Posted by:
Lawrence Napoli

Box Office Weekly Roundup Ending 5/1/11


Weekly Roundup Ending 5/1/11


pic In case you’ve been living in a part of the country that has been having atrocious weather (and our hearts and prayers go out to each and every one of you if this has taken a tragic turn for the worse) summer is just around the corner with the official blockbuster blitz at the box office starting this past weekend with the release of Justin Lin’s Fast Five.  The review for this film is in the can, so for more details check that out, but I haven’t witnessed a better start to summer fun since the highly anticipated and long overdue debut of Spider-Man back in 2002.  The latest chapter to the Fast and Furious franchise is by no means a game changer that will inspire you to concoct a name for some sub-genre it invented for itself.  But it is solid action, car chases and star power used in the most effective way: all empowering to an interesting story.  This film’s predecessors and most anything involving action coming out of Hollywood these days pays little attention to story, but make no mistake: story comes first and characters come second.  Thus, with a sprinkle of Ocean’s Eleven added to the Fast and Furious equation, Fast Five kicks all manner of ass and it showed, BIG TIME, at the box office this weekend.

Top 5 this past weekend:

  1. Fast Five- $86.2 million
  2. Rio - $14.8 million
  3. Madea’s Big Happy Family - $9.86 million
  4. Water For Elephants - $9.34 million
  5. Prom - $4.71 million

Yep, everyone heard the call of the blockbuster similar to the opening sequence of The Lion King, but instead of revealing a newborn lion cub, the new Dodge Charger was introduced.  Apparently, this film did so unexpectedly well that at the time of this article’s writing, was completely down and I had to go elsewhere for cumulative totals.  Blame if these numbers seem too askew.

Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:

  1. Rango - $120 million
  2. Hop - $105.3 million
  3. Rio - $103.6 million
  4. Just Go With It - $102.6 million
  5. The Green Hornet - $98.8 million

If Fast Five’s opening weekend is an indicator for how well all of the 2011 blockbusters will be received, the current cumulative totals will be as anorexic and run-down as Lindsay Lohan.  At the same time, one must have an appreciation for the realities of spending in light of the virtual week after week hammering of major titles that begged to be seen.  Very few people make attending the cinema a regular part of their schedule, even in the summer, due to the effort and expense involved with organizing an outing with friends.  At best, any of the blockbusters is going to have 1 week where another big title doesn’t get released and that goes straight on through towards the end of July.  With everyone only having X dollars and time to spend, word of mouth has never before had such an important role to play so as to convince the curious as to the films truly worth seeing.  Word of mouth can easily stab you in the back if the film in question was simply not up to the challenge of Fast Five.  Oh yes, the tone has been set and we’ll see who is king at the end of it all.  Next up is Thor.