Tag Archives: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

US Box Office Report: 29/05/15 – 31/05/15

San Andreas is no busta, Aloha says Aloha to any semblance of money, Results can barely do one measly pull-up, I can’t even make up a terrible pun for Heaven Knows What cos it looks too miserable, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Prior to this weekend, it seemed very much like the box office was going to be extremely quiet until the release of Jurassic World in a fortnight.  After all, we all knew that Tomorrowland was going to bomb, Spy will do well but isn’t exactly going to light anything on fire, I know of only one human being who is (self-loathingly) excited for the Entourage movie and he works for this very website, and I know of no human beings who are clamouring for another frickin’ Insidious movie.  Post-Pitch Perfect and post-Mad Max, we basically entered a quiet period where little of interest was coming out and nothing was going to do particularly well or make for exciting headlines.

It turns out, however, that we all forgot one very important thing: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  So although San Andreas on paper looked to be a middling underperformer that would be collectively skipped because, goddamn, did this movie ever look (and was) excruciatingly boring, in practice the film stormed its way to number 1 with $53 million in ticket sales.  There’s also the fact that it’s an expensive-looking disaster movie released on a weekend where there was almost literally nothing else of note coming out against it, but I think we all know that this is entirely down to Dwayne Johnson.  I mean, the guy is just the best, isn’t he?  He’s the best.  I want him as my dad!

The “of note” was added onto that prior paragraph because San Andreas was not the only wide release of this past weekend.  That other one would be Aloha, the first film in almost four years from writer-director Cameron Crowe.  In case you hadn’t heard, the film is apparently utter garbage that even Sony heads hated which, combined with the fact that Cameron Crowe has only ever really broken out of being a cult filmmaker maybe twice (thrice if you want to count We Bought A Zoo) in his entire 25 year career, basically sealed its fate even with Bradley Cooper in the lead role.  It’s kind of a bomb, opening in sixth place with an estimated $10 million – that, for those of you playing along at home, is behind the third weeks of Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road, the second week of Tomorrowland, and the fifth week of Avengers.

In the land of limited releases, Mumblecore architect Andrew Bujalski took a tentative step towards making a mainstream movie with the Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and Kevin Corrigan-starring rom-com-ish (I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know how much it sticks to and how much it subverts formula) Results.  The public responded somewhat warmly, with the film finishing up the weekend with $13,000 from 3 screens, which isn’t too bad considering that it’s been on VOD since March 13th.  Meanwhile, pure-unfiltered-misery in the shape of Heaven Knows Whathere’s the trailer which, even with the obnoxious and ill-fitting Harmony Korine-style editing and soundtrack, gives as good an idea as any as to how miserable that film is going to make me – got off to a very good start with $15,000 from 2 screens.  I realise that doesn’t seem like much, but this is a movie about homeless heroin addicts that looks BLEAK AS F*CK.  So, yeah, I’m gonna chalk that up as a win.


san andreas

All this Full List had to do was FOLLOW THE DAMN TRAIN!

Box Office Results: Friday 29th May 2015 – Sunday 31st May 2015

1] San Andreas

$53,215,000 / NEW

Saw this on Saturday and I mostly agree with Steve, it’s not very good.  I think the cast really try and there are a few sequences that are pretty good, but mostly I just found this incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.  Oh, and loud.  Very, very loud.  It has got some fine Paul Giamatti overacting, though, so that’s worth something.

Also, yes, I do find the irony in the fact that Tomorrowland, a film that sermonises about our obsession with turning death and planetary destruction and disaster into harmless entertainment, was unceremoniously dumped from number one by a film that is exactly what the former spends 130 minutes railing against.

2] Pitch Perfect 2

$14,381,000 / $147,540,000

This has a surprisingly strong chance of surpassing Fifty Shades of Grey’s closing total of $166 million.  It’s barely $20 million away from it, already, and with its strong mid-week grosses it could hold onto that trajectory even when Spy drops next week.  Yay to all of this!  And, yes, I still do really like this movie and believe it to be better than the first.  Accept that I’m not budging, and let’s close the book on this issue.

3] Tomorrowland

$13,803,000 / $63,188,000

Yeah…  this…  this isn’t making its money back.  Not even close.  I really hope that the lesson Hollywood takes away from the failures of this and Jupiter Ascending is not that the public doesn’t want expensive original blockbusters.  It’s that we want good expensive original blockbusters.  Actually, that doesn’t quite work since Jupiter Ascending is a good expensive original blockbuster, but the sentiment is still the same.

