Around this time of year, when blockbuster juggernauts with nine-figure budgets hold sway, there are an inevitable rash of features, like this profoundly stupid piece in Time, that talk about “review-proof” movies and if critics “matter” anymore. We normally wouldn’t dignify them with a response—a movie’s box office fortunes have precisely nothing to do with a critic’s job—but since this summer’s “review-proof” articles popped up in relation to Sex And The City 2, which opened to apocalyptic reviews, we can snicker a little more about it than usual. Because even if you accept the false assertion that box office is tied to critical relevance, Sex And The City 2 turned out to be the worst possible example: Not only did its $31.1 million opening fall well short of the $46.3 million collected by the first entry, but the toxic buzz—which might be attributed to, ahem, reviews—actually caused its grosses to drop from Friday ($13 million) to Saturday ($10.1 million).
The news was bad all around, as this Memorial Day saw the weakest box office in nine years and the worst attendance in 15 years. (It’s almost as if people aren’t completely indiscriminate when they’re asked to select from a bunch of terrible options.) In its second week, Shrek Forever After topped the box office with $43.4 million ($55.7 million over the four-day stretch), bringing its total to less-than-robust $133 million. The biggest loser, however, was Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, a typically gargantuan Jerry Bruckheimer production that failed to do for video games what his Pirates Of The Caribbean did for theme park rides. At $30.1 million, good enough for third place, the film didn’t take a very large bite out of its $200 million budget.
In limited release, the latest Jean-Pierre Jeunet fantasy Micmacs opened well with $10,688 per screen on four screens while George Romero’s latest zombie movie, Survival Of The Dead, scored just $2200 per screen on 20 screens, suggesting that its fortunes are ultimately tied to On Demand and home video.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.