THE UGLY: I caught Shirley MacLaine on Bravo’s award-winning “Inside The Actors Studio” talk show this weekend. The entire show was aired in soft focus with Vaseline on the lenses. I’m all for aging, but please do it with grace. After people spend a half hour trying to tune their sets, they are going to figure out that you are in your 60s, Shirl. It’s OK. You’re coming back as someone younger.
THE CONTEST: Results are on their way…
TWO BAD MOVIES EQUAL: Nightwatch + Major League 3 = Nightwatch: Back to the Minors. Three short films by three horny old directors. First, Roman Polanski follows his next girlfriend through the birth canal to his arms in Umbilical Love. Then, Peter Bogdanovich obsesses about the young girl who was of legal age before seducing her underage sister in Not Star 80. Finally, Woody Allen offers his light comic touch to Hanging Mia By Her Neck Until Dead. He insists it’s not autobiographical, and so does his lawyer.
JUST WONDERING: Is Warner Bros. dumping its new Casper Van Dien Tarzan movie? It’s coming to a theater near you next week, but Warner Bros. won’t tell anyone if you won’t.
BAD AD WATCH: That would have to be Juliette Hohnen promoting the TV version of our site on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” Juliette is a lovely, sweet woman, but her pathetic plea to watch RCTV couldn’t even get me to watch.
READER OF THE DAY: From Tommy G. Kendrick: “Here is a film that might get overlooked if TriStar doesn’t start doing a better (adequate) job of promoting it. Dancer, Texas Pop. 18 got incredibly positive audience and critical reaction (including Emanuel Levy’s review in Variety) at the recent SXSW film festival in Austin. The film is set to open wide in Texas and in select theaters in L.A., New York City, Chicago and Toronto on May 1. Dancer stars Ethan Embry, Breckin Meyer, Peter Facinelli and Eddie Mills as four life-long friends in the tiny Texas town of Dancer. The friends have a long-standing pledge to leave town together on the first bus to L.A. following their high school graduation. It’s that weekend, and the entire town gets involved in their decisions to stay or go. This is a very funny and poignant film with a wonderful script by Tim McCanlies (upcoming Iron Giant) who also directed. Full reviews, interviews, etc. are archived at the Unofficial Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 site.”

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4