4] Mad Max: Fury Road

$13,625,000 / $115,915,000

You know what?  I think I’m going to go and see this again this week.  You should too.  I don’t care if you’ve already seen it 5 times in 3 weeks, that’s still not enough times to fully appreciate this magnificent specimen of a film and you damn well know it!

5] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$10,920,000 / $427,070,000

Gee, Box Office Mojo!  It sure would be great if I could find out how Age of Ultron is doing in China, the one market that actually matters for this movie, on a week-to-week basis!  But not knowing anything because you have decided to skip on the details of your detail-oriented website and dropped so hard in overall quality since Ray Subers left is fine too!  Really!  I love having to put in an unnecessarily large amount of work for what should instead be a fun little 75 minute writing exercise each week!  I’m not irritated at all!

6] Aloha

$10,000,000 / NEW

Bummed to hear this one sucks, but I guess I now know why I have to wait until September 1st – The UK’s Dumping Ground – to see it.  On an entirely unrelated note, I need to actually watch a Cameron Crowe film, since he’s one of those filmmakers I’ve heard great things about but never actually seen anything by (otherwise known as: Most Filmmakers).  I guess I’ll start with Pearl Jam 20, since Lucy will not stop going on about Pearl Jam, and go from there.

7] Poltergeist

$7,800,000 / $38,267,000

Told you this would sink like a stone.  At least Insidious: Chapter 3 can’t use this as a scapegoat defence if it underwhelms next weekend.  Side wish: please underwhelm majorly so I never have to be at risk of seeing an Insidious trailer again.

8] Far From The Madding Crowd

$1,420,000 / $8,362,000

Look, instead of watching this garbage, why don’t we all instead go and watch Thomas Vinterberg’s much, much, much better previous film The Hunt?  It’s got Mads Mikkelsen in it!  In fact, why don’t we all also just watch Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series instead of this tripe?  I think we can all agree that both options are much better usages of our collective time than this walking gasbag.

9] Hot Pursuit

$1,370,000 / $32,351,000

Well, goodbye, Hot PursuitYou couldn’t even make back your $35 million budget, which would be sad if your film wasn’t apparently so excruciatingly terrible.  Don’t let the actually-good Spy knock you on your arse on the way out.  Spy, after all, deserves better than associating with wastes of space like you.

10] Home

$1,150,000 / $170,409,000

Wait, this actually made it to 10 weeks on the chart?!  And is the fourth highest-grossing film of the year domestically at time of writing?  Alright!  High fives and party poppers all round, folks!  Today is a very good day!  Now if Shaun The Sheep: The Movie could be somewhat of a success when it launches in America in August, that would be just peachy!

I know that that is never going to happen, just give me a few more seconds of blissful denial.

Dropped Out: Furious 7, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Callum Petch is just trying to change the world.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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US Box Office Report: 22/05/15 – 24/05/15

Tomorrowland comes today and is really underwhelming, Poltergeist is here and did really mediocre… y’know what?  This whole Memorial Day Weekend was basically a total bust, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

You may not know this, but this past weekend was a Bank Holiday.  No, really.  A second one in the same month, the official “Spring Bank Holiday”.  No, I really don’t know why.  Maybe we have it so that, when America shuts down for Memorial Day Weekend, we don’t have to wonder what those lazy ingrates are celebrating for whilst we have to keep going to our miserable dead-end jobs.  Did anything even actually shut down on Monday for anybody?  All of the shops in my village remained open as if it was any normal Monday, as if even they realised that this bank holiday is utterly pointless…

Hmm…?  Oh, right, movies.  Sorry, I was awake until 3:30am last night essay writing and got barely 5 hours of sleep.  My brain might make some left-turns during this piece, so be prepared.

Anyways, Memorial Day Weekend!  Typically, this is the period in which studios launch their biggest heavy-hitters to guide the 4-day weekend to piles-full of Scrooge McDuck money.  For example, last year, 20th Century Fox dropped X-Men: Days of Future Past, and despite humanity collectively forgetting everything that ever happened in that 2 hour piece of moving wallpaper as soon as they left the cinema – yeah, I said it – the film still opened to a ridiculous $110 million.  Analyst expectations were high, everyone was on the edge of their seat, this is meant to be the first Summer Blockbuster season that crosses $5 billion, after all, so Memorial Day Weekend should be a fever pit of activity, right?

