Weekend Box Office: Audiences unsure whether they can ever truly love Gerard Butler
Suggesting America has finally ended the love affair with Gerard Butler that it was ostensibly having, Butler's Playing For Keeps—one of the only new releases in a week in which a Gerard Butler movie called Playing For Keeps qualifies as a new release worth discussing—bombed miserably in its debut weekend, landing at sixth place with a mere $6 million. It seems audiences simply couldn't learn to love the extended romance-as-soccer-or-something metaphor, despite Butler repeatedly taking his shirt off and also seeming to not hate children.
And while single ladies of varied yet very similar socioeconomic backgrounds in the movies will tell you that those qualities are automatically relationship material, it doesn't always translate to the real world: Playing For Keeps is now solidly in the middle of the worst Gerard Butler openings of all time—slightly better than this summer's Chasing Mavericks, but slightly worse than Dracula 2000. Undeterred, some producer who still believes in him continues to develop Butler's next film, Rumpled Oaf Who's Also Got A Good Heart, Really.
The weekend's only other notable opening, Hyde Park On Hudson, failed to generate much interest in its Los Angeles and New York premieres, debuting with $83,300 in just four theaters. A combination of dismal reviews—which seem to have permanently killed any possible momentum for Bill Murray come awards time—and, likely, general disinterest in seeing FDR diddle his cousin kept audiences away. Having already lost the race to the far more prestigious presidential biopic Lincoln, it might behoove Focus Features to just go the more salacious route in wide release and rename it Handjob On Hudson. Don't pretend like you wouldn't at least be curious.
Elsewhere it was more bad news for Killing Them Softly, which dropped nearly 60 percent to 10th place (and seems well on the way to disappearing soon), and more superfluously great news for Skyfall, which eased back into first place in its fifth week. And in extremely limited release, the father-and-son drama In Our Nature ($4,400) and Christian skate punk documentary Only The Young ($2,000) pulled in very modest figures in their single theaters—theaters that are just waiting for Gerard Butler to wise up and figure out they're perfect for each other.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.