The reviews are awful, but as we learned long ago, Sex and the City is power larger than any of us. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the second movie earned $17.5 million on Thursday, with insiders projecting $75 million for the five-day holiday weekend. The movie also made $3 million from midnight screenings on Thursday night.

Those numbers aren't quite as high as what the first movie earned in 2008, when it opened to $26.7 million on Friday. But it seemed pretty reasonable to expect that the sequel might underperform, given that it was coming out that much further away from the TV show's heyday in the cultural zeitgeist, and that nearly every critic--myself included-- completely hated it. But writer/director Michael Patrick King guessed right when he assumed that audiences didn't so much want to see a movie with plot and characters, but wanted another opportunity to wear high heels and giggle in a theater with their ladyfriends. It's not any different from a low-rent superhero movie that just inspires the fanboy fanatics to show up in costume, but it's equally depressing.

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