Small problem with that: the two big films that people gave a sh*t about came out last weekend.  Instead we got a bad Brad Bird film, which is a phrase that physically hurts to type, and a crappy pointless horror movie remake.  Surprising nobody, the box office promptly died on its arse.

Tomorrowland is technically the winner, since it ended up in first place over the period, but it could barely scrape together $40 million over all four days which, for a film that cost $190 million to make and has been marketed and advertised to the hilt, is more than a little pathetic and embarrassing.  Hell, it barely beat the second week of Pitch Perfect 2, which was in an almost dead-heat with Tomorrowland for most of the weekend!  Meanwhile, Poltergeist posted exactly the numbers that you are expecting a crappy horror movie remake to post.  It started out strong on Friday with a good $9 million, then proceeded to sink like a stone once every horror fan collectively realised that, yeah, it was a bit sh*t, wasn’t it?  It eventually finished the long weekend with $26 million for fifth place.

In the land of the limited releases… things were rather crap over there, too, actually.  The only thing worth talking about was When Marnie Was There, currently the last planned Studio Ghibli film so, let’s face it, it would have still been the only thing worth talking about even if the limited releases were filled to the brim with films of quality and note.  Well, for the possible swansong of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, animation studios that has ever existed, the public came out in force!  They all collectively joined arms, packed their best tissues, and skipped merrily together down to their local cine…  Sigh.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  Marnie managed to post a three-day weekend total of $27,388 from 2 screens.  By contrast, Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya managed $54,915 from 3 screens, whilst Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises scored $313,751 from 21 screens.  So, a bit underwhelming.  It did, though, post the highest per-screen average of the whole miserable weekend, at $13,694, so little victories and all that.


tomorrowland 1

This Full List will only be doing the three-day period of this four-day weekend (but including the fourth day in the total gross so far area) cos that’s the formula.  You know what happens when you mess with formula?  Chaos and anarchy, that’s what!

Box Office Results: Friday 22nd May 2015 – Sunday 24th May 2015

1] Tomorrowland

$32,972,000 / $41,736,000 / NEW

My review, for those of you who enjoy reading my opinions on stuff, for some bizarre reason.  Yeah, really disappointed that this one didn’t work and I lay the blame at Brad Bird’s feet.  I know that a lot of people are going to blame Damon Lindelof, and I do get why, but he’s not mainly to blame, here.  I mean, Lindelof’s various works are a lot of things, but the last thing that they are is preachy and obsessively on-the-nose about their messaging, to the detriment of everything else.  Bird is usually way better than this, but he dropped the ball here for whatever reason.  Damn shame.

2] Pitch Perfect 2

$30,830,000 / $117,305,000

For those of you following along at home, that is a 55% drop between weekends which is a far better hold than I thought this film would have.  It is typical, after all, for female-targeted movies to drop majorly between weekends – last year’s box office smash The Fault In Our Stars collapsed 70% between weekends, whilst Fifty Shades Of Grey plummeted 73% between weekends – so this hold is pretty miraculous.  It’s not tearing it up overseas like I thought it would, but $250 million worldwide still seems like a lock by this point, and combined with the inevitable smash that it will be on DVD…

Give me a moment, I just want to savour all of this cos like sh*t is anybody going to give this the proper credit that it is due.

3] Mad Max: Fury Road

$24,815,000 / $95,540,000

Look, I know that everybody is collectively crapping their pants because Fury Road hasn’t slaughtered every box office record and made off with all the money in the world in its first week.  I get that, I really do, the quick-fix narrative of modern day box office reportage makes any film that doesn’t immediately dominate all-comers a complete failure that will sully impressive track-records and ruin careers.  But look a little closer for a second: Max spent the weekdays trading incredibly close places with Pitch Perfect 2, whilst posting very strong numbers, it’s doing very well overseas, that R-rating was always going to handicap it anyway, $150 million domestic now seems a lock, and it’s only dropped 45% between weekends with nothing else to really challenge it until Jurassic World comes along.

Plus, as myself and Lucy discovered on Thursday together for the second time, it’s still an utterly mesmeric movie that deserves way more than a ridiculous box office narrative attached to it.  Believe me, it’s going to be fine.

4] Poltergeist

$22,600,000 / $25,509,000 / NEW

Yep, the reason why it finishes fifth on the four-day scale is because it only made $2.9 million on the Monday.  Crappy horror movies, and especially pointless crappy remakes of actually good horror movies, won’t hang around for long.  Nor, in fact, will actually good horror movies.  Really, no horror movies do particularly strongly at the cinema.  Huh.

5] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$21,691,000 / $410,978,000

do we think anything will ever beat Avatar’s $2.7 billion all-time worldwide gross?  Can anything?  I ask because I don’t want Avatar to be remembered as a statistic, mainly because I don’t want Avatar to be remembered at all.  Nobody remembers anything from the movie itself, anyway, so we’re already halfway there!

6] Hot Pursuit

$3,600,000 / $30,300,000

The rest of this chart might be wrong, don’t blame me if it is.  Box Office Mojo has clearly been handed over to a clueless intern for whatever reason, and is thusly impossible to read and trust.  I can’t find anything, several reported grosses are just plain wrong – yeah, sure Pitch Perfect 2 posted a $30 million weekend but only did $900,000 on Friday – and their write-ups are somehow even worse than mine.  What’s going on, folks?  Sort it out!  Where am I going to go otherwise for this stuff?  Deadline?  (*snorts derisively*)

7] Furious 7

$2,232,000 / $347,687,000

So I am actually now cross-checking with Deadline on all of these entries for total accuracy.  Feel I need to explain that that was my attempt at a light-hearted joke and that I harbour no ill will to any potential outlets who are looking for writers and, if they’re gigs of the paying variety, I can be reached at p…  (*author notices Owen eyeballing him, hastily covers up work and moves on*)

8] Far From The Madding Crowd

$2,200,000 / $6,048,000

At least I never have to hear “Come all ye fair and tender girls” ever again.  Hearing it in front of damn near every single film for 3 straight months was absolutely maddening, which is something I should never have to say about Carey Mulligan’s singing.

9] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$1,875,000 / $66,358,000

Kevin James’ next film has just been picked up by Netflix, the company that just won’t stop enabling Happy Madison affiliates despite common goddamn sense.  If this is this trade-off for Orange Is The New Black and Bojack Horseman… well, I can’t really have an opinion in this case as I haven’t watched either show yet.  They are in my cue, though, so I’ll get to them around 2018.  At the earliest.

10] Home

$1,753,000 / $168,763,000

Well, after nine weeks of quietly decent performing, it’s time to say goodbye to Home.  It’s almost certainly not done well enough to justify DreamWorks continuing to spend $135 million on every damn film they release – thank CHRIST, that lesson cannot be hammered into them fast enough – but it’s hopefully done strong enough to keep them afloat for another year.  Yay!  Now I’m just going to go and find myself some Tip merchandise so that I can feel good and happy about DreamWorks taking steps towards better representation in ani…

Just one goddamn doll?  One?!

(*buries head in hands, defeated*)

Dropped Out: The Age of Adaline, Ex Machina

Callum Petch is living on such sweet nothing.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 15/05/15 – 17/05/15

Pitch Perfect 2 beat Mad Max: Fury Road so I guess society is completely fucked or something, Age of Ultron has only just now passed $1 billion so Marvel are completely fucked I guess, people are still voluntarily giving money to Far From The Madding Crowd, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

This weekend, two female-driven – and, at least according to the fact that the film itself bills Charlize Theron above Tom Hardy, female-fronted – blockbusters/tentpoles made a combined opening weekend of $114 million between them.  If you, for some literally inexplicable reason, still thought prior to this weekend that female-fronted and female-targeted films just can’t make any money, then this should finally piledrive that stupid, moronic, close-minded, and arguably sexist line of thinking straight down to the earth’s core where it will never again return from.  Now watch as Hollywood, instead of doing the correct thing and green-lighting every single female-driven film that crosses their path, sticks dollar bills in their ears, loudly yells “LA LA LA” and continues to try and shove Jai Courtney or Joel Kinnaman down our throats.

So, I’m celebrating!  Two damn great, staunchly feminist movies with a female-focus just made ALL the money!  …oh, no, wait, hang on.  Cancel the celebrations, it turns out that Pitch Perfect 2 beat Mad Max: Fury Road, like we all saw coming from a mile away.  After all, one’s a PG-13 teen comedy sequel to a sleeper hit from 3 years ago that became a sensation on home video, whilst the other is a hard R-rated action sequel to a cult franchise that hadn’t produced any activity in exactly 30 years prior to this.  What did you all think was going to happen?  Pitch Perfect 2 handily trounced Mad Max: Fury Road, $70 million to $44 million, and both posted absolutely ludicrous per-screen averages, $20,242 and $12,004 respectively.

