STRONG B.O.: When Does 2006 Begin?

I haven't been to the movies much this year. So far my Films of 2006 count is up to 5. (HOSTEL, NIGHTWATCH, LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD, THE DESCENT and LADY VENGEANCE). NIGHTWATCH is the only one is saw in the theatre when it was officially released and the last 2, have yet to hit the screen.

If you're wondering what's keeping me away from the multiplex, take a look at the Top 20 Highest Grossing Films of 2006 so far.

20) ULTRAVIOLET - (Metacritic: 18) $14.8 million
I liked the director's last film, EQUILIBRIUM, and I thought the trailer looked pretty sweet. But the reviews were as bad as reviews can get from both critics and audiences. Still, I'll probably see it on DVD (where it will no doubt be R or Unrated) cause I'm that kind of stupid.

19) ANNAPOLIS - (Metacritic: 37) $17 million
Couldn't help but feel like I've seen this movie a couple of dozen times before, and with better actors.

18) THE HILLS HAVE EYES - (Metacritic: 52) $18.5 million
I hated the director's last film, HIGH TENSION, and the trailer feels like they're exploiting physical deformities for cheap thrills. I might catch it on DVD (where it will CERTAINLY be Unrated), but the people behind this film have a lot to prove.

17) THE SHAGGY DOG - (Metacritic: 44) $19.2 million
Tim Allen in a Walt Disney remake. This didn't look the least bit funny, and I'm not a fan of watching dogs get hurt in the name of slapstick comedy.

16) 16 BLOCKS - (Metacritic: 64) $24.2 million
I almost saw this one. I still like Bruce, and I heard Donner's directing was good again. But it just fell short of feeling worth my time. I will definitely rent the DVD.

15) FAILURE TO LAUNCH - (Metacritic: 48) $29 million
I kinda like the actors, but this is one of the flimsiest ideas for a romantic comedy ever. I think it would pain me to watch it.

14) LAST HOLIDAY - (Metacritic: 52) $38.4 million
Just not my kind of movie. It got some decent reviews, but not enough to make me want to watch it.

13) GLORY ROAD - (Metacritic: 58) $42.2 million
I liked REMEMBER THE TITANS, but it didn't make me hunger for a remake.

12) DATE MOVIE - (Metacritic: 11) $44.8 million
My love for Alyson Hannigan makes my girlfriend nervous, but the clips were dreadful and the reviews abysmal.

11) NANNY McPHEE - (Metacritic: 59) $45.4 million
The movie looks pleasant enough, but Emma Thompson's makeup is too extreme, even for a kids film. This may be the best movie on the list so far, but again not my cup of tea.

The top 10 shows the typical Spring trend of Horror Films (4 movies) and Family Fare (also 4).

10) FIREWALL - (Metacritic: 45) $45.8 million
Look mommy, a falling star. Harrison Ford doing his standard thing. Nothing new, nothing special. No reason to exist.

9) HOSTEL - (Metacritic: 64) $47.3 million
The only film in the Top 20 I've actually seen.

8) WHEN A STRANGER CALLS - (Metacritic: 27) $47.6 million
I was old enough to remember the first two times they made this movie. The plot is the Horror equivilent of a Saturday Night Live sketch stretched to feature length.

7) FINAL DESTINATION 3 - (Metacritic: 41) $52.1 million
Like STRANGER, I'd already seen this film twice before and wasn't interested in a third helping.

6) CURIOUS GEORGE - (Metacritic: 63) $53.4 million
It looks harmless enough, but I agree with Richard Roper that this film wasn't made with my dollars in mind.

5) MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION - (Metacritic: 47) $56.5 million
I confess, I'm curious to check out one of Tyler Perry's films. The trailer didn't look that bad, and this 2nd success shows that Perry is a voice in our current film culture that should be heard. I might rent the DVD and try to see the film for what its aims are, instead of dismissing it sight unseen.

4) UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION - (Metacritic: 36) $62.4 million
What put this horror film above all the others? I think HOSTEL had the best marketing (even if they did ruin the surprise), and the first UNDERWORLD didn't do that well, even with DVD. I think UNDERWORLD was (moderately) successful because it came out when audiences were getting a glut of prestige films and this promised popcorn thrills. (I heard it's actually awful, however.)

3) EIGHT BELOW - (Metacritic: 64) $67.7 million
Does this mean Paul Walker is still a bankable film star? No. People went for the dogs, which were very well reviewed. The film's advertising gave off that MARCH OF THE PENGUINS vibe. Like a Husky sled, Walker was just along for the ride.

2) BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2 - (Metacritic: 34) $68 million
Again, it opened on the right weekend, and it aimed for family audiences. (One review said it's so bland it stands as the whitest movie ever made starring a black actor.)

and the #1 film of 2006 so far...

THE PINK PANTHER - (Metacritic: 38) $75.4 million
Following disasterous screenings, numerous reshoots and a very delayed release, kudos to everyone involved who helped push this boulder uphill and into the #1 spot.

And if anybody thinks any of these movies will be remembered a year from now, please e-mail me to let me know which ones and why. (I say that even though I know there will probably be sequels to PANTHER, MOMMA, UNDERWORLD, MADEA, HOSTEL and HILLS). I'd also like to hear from somone who saw more than 3 of these films.


Blogger dan murray said...

well i am sorry to say i have seen 7 of the movies. For me only Underworld will be memorable as I loved the seies and Kate, the others are just rehash and fluff but fluff seems to sell. Underworld was rated R and had a story-convoluted- and a style. The pink panther had trailers in the movies for two years, it seems, so we knew it was bad, but Steve Martin still shines through a little. Eight Below was a good Disney style movie and Firewall was no better than a Lifetime or SCI fI movie. Date Movie was terrible, and Failure to Launch is Hitch in reverse and should have come out on Valentines day, but it was fair mindless fun. Regardless as long as Hollywood can make money on marginal films they will continue to put them out. Sorry to say we keep buying tickets and talking about them.--dandanbul.blogsport

7:31 AM  
Anonymous rkatx said...

I'm with you on why I have not coughed up $9 (Orlando) to see any of hese films.
You did turn me on to "Hostel" and I got excited about seeing it.
Freud claims there are 'no accidents' in life but that same day "Hell's Rejects" was on PPV. Not being familiar w/Eli Roth I watched the film (based on your rap about him and his techniques) for $3.99 (+ tax of course) and enjoyed the heck out of it. I have yet to see "Hostel" but I'll get to it.
My main quandry is why no one mentions "Running Scared"?
That is the only film I have seen in a theatre for 6 months, and although it has a few problems, I thought it great entertainment.
In fact I don't see it on your list of reviews. Any particular reason?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

No big secret. 2 words...Paul Walker. While I'm certainly interested in Wayne Kramer's follow up to THE COOLER and the style looks original, I hate watching Paul Walker stiffen up the screen. I'll catch it on DVD, but Walker kept me out of the cineplex.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've seen none of them and hopefully never will. no one will remember these films in 5 years, they're all just mindless hollywood crap.

3:36 PM  

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