This summer has been fraught with franchises (or stuffed with sequels, for those of you who slept through high school and have no clue what fraught even means). As we wind down the season the "part twos" and "threes" keep right on coming. Rush Hour 3 carried the sequel torch this week, but one has to wonder why anyone even bothered with the film. Jackie Chan is getting too old for this stuff, and Chris Tucker still isn't funny. To add insult to injury, the movie took a step backward at the box office.
Those clever studio producers tossed more money in for yet another Rush Hour movie. This time the total came to a painful $140 million (probably due in part to Tucker's bloated pay check and money to keep people hushed up about Chan's stunt doubles). Rush Hour 3 opened at number one, but still took a step backward from the last movie, only earning $50 million out of the gate this weekend (Rush Hour 2 took in $67 million). Let's face it: the franchise is getting tired, audiences are getting tired, and the movies keep getting worse and worse. Now the money train is starting to reverse itself as well. Here's hoping it spells the end for the Rush Hour adventure. I don't think intelligent audiences or Chan's hips and knees can take any more.
Stardust is being hailed by some as the next Princess Bride and "Shrek for grown ups" by others. Call it whatever you want, just don't call it lucrative. It's a crime when fun, original movies like this can't earn their keep while repetitive, diminishing crap like Rush Hour 3 rakes it in without batting an eye. The movie saw a lot of love from critics but very little from the box office. With only $9 million it came in fourth place and a long way off from recovering its $70 million budget.
Daddy Day Camp, the latest attempt by Cuba Gooding Jr. to drive his Oscar winning career into the dirt, barely scraped enough to make the bottom spot in the top ten. No love lost there. The really great news, though, was the fate of After Dark's Skinwalkers. It earned a pathetic $565,000, which is terrible, even for a movie in such small release. With any luck we may just see the awful-movie-making-machine After Dark disappear altogether.
Next weekend Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig try their hands at sci-fi thriller with The Invasion, Colin Firth takes a stab at an Arthur adventure in The Last Legion, and Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow venture an attempt at the next American Pie flick with Superbad. America loves watching awkward teenagers trying to get laid (what would Freud say?). Look for Superbad to be number one next week.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP TEN August 10 - 12, 2007
LW = Last Week WR = Weeks Released THTRS = Number of Screens * Denotes new release. Click on title to read CB Review