Archive for the ‘Spider-Man 3’ Category

Sam Raimi Should Personally Pay Everybody Who Sat Through Spiderman 3

May 21, 2009

Remember when you walked out of Spider-man? Remember this was before the superhero craze. X-Men had done decently, but really, who expected Spider-man to be such a hit? Sure, it had absurdly cheesy moments, but damn you really enjoyed yourself.

Then came Spider-man 2, a film that once again took everybody by surprise. Wait, this Superhero movie was… incredible. I actually just sat through a fantastic movie. It wasn’t just a fun popcorn action film, it was amazing as its hero claims to be. The genre was legitimized, and it took off into the whirlwind we see today. And Spider-man 2 was, for many, the superhero movie to beat until they got caught up in bat-mania last summer. (Though I thought Batman Begins was just as great).

And to keep up with surprises, Spider-man 3 shocked audiences as well, though much differently. There’s a label on the side of the DVD: “Warning, watching this movie has been known to cause depression, self-mutilation, eye-gouging, vomiting, paranoid schizophrenia, and gout.” Audiences everywhere wondered how in God’s name a series could turn that bad in one film (evidently they had forgotten about the Superman series). It was just awful, we all remember. Peter Parker dresses emo and dances dumbly, which somehow shows he’s ‘evil’ or ‘brooding.’ Apparently, nobody on that set had ever brooded before. Thinking about it makes my blood boil, which is unsavory for me, so I try not to. That picture at the top isn’t a dark, brooding Spider-Man. He’s actually mourning the disaster that was that movie.

Now they’re making Spider-man 4, hopefully trying to redeem themselves and recapture 2‘s glory. It’s a risky move: fourth films are rarely good (Superman IV is regarded as one of the worst movies ever, Batman and Robin was… You remember, even as kids we hated it. Does The Phantom Menace count as a fourth film?) You get it. It’s typical (not guaranteed) in movies that the third is a step down from the others, and then the fourth is somehow even worse. So I’m hoping that Spider-man 4 realizes this and acts accordingly. They have a Pulitzer Prize winning writer penning the screenplay, so that’s a good start. It also seems Sam Raimi knows how royally he f***ed up:

“As far as Spider-Man, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what people didn’t like and missteps that I’d made. But I learned those lessons on the previous two, I was just a little quieter about them. I made a lot of mistakes, and it’s part of the reason I so want to make this next story of Peter Parker.”

Raimi continued, “I really think I know in my heart who the character is, and I haven’t quite been able to sing the song yet, or bring it out to the extent or degree of detail that I feel in my heart that I can. And I may not be successful, but I still feel like I know it better than I’m able to play it; I feel like the kid that really practiced at the piano recital, with years of comic books, and when I got to my other recitals, I sometimes made some missteps with them. There’s a whole crowd there and they think that’s as well as I know the piece, but I really do know it a lot better than that and I would like one more chance at that character. The Spider-Man films, I’ve made mistakes, but I really do look at them as things that I’ve learned, and hope that when I apply what I’ve learned to this next one, I really make a film that people enjoy and is really true to the character in a fresh, original way. That’s my goal.”

Alright, Raimi. You get this chance to get this right. It looked like Spider-man 3 was just a joke, and that nobody was taking it seriously since they knew it would make more money than the treasury. It’s one of those films where you sit and wonder how it made through so many steps and alterations and checkpoints where somebody didn’t stop and say, “Well, this is just terrible.” Who thought that was a good idea?! I always imagine Raimi telling Tobey Maguire what to do, and having four people behind him with their face in their palms. What I hope is some coffee boy had the nerve to say, “Mr. Raimi, this is really bad.” Then Raimi got really pissy, but after the movie came out he hired that coffee boy full time for having both courage and the common sense to recognize something that sucks more than God’s vacuum cleaner.

At least he recognizes his faults. I have to remember that he also Spider-Man 2, so I can’t judge too harshly. I know he has the capability to give us a more serious movie in line with the second in the trilogy. But he had that same capability for 3 and didn’t just miss the mark, he missed the entire hay stack that the target was pinned up on. So this time, please, don’t make Peter Parker dance.


The Top 50 Box Office Performances of 2007

December 31, 2007

     2007 was a great year at the movies, for the industry earned an annual box office revenue of $9.64 billion, up a solid 4.2% over last year’s $9.21 billion.  It should be noted, though, that movie attendance was up just .08%, and ticket sales increased from 1.407 billion to 1.408 billion.  This means that tickets were purchased for an average price of $6.85 in 2007, and the primary factor in the increase in box office revenue is ticket price inflation.  By the way, if you account for inflation, 1937’s Gone With The Wind earned an equivalent $1.4 billion, making it the highest grossing movie of all time! Fast forwarding 70 years, some movies are still having great performances, so here’s a list of 2007’s Top 50 movies, along with a few of my own noteworthy items.

Biggest Weekend of 2007
Spider-Man 3 – $151 million

     The third (and definitely not final) installment in the Spider-Man franchise had a stunning opening weekend back in May with $151 million. It crushed 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest‘s $135 million frame, which had consequently beaten the $114 million record set in 2002 by the original Spider-Man. However, while Spider-Man 3 had the biggest franchise opening, its lackluster quality (don’t even talk about emo-Spider-Man…) forced it to earn just $336 million, the lowest total of any of the movies (Spider-Man earned $403 million and Spider-Man 2 earned $373 million). Still, its opening weekend is the stuff of history- it had the biggest Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ever!

