Good media discernment is about guarding our eyes and hearts before we watch or listen. And it's also about grappling with the entertainment we do see or hear. That's why the Plugged In Blog is devoted to guarding, discussing and grappling.
A fairy-tale weekend, it wasn't.
Granted, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters claimed the weekend's box office tourney, grimly collecting an estimated $19 million en route to its rather witchy win. But while that may be enough to build a great gingerbread condominium complex somewhere in the woods (each unit equipped with a state-of-the-art oven), it probably won't be enough to get studio execs pumped for a sequel. Not unless it involves Hansel and Gretel paying a visit to Hogwarts.
The R-rated fantasy gorefest led a pretty lackluster week at the local multiplex. Overall, the weekend's overall gross (the total take for all the movies out in theaters) was the lowest of this young year so far. And if you want to get really nerdy, it also was the lowest for a fourth weekend in January since 2004, way before 3-D theaters were regularly goosing grosses and the top movie was something called The Butterfly Effect.
Yeah, I didn't remember it either.
But maybe we should've expected such a dowdy weekend. Sure, Hollywood treated moviegoers to three new movies. But all three were rated R, which forced huge swaths of potential moviegoers to stay home and watch Tangled. Furthermore, all of 'em were content-addled schlockfests that generally appeal to the same audience—young men who don't pay much attention to Plugged In. And let's face it: This demographic can see only so many movies in one weekend, particularly when so many are still trying to play through DmC: Devil May Cry.
As such, the two other new releases—Parker and Movie 43—were beheaded at the box office like a Hansel & Gretel witch. Parker, a Jason Statham actioner, managed to steal just $7 million for a fifth-place finish. And the horrific Movie 43 mercifully earned just $5 million—falling outside the Top 5 (studio estimates have it slated for seventh).
Mama, last week's champ, finished second in the standings with $12.9 million. It was followed by two Academy Award Best Picture nominees, locked in a neck-and-neck race for third. Silver Linings Playbook earned an estimated $10 million, while Zero Dark Thirty logged $9.8 mil.
Final figures update: 1. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, $19.7 million; 2. Mama, $13.1 million; 3. Zero Dark Thirty, $9.7 million; 4. Silver Linings Playbook, $9.4 million; 5. Parker, $7 million. Movie 43 earned $4.8 million for seventh place.
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I actually watched Tangled this weekend.... :)
I was undecided on whether or not to see Hansel & Gretel -- but I did, and I'm glad, because that's the most fun I've had in a movie theater in a long time. (And I'm neither a boy nor play video games.)
I always enjoy looking up the Movies app on my iPhone to see what's opening. Needless to say I was dismayed to see what was opening this week, and I was somewhat gratified to learn that none of those movies did especially well, especially Movie 43 which was slaughtered critically and commercially. That said, it really doesn't make a huge difference. Movie studios are under no illusions that this sort of movie will do much more than make a modest box office return and keep the studio afloat until the summer tentpole film season. As such they'll keep putting this kind of schlock out because there's a certain audience that will go and see them.
This is just sad. But then again, the Winter months are when Hollywood ''dump'' movies that are low quality and unlikely to make much money. March can't get here soon enough.
I just watched We Bought A Zoo on Netflix. Man, that was surprisingly good.
My brother, sister, and I just saw Hansel and Gretel. Our family is on vacation and us siblings wanted to do something together. Ironically enough, besides my sister and I there were three other girls in the theater. My brother was the only guy.
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