Sunday, February 14, 2010

So you want to be a movie reviewer

Below, thanks to Box Office Mojo, we have the top three movie grossers of the weekend.

1 N Valentine's Day WB $52,410,000 -
2 N Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Fox $31,100,000
3 N The Wolfman Uni. 30,627,000

And grossers is to have at least two meanings if you believe the movie reviewers. Valentine's Day was savaged far and wide as a cynical, empty, dull picture that only morons would see. Reviewers of The Wolfman couldn't even summon up much scorn for this--it was simply dismissed. And pretty much the same for Percy Jackson.

There seems to be some kind of perverse trend here, an inverse success accorded to movies the reviewers consider vile. Not every weekend but many more weekends than you might imagine. Start following Box Office Mojo every Sunday afternoon and see how often this holds true.


Steve Oerkfitz said...

You can never underestimate the taste of the American public. The average person only pays attention to advertising. Movie reviews don't figure in. I did see a screening of The Wolfman. It's so-so. Looks good but could have been much better. And Valentine's Day I wouldn't see to save my life.
I did see both sneak previews this week for Shutter Island and Ghost Writer and both are very very good.

Todd Mason said...

You can't actually underestimate the quality of most film reviews, as even a casual skim of Rotten Tomatoes will make clear. I can believe THE WOLFMAN won't change anyone's life, but the praise heaped upon shallow "thinkpieces" (Oscar-winner CRASH being one of the most egregious examples...MILLION DOLLAR BABY and AMERICAN BEAUTY not being far behind in this) and the woeful misunderstanding of not a few innovative films (Mike Figgis's HOTEL being an example) suggest that the quality of such reviewers and their work is at least as dire as the run of films they have to assay.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Ed, Valentine's Day might suck--I don't know, but critics similarly savaged Nothing in Common, Flamingo Kid, Frankie & Johnnie and other Garry Marshall films that I liked, so I'm reserving judgment. Btw. the film critic for the Boston Globe liked The Wolfman.


Steve Oerkfitz said...

Dave-I liked The Flamingo Kid but he also directed such dreck as Exit to Eden, Princess Diaries, Georgia Rule and Runaway Bride.

Todd Mason said...

Also, it belatedly occurs to me that this being both a Holiday Weekend and Valentine's Day, films are likely to get a tumble if they look remotely interesting to a mass audience. My friend Kate Laity notes that THE WOLFMAN was packed tonight with VD folks...what's more romantic than the old rip and tear...

Max Allan Collins said...

VD is an oddly appropriate distillation of Valentine's Day.

THE WOLFMAN is an awful film. That is, unless it seems credible to you that Benicio Del Toro (or whatever his name is) makes a likely Shakespearan actor, a stage star whose Hamlet has the UK agog.

Any director who can't get a good performance out of Anthony Hopkins should hang it up.