Box Office: The ‘A-Team’ Needed a Plan B

In absentia of our diligent box office reporter Shannon Hood I’m stepping in to bring you up to speed this week. The top three spots were taken by two remakes and one sequel, the former making me feel like I’d gone through a time warp back to the ’80’s.  It was exciting and a little disconcerting all at the same time.

Taking the top spot was the remake of the 1984 classic The Karate Kid.  For the purists out there you can rest easy knowing the producers did not use the same characters from the original.  While the premise is basically the same Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) have been replaced by Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). Personally, I thought Jaden Smith was too young to portray the character properly but the audience seemed to disagree with me.

The Karate Kidwent onto make $56 million in its opening weekend.  Given that the budget was $40 million this is certainly decent returns and I have no doubt will lead to a sequel, if not a trilogy.  Way to go Jaden!  Your superstar dad, Will Smith, must be very proud.

Coming in at number two is The A-Team.  Based on the 1983 television series, this film languished in development Hell for a decade after the rights were purchased way back in 2000.  It took director Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) to put the project back on track and while I thought it was thoroughly entertaining it didn’t draw the crowds I expected.  With only a $26 million opening it’s going to be an uphill battle to recoup the $110 million budget.

The Summer movie season is known for cycling low performing films out of theaters fast and I’m afraid The A-Teamwill be one such casualty.  This is unfortunate for the movie considering the great ensemble of Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Sharlto Copley, to say nothing of a strong supporting cast.  I guess The A-Team will live up to it’s slogan, “There is no Plan B”, as it seems unlikely at this point we’ll get a sequel.

Rounding out the top three is Shrek Forever After which made $15.8 million.  This brings Shrek’s four week total to $210 million, well ahead of the $165 million budget.  Interestingly enough the movie’s subtitle is “The Final Chapter”.  With a profit nearing $50 million I’m surprised producers would make a statement that eludes to the end of this clearly successful franchise.  Perhaps Mike Meyers is planning a sequel to The Love Guru.  For everyone’s sake I hope I’m wrong about that.

Get Him to the Greek took in another $10 million for a $36.5 million total after two weeks.  Following Greek was the Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigl action/comedy Killerswith $8 million this weekend and $30 million since opening last week.  Like many other films this Summer both underperformed and will probably struggle to make back their $40 million and $75 million budgets respectively.

One last film to mention is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.  The Michael Bay produced film seemed to be a possible replacement for the massively successful Pirates of the Caribbean series.  Unfortunately, after making another $6 million the movie has only garnished just over $72 million.  A very far cry from its $200 million budget.  Ouch.

It will be interesting to see what happens next week.  The comic book inspired Jonah Hex with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox opens along with Toy Story 3.  I’m predicting a dismal return for Johan Hex for two reasons 1) very few people know anything about the character and 2) somebody pitched this as Wild Wild West meets Van Helsing (neither of which are selling points).  Toy Story 3will probably take top spot as most Pixar films do when they open.  The only thing negative I can say about it is the fact its been 11 years since Toy Story 2.  Any endearment to these characters has long since vanished.

Nevertheless, two big Summer movies are bound to shake things up this Friday.  Check out The Flickcast next week to see what happens after the box office dust settles.  Oh, and you’ll have the very lovely Shannon back to break down the numbers.

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