Friday, May 31, 2013

The Projector: Cataclysmic Catastrophe Edition UPDATE

Sunday UPDATE: Cataclysmic it was. As foreseen here Friday morning, After Earth had an apocalyptic opening as the $150M nepotistic enterprise crashed to terra firma, failing to break the $30M barrier. It's the summer's first – though far from last – bomb, with any and all plans to ascend Jaden Smith to bankable-star status on life support. And that's to speak nothing of M. Night Shyamalan's in-the-commode film career. As for the weekend's true shocker, Now You See Me, apparently quite a few folks were stoked to see the magician caper thriller thingy as it conjured up $28M to snake the second spot behind Fast & Furious 6, which took a 65% hit to the tank. Next weekend will be strong with the Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson Google infomercial, The Internship, taking the title over a project that promises to outperform, The Purge.

1. Fast & Furious 6 $34.5M
2. Now You See Me $28M
3. After Earth $27M
4. Star Trek Into Darkness $16.4M
4. (tie) Epic $16.4M

One thing we've learned early this summer movie season: When the apocalypse hits, there's a damn good shot a Scientologist survives the thing. Like fellow L. Ron Hubbard disciple Tom Cruise some two months ago, Will and his uncharismatic annoying adorable offspring Jaden Smith are invincible when up against the end of the world. The pair drop their second joint outing this weekend, After Earth, a $150M destined-to-be-bomb, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, a dude who's seen his stock plummet more precipitously than J.C. Penney's. While the Fresh Prince's intentions of making his kid a star are noble, the nepotistic venture promises to prove disastrous come Sunday's aftermath.
  1. Fast & Furious 6 $41.5M – Became Universal's biggest ever opening with a $97M 3-day take, $117M for the 4-day frame. Though it earned an 'A' Cinemascore, expect a substantial drop, as its predecessor, Fast Five, fell 62% in its second weekend.
  2. After Earth $31.5M – Though it's masked as a Will Smith flick, this is a mega-pricey attempt to make Jaden a stand-alone star. How worried is Sony Pictures about their hefty investment in the Smiths? They didn't bother to screen it for the media – or anyone – before Wednesday. Another sign that mega-bomb status is about to be cemented.
  3. Epic $19.5M – While it came up a tad short in its debut weekend, the Avatar/Alice in Wonderland animated hybrid rules the family-market roost until Monsters University drops in three weeks.
  4. Star Trek Into Darkness $19M – After leaving $15-20M on the table opening weekend. J.J. Abrams second piloting of the Starship Enterprise has amassed $164M stateside in its first 15 days.
  5. The Hangover III $18M – Massive disappointment for Warner Bros. Down 51% from the Wolfpack's last go-around and falling faster than a jumper from Vegas' Stratosphere's spire.
  6. Now You See Me $13M – Find me someone – anyone – who's stoked to see this magician caper thriller thingy featuring quite possibly the lamest poster ever.