Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 18/02/21 – 20/02/21

Uncharted recovers the lost gold, Dog rolls over and gets a treat, the other new release is Cursed to obscurity, and Other Box Office News.

Well, well, well.  I’m willing to be the bigger not-a-man and admit that I misread the tides on this one.  Like, presumably, most people, I’d written off the Box Office prospects of Uncharted long ago. After all, who would want to watch a video game adaptation (ding) of a series which has laid dormant for half-a-decade (ding) whose entire appeal was that it was a playable movie (ding), whilst the adaptation itself was notably in development and production hell for over a decade (ding) with every piece of released info/media for it looking like cheap-ass dogshit (ding ding ding)?  Turns out, however, my calculations had failed to take into account a pretty crucial x-factor in the film’s favour… Sony had a Tom Holland.

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Fresh off of headlining the sixth-biggest film of all-time, Holland now takes another step towards challenging Timothée Chalamet for the title of Hollywood’s #1 Cute Boi by heroically dragging the long-beleaguered PlayStation movie to a genuinely impressive $44.1 million opening weekend.  Likely to be in excess of $50 mil when President’s Day gets factored in by people who have flexible definitions of how long a weekend is.  That is comfortably the fourth-biggest ever for a movie based on a video game, just a few hairs behind the first Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movie which took $47.7 million in June 2001.

(It probably says something that this particular figure has only been beaten twice in the two decades since Tomb Raider’s release; Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in May 2019 with $54.3 million, and Sonic the Hedgehog in February 2020 with $58 million.)  Turns out, you can mitigate any potential warning signs about the subpar quality of your thoroughly average movie so long as the marketing includes plenty of Tom Holland doing his “aw, shucks” Peter Parker thing, and a few welcome gratuitous shots of his cut abs in-film to fuel that positive “B+” Cinemascore word of mouth.  Not bad going, Sony, but imagine how much more successful this could’ve been if you cast Twitter’s other boyfriend Andrew Garfield as Nathan Drake instead!

(I initially wrote that as a joke about how weirdly thirsty and protective my timeline has been over Andrew Garfield recently.  Except the more that I think about it the more that Garfield as Drake sounds like actual pretty decent casting.  Wouldn’t fix the crappy out-of-character writing of the film, mind, but still.)

READ MORE: Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Film Review

Given that Uncharted was the only film going into the weekend with marketing and some semblance of buzz, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the other major new releases bombed harder than a Jimmy Carr set at a Roma memorial service.  But you know what they say about assuming; it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “mi” and also my grammar brain.  Sure, there is something which looks like an out-and-out failure, arthouse werewolf horror The Cursed dropping into tenth place with $1.7 million, but even that has mitigating factors of being an indie film released by an indie label (LD Entertainment) in half the screens of the other releases (1,687).

But if you’d rather not have your victories accompanied by dozens of caveats, then look no further than Channing Tatum’s directorial debut, Dog.  I’d also pegged this one as a complete flop in waiting on account of my hearing absolutely nothing about it in the run-up to release – especially weird since you’d think that Tatum making the jump to directing would’ve been built up as a bigger deal – and Uncharted having big-budget spectacle.  Except bully me, turns out, because the good pooch significantly overperformed all expectations (including its own studio’s) to close out the three-day with $15.1 million, a comfortable second place, and an “A-” Cinemascore.

Moral of the story: despite my doing this for nearly ten years, I still clearly have no idea what the fuck is going to happen at the Box Office.

This Full List may look stable, but after three steps it’s scripted to “unexpectedly” collapse and throw you into another climbing setpiece.

US Box Office Results: Friday 18th February 2022 – Sunday 20th February 2022

1] Uncharted

$44,155,000 / NEW

Guess this really did play significantly better to non-fans of Uncharted after all.  To people like Dave Bond, however, this was just kinda bad.

2] Dog

$15,135,000 / NEW

Box Office Mojo informs me that Dog is Channing Tatum’s first starring role since 2017 and, like… no?  That can’t be right, can it?  I know that they don’t count animated films when writing that statement, and neither do I – voice casts don’t meaningfully sell animated kids movies and I wish we would stop that nonsense – but surely it’s not been that long since he starred in something?  Hang on, I’m gonna go to his Wiki and see for myself…

*one Wiki later*

…son of a bitch.

3] Spider-Man: No Way Home

$7,650,000 / $770,590,686

And now it’s official.  No Way Home is the third-biggest film of all-time domestically.  Congratulations to all involved.  Maybe now that they have this financial safety net, next time they’ll finally make a Spider-Man film with Tom Holland instead of repainting other MCU hero movies with Spider-Man decals.

4] Death on the Nile

$6,253,000 / $24,980,032

Still not seen this yet, but I doubt the movie will be anywhere near as entertaining as this 10-second Twitter shitpost.

5] Jackass Forever

$5,230,000 / $46,773,627

I’ve been trying to meet-up with a friend all week so we can watch this again together – and also hang out, catch-up, be friends, and other less important things than seeing Jackass – except that the universe appears to have it in for me and meet-up plans.  These storms?  My fault, folks.  I deigned to make plans to go outside and the weather’s had it in for me personally for decades, deliberately waiting til whenever I poke my head outdoors to bring the worst rain and wind imaginable.  Sorry.

6] Marry Me

$3,680,000 / $147,358,985

One person who definitely won’t be getting a marriage proposal is Boba Fett.  Primarily because he’s a fictional character in a series about space wizards for children, but also because The Book of Boba Fett wrapped up recently and Charlie Brigden was extremely mixed about the whole thing.

7] Sing 2

$2,840,000 / $147,358,985

In animation that’s actually worth a damn, Critical Role’s The Legend of Vox Machina wrapped up its first season on Friday!  Fun for all the family… so long as said family is good with very bloody violence, horror overtones, heavy themes of familial trauma, creative swearing, and crotch lasers.  Just as suitable for the little ones as Sing 2, in my eyes.  Long-time critter Amy Walker reviewed the results.

8] Scream

$1,955,000 / $77,010,539

Last week, my friend Lucy told me that she doesn’t see the appeal of Timothy Olyphant, both as an actor and as 5ft 11 of smouldering hunk, so I’m currently accepting applications for a new Bestest Best Friend.

9] Blacklight

$1,770,000 / $7,071,030

Rather than watching the latest identikit Liam Neeson vehicle, why not instead splash out some cash on Eureka!’s new fancy restoration of classic 1990 Hong Kong buddy-cop flick Skinny Tiger and Fatty DragonLet Amy Walker tell you the sales pitch!

10] The Cursed

$1,721,708 / NEW

Yes, this really was the big new horror release of the weekend.  You’re probably a bit confused cos that godawful Texas Chainsaw Massacre legacyquel actually went straight-to-Netflix, despite receiving way more buzz and discussion than most cinema releases nowadays.  Of course, buzz and discussion aren’t always good things.  Charlie Brigden hated it slightly less than everyone else, which may count in certain corners as a win.

Dropped out: Moonfall, Licorice Pizza, The Beatles – Get Back: The Rooftop Concert

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