It’s just been the Labor Day weekend in the States, which signals a four-day chance for films to earn cash, the end of summer movie season and the start of the “quality” awards period.
And as the last gasp of the popcorners arrives in cinemas, Mark Wahlberg’s based-on-truth American Football drama Invincible scored another touchdown, nabbing $15.2 million. The movie has made $38 million so far in the US.
Arriving in second place was our own Jason Statham. His new action thriller, Crank, showed plenty of adrenaline during the first Friday of its release, but that pace slowed over the weekend and it couldn’t stay ahead. But with $13 million in the coffers, it still arrived ahead of the week’s second new opening, Neil LaBute’s remake of The Wicker Man. Suffering from some seriously mixed reviews (with negatives winning out), the Nicolas Cage horror made $11.7 million before crashing and burning.
In fourth was this summer’s major non Pirate-flavoured success story. Little Miss Sunshine, starring Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear and Toni Colette, has been increasing the number of cinemas it shows in – at a time when most films are slowly shedding them – and still pulling in punters. The road trip drama comedy’s current US total stands at $36 million - talk about a place in the sun…
Fifth was The Illusionist, with the Edward Norton-starring magician drama also doing well in limited release. The film has taken $12 million so far. Talladega Nights drove into sixth, as Will Ferrell and co continue to take their victory laps. With $138.3 million in the bank, it’s this year’s clear comedy winner.
Another comedy showing holding power is Steve Odenkirk’s Barnyard: The Original Party Animals. Farmyard comedy with a weirdly male cow is obviously what the kids want to watch – provided they’ve seen Cars – and the movie’s up to $63.5 million in total so far.
Seventh place went to Accepted, which while it isn’t proving to be a roaring success, is at least holding up a little. With $29.4 million so far, it should make some decent cash on DVD once the – surely inevitable – Unrated discs arrive. World Trade Center is still in the charts, arriving at ninth before doffing its cap and leaving the top ten next weekend. The real-life drama has now made $63.7 million stateside.
Finally, we find Disney’s teen-targeted dance drama Step Up, which has nabbed $5 million this week and $58.3 million in total. But we can’t leave the charts news this week without reporting the Cinematic Crime that was the release of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. If, like us, you love Office Space, you’d have to feel for the bloke as his latest film gets summarily dumped, much like that first effort did. No posters. No trailers. And a scattering of cinemas. Where’s the love? It might not be the best film ever made, but compared to My Super Ex-Girlfriend or Garfield 2, it’s a work of bleedin’ genius…