Sunday, August 5, 2012

Box Office Report: "Recall" falters as cinema recovers

It's been a solid two weeks since I tuned in on the box office, for the most part because it's had quite a downward tumble in the wake of the Aurora shootings. It was expected that we'd have a dry rest of the season following "The Dark Knight Rises", but audiences have generally felt rather shy and hesitant regarding cinematic endeavors of recent weeks. Out of lack of options, I only revisited the theater recently, all to share the experience of "Magic Mike" with somebody else. It feels like the trip to see a movie has taken on a greater symbolic meaning, as it's about the act of sharing with somebody, amongst a theater of similarly bound individuals.

Thus it makes sense that "Total Recall" didn't really call out to audiences as joyous experience to share. Perhaps on some father-son level, but outside the male crowd, I don't see this playing too widely. Even there, most guys are still experiencing "The Dark Knight Rises", which is growing a few stronger legs than it initially had. The weight of critical disappointment and the unfortunate event that introduced it to theaters took its toll in a very frontloaded fashion. That's working to the film's advantage now, as some stragglers are coming along to it, and if for no other reason than not having better options, plenty are revisiting.

You really can't feel too negative at the way things are going, because they are at least in a certain motion. Having films like "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" playing to younger crowds, "Ted" playing to more adult comedic audiences, and "Magic Mike" playing to people in search of more hard-hitting entertainment, it all feels like the grounds are being covered while other films wait in the wings. I think we'll see massive uptick next weekend, with a notable action debut ("The Bourne Legacy"), a semi-encouraging "your mom will love this" comedy ("Hope Springs"), and a broad, rude comedic venture ("The Campaign").

1. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Third Weekend; $36.4 million; $354.6 MILLION TOTAL)
2. "Total Recall" (First Weekend; $26 million
3. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" (First Weekend; $14.7 million)
4. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (Fourth Weekend; $8.4 million; $131.8 MILLION TOTAL)
5. "The Watch" (Second Weekend; $6.4 million; $25.4 MILLION TOTAL)
6. "Ted" (Sixth Weekend; $5.5 million; $203.4 MILLION TOTAL)
7. "Step Up: Revolution" (Second Weekend; $5.3 million; $23.1 MILLION TOTAL)
8. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Fifth Weekend; $4.3 million; $250.6 MILLION TOTAL)
9. "Brave" (Seventh Weekend; $2.9 million; $223.3 MILLION TOTAL)
10. "Magic Mike" (Sixth Weekend; $1.4 million; $110.9 MILLION TOTAL)

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