In a perfect world, we would all simply sit here and celebrate the fact that these two films did great and be happy and optimistic about the future of this whole Movies thing.  Unfortunately, our world is crap and so now I, along with those of us who follow Film Twitter even tangentially or who are even slightly involved in Internet Film Circles, have to strap in for the next week of Thinkpiece Hell.  Joy!  What’s on your bingo card?  I am expecting variations on “Damn Millennials, ruining everything for the rest of us!”, “REAL action movies are DEAD!!”, “stupid girls with their cooties!”, and “Why Film Critics Don’t Matter In 2015” among others.  I mean, GOD FORBID we just take this positive victory as is and leave it at that(!)

Also likely to cause Thinkpiece Hell, although it’s already done a fine enough job of that before this weekend, is The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  This weekend, the film finally passed the $1 billion mark worldwide, but only after 24 days, which is foooooreeeeveeeerrr in these days of Furious 7 crossing the mark in 19.  Clearly this means that Marvel Studios are in complete disarray and that, in addition to ruining all blockbusters for everybody forever, they have ruined their once glorious and infallible reputation on a not-completely-incredibly-brilliant film that everybody hates and nobody wants to see again.  Oh, the horror!  Oh, the humanity!

Meanwhile, Far From The Madding Crowd breaks into the Top 10 and nobody’s whipping up their vitriol for that.  I fucking hate Film Internet.


pitch perfect two

What a lovely day for this aca-mazing Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 15th May 2015 – Sunday 17th May 2015

1] Pitch Perfect 2

$70,300,000 / NEW

I stand by most all of my review.  See, heading back in this past weekend, I was rather nervous, because my good friend Jackson hated the living daylights out of this film for perfectly legitimate reasons – his great review is over here – and he and I are so well-tuned and agree so often with one another that whenever we do end up having differing opinions I end up getting very worried and self-conscious, especially since he’s really good at reading films (better than I am, at any rate).  Did I get it wrong?  How did I miss such glaringly obvious minority-marginalising?  Do I not check my privilege enough despite spending almost every goddamn day fretting over everything I do or say?  Does really liking something problematic make me a terrible person?

Then I saw the film again, had a lot of fun whilst acknowledging certain flaws, and left feeling confident in my opinion, albeit slightly cooler on it than I was the first time.  One of these days I’ll learn not to be so self-conscious, it’s bad form in this critic game.

2] Mad Max: Fury Road

$44,440,000 / NEW

At approximately 5:18PM on Saturday the 16th of May 2015, I am 80% certain that I witnessed perfection, and it was tear-inducing.  The last shot of Fury Road is the textbook definition of perfection, for me, and it so perfectly caps off a film for which there are no descriptors that could be classed as hyperbole when applied to this thing.  I couldn’t think straight for almost the rest of the day, let alone form coherent thoughts on this utter masterpiece of cinema.  It’s… it’s just beautiful.  Utter beauty.  I don’t know why we haven’t been giving George Miller $150 million live-action budgets for the last 20 years, and why we’ve been settling for anything less than this.  I really don’t.  More coherent thoughts can be found here on the site by good old Brooker.

Also, I want to be even a tenth as awesomely and passionately feminist as Imperator Furiosa when I grow up.

3] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$38,837,000 / $372,008,000

Finally going to give this a re-watch on Thursday, when I can finally get a spare few moments break from the Hell that is Essay Season 2015.  Then I’ll more than likely immediately walk back into Mad Max: Fury Road afterwards.  Then I’ll get out of Fury Road and immediately buy a ticket for the next showing, and so on and so on until that film is seared permanently into my retinas.

4] Hot Pursuit

$5,780,000 / $23,504,000

This collapsed 59% between weekends, surprising nobody since Pitch Perfect 2 arrived to remind everybody what a good female-led and female-focussed comedy should look like, and Mad Max: Fury Road arrived to inform everybody of what feminist entertainment should be like.  Therefore, this movie has no reason to exist.  Roll on July 31st when I can be incredibly disappointed myself, then, I guess.

5] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$3,600,000 / $62,939,000

I don’t care that this is only making miniscule money each week and has still only just made half worldwide of what the first one managed worldwide, WHY IS THIS UTTERLY REPREHENSIBLE PIECE OF SLOTH FAECES STILL HANGING AROUND MY CHART?! Get it out of here!  Get it out!  OUT!  GET IT THE FU…

6] Furious 7

$3,600,000 / $343,800,000

This has a higher per-screen average than Blart yet is sat behind it, for some reason.  Why?  Do we really think that the actuals are going to hurt this more than Blart?  Ugh, whatever.  Let’s instead look forward to next February’s Academy Awards where this and Mad Max will duke it out for Best Picture!  …it can totally happen, shut up.

