Box Office Results: 4 July 2008

I’ve run out of both clever and not-so-clever titles for these box office results posts, so from now on I’m just going to save myself the trouble and title them like this one. I know it’s boring, but I’d prefer to spend my limited creative juices elsewhere.

This weekend pushed me over .500 to four for six on weekend box office predictions. It’s nice when the box office makes it easy for me.

  1. Hancock ($66 million)
  2. WALL-E ($33.4 million)
  3. Wanted ($20.6 million)
  4. Get Smart ($11.1 million)
  5. Kung Fu Panda ($7.5 million)
  6. The Incredible Hulk ($5 million)
  7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($3.9 million)
  8. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl ($3.6 million)
  9. Sex and the City ($2.3 million)
  10. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan ($2 million)

What I Watched:

  • The History Boys (4 stars) – In the vein of Dead Poets Society, but delightfully irreverent. I’d love to see this on stage.
  • Ordinary People (5 stars) – Wow. Phenomenal. Heart-wrenching. I now understand what all the fuss is about.
  • Wanted (3½ stars) – Very fun, though Act 2 dragged a little bit for me.
  • Hancock (3½ stars) – Watch out for spoilers in the comments. I went into this expecting to be disappointed and, thus, was pleasantly surprised. It was worth the price of admission just to see Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron together again. For British Eyes Only… Sure, things got a little more cerebral in the second half of the movie, but I didn’t really mind. The filmmakers took a popcorn flick and gave it a brain, though the transformation probably would have benefited from a little more time to sink in, given the brief 92-minute run time. Nonetheless, I may be in the minority, but I actually liked the second half better than the first.
  • The Virgin Suicides (3½ stars) – By no means a happy movie, but it captured the emotion of being witness (firsthand, secondhand and beyond) to suicide: the absurdity and the inexplicableness of it all. At first, I felt unsatisfied by the ending, but then I realized that’s how it is in real life when something like that happens.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (3 stars) – I was never sure for whom I was supposed to be rooting in this movie. I read some discussion on IMDB and felt a little clearer on the plot afterwards, but I still felt the only sympathetic character was Stella, and she seemed a willing victim. It was interesting to look at the atmosphere in which the film was made. Things we wouldn’t think twice about in a movie today (and things which would have made the plot a little clearer) were cut or modified from the stage version. Even though I didn’t particularly enjoy the film, the performances were undeniably phenomenal.

I also finished reading Oscar Wilde’s Salomé this week, though I’m still in the midst of Neverwhere and Jitterbug Perfume.

As for my own projects, as of posting time, I’m 29 pages into Mute with another writing session scheduled for this afternoon/evening. I should hit the midpoint some time this week. So far, Act Two hasn’t reached Orange-Level-Pulling-Out-My-Hair-Gnashing-of-Teeth Phase yet, though I suspect that might change once I move past the midpoint. Though, as they say, third time’s the charm, so maybe I’ll sail through without too much of a fight this time.

Oh, speaking of projects, I’ve posted a bibliography of sorts detailing the things I’ve written. If you’re ever curious as to how in the world I’ve been spending my time, there’s a decent explanation there.

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4 thoughts on “Box Office Results: 4 July 2008

  1. David Baker says:

    I see what you mean about Hancock. I just felt it could have been so much more cohesive if they brought the woman superhero in earlier. One of my favorite scenes was when he was teasing her in the kitchen, trying to find her weakness. Then they didn’t deliver on that.

  2. SeH says:

    I see your point. I think there are a few things that make it appropriate, though.

    1. She says toward the end that Hancock was the one made to save people (i.e., it’s not really her thing).
    2. She knows that they’re each other’s kryptonite, so her not welcoming him in and/or revealing their kindred nature is both self-preservation and her protecting him.
    3. After 80 years, she’s obviously become rather adept at hiding her true nature (as evidenced by the scene where she asks Jason Bateman to open the jar for her). We know there’s something going on from the beginning by the way she keeps looking at Hancock, but for her to betray any of her powers would have been out of character for her (and would have risked the life she’s built with a man she loves very much).

    Now, if it requires that much thinking for it to make sense to the general audience, then maybe it wasn’t done as well as it could have been. As I said, I think most people went in expecting a simple popcorn flick, and that’s what they got for the first half of the film for the most part.

    Throwing the curve ball of the origin story into the second half certainly delivers something more than what was promised by the marketing of the film, I think, but I appreciated it more for it.

  3. David Baker says:

    I take your points. I do like the story line between them and wanted it structured more around that than the husband character.

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