Weekly Box Office: Pirate Domination, A Multitude of Trailers, and the Transformers are Coming!

Chicago Theater Marquee

As expected, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took the top spot at the box office this weekend, pulling in a very respectable $90M (but still fell far short of the franchise’s second and third installments).

Weekend Box Office (5/20/11)

Unsurprisingly, Pirates dominated this weekend, with Bridesmaids holding strong at the #2 spot, bolstered by positive word-of-mouth.  Fast Five slipped down to the #4 spot, while Thor saw a 75% drop, but still held on to the #3 spot.

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, $90M (opening weekend)
  2. Bridesmaids, $21.1M
  3. Thor, $15.5M
  4. Fast Five, $10.6M
  5. Rio, $4.65M
  6. Priest, $4.6M
  7. Jumping the Broom, $3.7M
  8. Something Borrowed, $3.42M
  9. Water for Elephants, $2.15M
  10. Madea’s Big Happy family, $990K

Last Week in Trailers

We’ve got a good variety of trailers from last week.

Straw Dogs, starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and Alexander Skarsgard is about a mild-mannered guy who starts a little something when he fires the guys he hired to fix his roof because they are ogling his wife (or something like that).  The drill scene is especially cringeworthy.

The Kevin James vehicle, Zookeeper, is pure, cheesy fun.  I saw this trailer in the theatre, and there was a lot of laughter going on, especially the final scene.  Predictable?  Yes.  Super corny?  Yes.  But everyone needs some light, summertime fun, and this movie should give you that.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, starring Jim Carrey, also had people chuckling.  Based on the beloved children’s book of the same name, this movie has been adapted with Carrey as an exec who discovers the meaning of family thanks to his penguin friends.

The trailer for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (???????) is a one minute teaser trailer and doesn’t really pique my interest too much, even though I am a sucker for pretty much any animated movie.

Lastly, we’ve got Fright Night, starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, and Toni Collette in the latest twist on vampires and vampire hunting.

Other Trailers

The Future – Prototypical indie film about discovering yourself.  Starring one of the guys from The New Adventures of Old Christine, a girl who looks like she could be his sister, and some strange cat.

Other Movie News

-The release date for Transformers: Dark of the Moon has been pushed forward to June 29th, instead of its original July 1st release date.

-The Cannes film festival concluded with the awarding of the Palme d’Or for Terence Malick’s divisive Tree of Life.  Kirsten Dunst claimed best actress prize for her role in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, over Tilda Swinton’s performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin.  Von Trier also earned himself a banishment from the festival, being proclaimed a persona non grata, after making some uncomfortable comments about Nazis.  Read more here.

Quick and Dirty Movie Review

I dragged my roommate to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with me this weekend.  We’ve both seen the previous three Pirates movies, but we both felt the fourth installment was just okay.  On Stranger Tides is ostensibly a reboot of the franchise, having mostly severed ties with the previous three films, but there hasn’t been enough time between At World’s End and On Stranger Tides to completely separate the films from each other, and as such, people are still probably feeling a bit of Pirates fatigue (and bad news, for those of you who are – the principals are already signed on for a fifth outing, with talks of a sixth).

The plotline is easy enough to follow – we follow two separate parties as they head towards the Fountain of Youth.  The typical intrigue and double crossing that we’ve come to expect in the Pirates franchise occurs, and the movie hearkens back more to the first film than the latter two.  The movie on its own is enjoyable, but I wasn’t blown away.  Ian McShane’s Blackbeard is a great addition – his ship is badass and he brings the right amount of evil to our cast of characters.  I was prepared to be annoyed by Penelope Cruz, but she’s fun and inoffensive, and a nice change from the eternally whining, damsel-in-distress/inspirational ass-kicker, Keira Knightley.

The movie makes some improvements on the third film, keeping most of the voodoo-y supernatural stuff to a minimum.  We’ve got mermaids this time, who inexplicably hiss like snakes or angry vampires, and are nothing like Disney’s other famous mermaid, Ariel.  There’s also an odd religious subplot/undercurrent to the film, which I found surprising.

I had a heads-up from my cousin that there was an easter egg after the credits, so I dutifully sat through all the credits, but the easter egg was just all right.  Nothing that’s going to get people talking, and certainly nothing surprising if you already know there’s going to be a fifth Pirates.

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