With no football to distract America, this week's box office haul was remarkably robust. The top 4 movies all made north of $20 million, which is something you usually see in June, not in the dead of February. The best performer of the bunch was "The Vow," with Rachel McAdams doing her Rachel McAdams thing and drawing in legions of women who presumably dragged along their husbands/boyfriends as payback for making them watch the NFL for five straight months. Let's look at the final chart via Box Office Mojo.
1. The Vow - $41.7M
2. Safe House - $39.3M
3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - $27.5M
4. Star Wars Episode I (3D) - $23.0M
5. Chronicle - $12.3M
6. The Woman In Black - $10.3M
7. The Grey - $5.1M
8. Big Miracle - $3.9M
9. The Descendants - $3.5M
10. Underworld Awakening - $2.5M
"The Vow" easily surpassed its own budget in its first weekend, and the opening for Denzel's "Safe House" proves that he's as reliable a box office draw as ever, even though he's been choosing nothing but mediocre action fare of late. How's all this play in our little nerdy PBCS formula that factors both commercial and critical success? REVEAL THE STANDINGS!
1. Chronicle - 505
2. The Artist - 445
3. The Descendants - 378
4. The Vow - 241
5. The Woman In Black - 219
6. Safe House - 164
7. The Grey - 53
8. Star Wars Episode I (3D) - 51
9. Journey 2 - 48
10. The Iron Lady - 39
There are a couple of reasons why old movies like "The Artist" managed to beat back all those shocking box office draws from this past weekend. First of all, every one of those new movies from this weekend got bad reviews ("The Vow" in particular), which hurts them in our formula and hurts their long-term box office potential. Secondly, the Oscar race has served to prolong the life of both "The Artist" (which just swept the British Oscars) and "The Descendants" (which is clearly the movie that Oscar voters will turn to if they don't want "The Artist" to win everything). Since both those movies had great critical acclaim and have been in theaters forever (remember, our formula rewards longevity), they'll sit atop our ranking until they mercifully fall below our $1 million requirement. Meanwhile, "Chronicle" has stayed strong thanks to its low budget and decent reviews.
One more thing: America, please stop giving George Lucas money. You're only encouraging him.