of September 28, 2014

Maze Runner and Boxtrolls get nailed gunned to the head by Denzel’s grown ass man swag!!! 

When it comes to action movies, audiences still root for the older ass-kicking cosmonaut, because who are we fooling, we all still look up to our fathers to get us out of trouble one way or another: like needing their help to change a flat-tire, fixing a busted pipe in the house to giving permission to borrow the car while simultaneously patting us on the head. The point is we still look to older men to lead the way and take care of us. Expendables, finally expended, Liam Neeson, is more bankable and reliable now than 10 years ago because if you are trapped in troubling eurotrash emergencies, he is the wooden fire hatchet behind glass you break, and Denzel is just status quo'ing with is own brand of AARP justice. Washington’s ‘The Equalizer’ opened to a justifiable $35 million dollar domestic box weekend opening. This is the stuff of late September box offices are made of - kinetic fandom, built in audience, track record of previous successful commercial collaborations with Fuqua, were going to astronomically rally around this movie. I was wrong but not mistaken. This is the likeable dumb bro movie that guys who think Fast and Furious 5 is not good enough. Who else could had pulled this movie off? Not anyone younger than a baby boomer. Denzel did what he came to do and that is pick up where he left off in the highly flammable ‘Man on Fire’. We’ve seen him in this role, but weren’t clamoring for it. Reinterpretation is the name of the game with reboots, especially television ones. I dare anyone of any consequence after the Reagan era to truly tell me they know what the original source was beyond the show’s entitled ‘moniker’. This movie is two thirds Denzel’s paunchy reliability and one third a cool ass name. Didn’t matter what the movie is about, he is about to “equalize” it the hell out if it!

This opening pleased Sony Pictures very much, as we know as sequel is on its way, but don’t worry - Denzel will be two years older, so there should be twice as much implausible ratcheted up action. ‘Maze Runner’, the young adult, post-apocalyptic summer camp acid held steady coming in second at $17.5 million dollars, which gives it a domestic total of a little over $58 million. Not bad actually, but not good enough to take out Denzel in a café at night. The movie made its dent had time in the glade’s bankable sun. Maze Runner didn’t sprint around the competition in M.C. Escher-like circles, but a planned sequel is going to hit our theaters in two years, forcibly to hold its place among audiences Hunger game’s doggiebag stuffed tween leftovers.

Boxtrolls? I don’t even know what that is, but when Traci Morgan and Toni Collette (who I respect very much) are your lead voices, your movie will suffer. There is no box office “come hitherness” with either actor and when a movie is called “Boxtrolls” it makes me want to hide in a box and seal myself up with packing tape. Kids come out in droves for movies, and typically slays the adult competition like a little pixilated buzzsaw with parent permission slip included. However, this movie sounds like an April Fool’s day present for someone you really don’t like. It did come out at $17.25 million for animation studio LAIKA which also previously released the peculiar ‘Coraline’ and disappointing stylish ‘Paranorman’. I refuse to believe that ‘Boxtrolls’ is better than those movies, and just write off the $17.25 million to inflation. Star studded Tina Fey ‘This is Where I Leave You’ came in fourth at $7 million and just a drop of 39 percent from the previous weeks earnings.  And lastly, ‘Dolphin Tale 2: Electric Boogaloo’ finished 5th at $4.8 million too much (what the hell is wrong with people???). Anyways the moral of the story here is that Denzel is still Denzel, but also attribute the relative opening weekend success to a lazy competition, excellent marketing but more importantly, the right calendar date. Also, right now is the in-between season for Hollywood where we are exposed to the sleepy little known titles that may surprise or ultimately end up as a Netflix recommendation. We are not yet to the awards season where quality will match quantity, but we finally shook off the Guardians of the Galaxy roofied hangover fog. Kudos, Denzel, be proud of your opening because it’s nothing but a Fleetwood Mac "Landslide" from here on down for your gross dollars. You will not “Equalize” the box office next week. Here are the top five in order for the weekend ending on September 28, 2014.

Top five films of the weekend:
  1. The Equalizer — $35 million
  2. The Maze Runner — $17.5 million
  3. The Boxtrolls — $17.25 million
  4. This is Where I Leave You — $7 million
  5. Dolphin Tale 2 — $4.8 million

Source: Entertainment Weekly www.ew.com



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