Best Legs of 2007
Knocked Up – $30 Million Opening – $148 Million Finish

     Judd Apatow’s pregnancy comedy came out of nowhere this Summer to become one of the biggest hits of the year. With no stars, and a (formerly) “unmarketable” concept, Knocked Up opened to a good $30 million o the strength of Apatow’s name alone. After its opening, Knocked Up continued to perform strongly, and for seven straight weeks it dropped an average of just 30%, helping the comedy spend a marvelous eight weeks in the Top 10. By the time it finished in September, Knocked Up had grossed $148 million, confirming that the raunchy (but sweet) sex comedy is the most popular type of American comedy today.

Best Overall Performance Of 2007
Transformers – $319 million

     As much as I don’t want to give director Michael Bay any credit, his Transformers had an incredibly strong run at the box office this year. After a massive launch in over 4,000 theaters, Transformers exploded onto the scene with $70 million dollars. Young males came to the theaters in droves to see unbelievable special effects, sleek action sequences, and Megan Fox in the desert heat. In each week after its debut, the robot actionfest saw drops of less than 50%, which is almost unbelievable for this kind of blockbuster, and Transformers finished with $319 million. With no predecessor buzz to fall back on, and with virtually no stars to tout, Transformers‘ franchise-launching performance far outshadows the disappointing May Threequels. In fact, it even beat Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Movie I Most Wish Was In The Top 50
Once – $9.8 million

     Once is a small, independent, Irish musical that blew up at Sundance, earned outstanding reviews, and went on to find some pretty good box office this Summer in limited release. Once was made for just $150,000, but you are so caught up in the touchingly beautiful story, you never think about what it cost to make. The film follows a struggling, Irish street musician who meets a woman from the Czech Republic. Together, the two play and record music as they fall in love, but Once does not end in the typical saccharine show-stopper scene like most musicals. Gorgeously honest and non-conventional, Once stands apart during a time of overbudgeted films with under-developed characters, and since the main character is a musician, the music is incorporated into the story in a unique, refreshing way. It just came out on DVD, so go see it!

     And now, without further ado, here are the 50 biggest hits of the past 365 days.  What do you think of the list?  Any movies you wish were/weren’t there?  Write them in the Comments section below.
2007’s 50 Biggest Box Office Performers

# Movie Title Total Gross Distributor
1 Spider-Man 3 $336,530,303 Sony
2 Shrek The Third $321,012,359 Paramount/Dreamworks
3 Transformers $319,071,806 Paramount/Dreamworks
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $309,420,425 Disney
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $292,004,738 Warner Bros.
6 The Bourne Ultimatum $227,471,070 Universal
7 300 $210,614,939 Warner Bros.
8 Ratatouille $206,445,654 Disney
9 I Am Legend $194,575,000 Warner Bros.
10 The Simpsons Movie $183,135,014 Fox
11 Wild Hogs $168,273,550 Disney
12 Knocked Up $148,761,765 Universal
13 Alvin and the Chipmunks $142,375,000 New Line
14 Rush Hour 3 $140,125,968 Fox
15 Live Free Or Die Hard $134,529,403 Fox
16 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $131,921,738 Fox
17 American Gangster $128,724,010 Universal
18 National Treasure: Book of Secrets $124,035,000 Disney
19 Bee Movie $123,576,570 Paramount/Dreamworks
20 Superbad $121,463,226 Sony
21 I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry $119,725,280 Universal
22 Hairspray $118,871,849 New Line
23 Blades of Glory $118,245,842 Paramount/Dreamworks
24 Ocean’s Thirteen $117,154,724 Warner Bros.
25 Ghost Rider $115,802,596 Fox
26 Enchanted $110,650,000 Disney
27 Evan Almighty $100,289,690 Universal
28 Meet the Robinsons $97,822,171 Disney
29 Norbit $95,360,247 Paramount/Dreamworks
30 The Game Plan $88,649,123 Disney
31 Bridge to Terabithia $82,272,442 Disney
32 Beowulf $80,778,577 Paramount
33 Disturbia $80,106,701 Paramount/Dreamworks
34 1408 $71,977,957 MGM
35 Fred Claus $71,102,297 Warner Bros.
36 Saw IV $63,300,095 Lions Gate Films
37 Stomp The Yard $61,356,221 ScreenGems
38 Surf’s Up $58,867,694 Sony
39 Halloween $58,269,151 MGM
40 The Golden Compass $58,000,000 New Line
41 Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? $55,204,525 Lions Gate Films
42 TMNT $54,149,098 Warner Bros.
43 3:10 to Yuma $53,606,916 Lions Gate Films
44 Resident Evil: Extinction $50,648,679 ScreenGems
45 Music and Lyrics $50,572,589 Warner Bros.
46 Are We Done Yet? $49,631,958 Sony
47 This Christmas $48,952,000 ScreenGems
48 Premonition $47,852,604 Sony
49 The Kingdom $47,467,250 Universal
50 Shooter $47,003,581 Paramount

Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

     Thanks for reading The Box Office Junkie.  The name is really getting out there, and I appreciate your help in making it the success it will one day be.  2007’s been great, and I know 2008 will be even better.  Have a great new year!