Now, Gods, Stand Up for Basterds!
What a difference a week makes. Just last Sunday, we were all slogging through the NY Times's Weinstein Company deathwatch profile, seeing in Bob's acute case of ping-pong elbow a sad metaphor for a once-indomitable media empire on the verge of extinction. Today, the company is back at the top of their game, with the whole country buzzing about their brutal, campy, must-see Nazisploitation romp. And that's just Project Runway! We haven't even gotten to Inglourious Basterds yet. The weekend numbers are after the jump.
1. Inglourious Basterds
Gross: $37,602,000 (new)
Screens: 3,165 (PSA: $11,881)
Time to eat a delicious plate of scalped crow, Jeffrey Wells. Not only did Basterds fail to "choke and die" at the box office, it gave Tarantino the biggest opening of his career, surpassing record-holding Kill Bill Vol. 2 by over $12 million. Credit the marquee value of Brad Pitt, a relentless marketing campaign that began with a script leak well over a year ago, and, most of all, the ungodly resilience of the Weinsteins, who, like a Louisville Sluggered Hauptbefehlsleiter stubbornly clinging to life, have ably proven that they can take a lecken and keep on ticken.
2. District 9
Gross: $18,900,000 (cume: $73,491,000)
Screens: 3,050 (PSA: $6,197)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -49.4%)
Even the prawns of Neill Blomkamp's brilliant and dark sci fi allegory seemed nonplussed by what they saw on Avatar Day, as they were overheard clicking amongst themselves in an Imax lobby that they've seen "better CGI in a Veggie Tales movies," and that "there's no way" they'd spend "4 cans of cat food" to see the whole film come December.
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Gross: $12,500,000 (cume: $120,531,000)
Screens: 3,953 (PSA: $3,162)
Weeks: 3 (Change: -44.0%)
Director Stephen Sommers, meanwhile, wondered aloud what happened to America's fun gene, that they couldn't just appreciate the Avatar trailer for what it was, before adding, "No, I feel good for Jim. I'm sure he took a pounding on Return to the Titanic's Billiards Room in 3-D or whatever the fuck his last movie was called, and I know how hard it is to make those movies. I root for him. His movie needs good reviews."
4. The Time Traveler's Wife
Gross: $10,025,000 (cume: $37,448,000)
Screens: 2,988 (PSA: $3,355)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -46.2%)
You know what the coolest thing about being a time-traveling husband? You can totally get away with hooking up with, like, hot Egyptian chicks back in the Pharaoh times, come back smelling like frankincense and lily extract, and yet your wife would never be able to prove you cheated! Unless she hired a time-traveling P.I. That would be the best episode of Cheaters ever.
5. Julie & Julia
Gross: $9,000,000 (cume: $59,288,000)
Screens: 2,463 (PSA: $3,654)
Weeks: 3 (Change: -25.3%)
Can we watch that video of Julia Child making pita bread with the guy from Pixyland.org again?
Ah. That never gets old.
[Data: Box Office Mojo]