7] The Age of Adaline

$3,200,000 / $37,072,000

I don’t know what the hyper-specific and scientific narration in this movie was all about, but what I do know is that it made me really, really want a resurrected Pushing Daisies.  Hey, Bryan Fuller!  Yeah, I hear that Hannibal is great and all, but could you maybe put it on pause to bring back Pushing Daisies?  Thanks!

8] Home

$2,700,000 / $165,647,000

This just will not die at my local Cineworld.  No, really, it’s still here after more than two full months!  I don’t care anymore about box office grosses, I’m just going to class this as a full-blown success and live in bliss for a while.

9] Ex Machina

$2,103,000 / $19,556,000

Really looking forward to revisiting this when it hits Blu-Ray on June 1st.  Film Crit Hulk’s piece on it this past week has sufficiently stoked those fires and I’m all about revisiting that ending to see if I read it wrong – I saw it as the film sacrificing its fantastic and angry gender themes in favour of returning to the surface-level and far less compelling AI themes – or whether Alex Garland really is just 90% incapable of sticking the goddamn landing.

10] Far From The Madding Crowd

$1,300,000 / $2,631,000

This goddamn movie…  If I get started on this thing, I will be here all day, so just skip to the drop-outs before I spoil a nice day with unrestrained venom.

Dropped Out: Woman In Gold, Cinderella

Callum Petch got you thinking just too much.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 08/05/15 – 10/05/15

Age of Ultron drops like that one thing from the movie that I can’t specify cos spoilers I guess, Hot Pursuit has lost ‘em, The D Train has been cancelled, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Continuing to very much embody and experience the effects of the younger sibling of the family – in that it comes along after a successful first effort that everybody loves, has unreasonably high expectations fostered upon it that it unsurprisingly doesn’t live up to, ends up vocally liked a whole lot less than its older sibling, and eventually grows up to be a miserable burnout who never received the love and compassion that could have stoked its drive to succeed and do something great with the world, YOU MONSTERSThe Avengers: Age of Ultron managed a second weekend of only $77 million for first place, $26 million less than The Avengers’ second weekend.  (*takes deep breath*) CINEMA IS DOOOOOOOOOO-

In non-superhero news, because such things do actually exist nowadays believe it or not, Hot Pursuit came out!  You know, that Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara buddy-movie?  Fronted by women, directed by a woman, aimed at women, things that are still unfortunately rare in this damn industry?  The one that looks like (and, by all accounts, is) total garbage?  Yeah, that one!  Well, it’s a dud.  Despite canny counter-programming placement and an apparently decent marketing campaign, it turns out that those toxic reviews caught up with it after all, so its second place finish came from a paltry $13 million.  Maybe everybody was saving their money for Pitch Perfect 2 next weekend instead.

(Side bar: If Pitch Perfect 2 bombs, I am going medieval on everyone’s asses.  Consider yourselves warned.)

Meanwhile, in the land of limited releases…  things were rather miserable here, too, actually.  I’m starting to believe that people actually were saving their money for Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 next weekend.  Doing the worst of the lot and opening on the most screens of the lot was The D Train which built its marketing campaign around Jack Black and a twist that anybody could figure out purely by looking at the goddamn title.  It did horrendously, only managing $469,000 from 1,003 screens for a per-screen average of $465.  That makes it the 17th worst opening weekend for a wide-release film ever and puts it below even Men, Women & Children in terms of per-screen averages.  Poor, poor Jack Black.  I was looking forward to christening his career resurrection “Back In Jack Black” but I guess everybody figured that would happen and decided to snuff out the whole concept to be safe.

Speaking of actors pushing themselves out of their comfort zone only to be slapped down violently by an uncaring public who just want the monkeys to dance for their amusement, dammit, Arnold Schwarzenegger tried acting in a moody zombie drama called Maggie this past weekend where, by all accounts, he actually acted instead of just chewing scenery!  This, however, is not the kind of sh*t the public pay to see Arnie do, dammit, and so the film could only manage $131,000 from 79 screens for a sub-$2,000 per-screen average.  Not even “pleasant” movies were saved from general public apathy as the Morgan Freeman/Diane Keaton comedy 5 Flights Up found out the hard way, only mustering up $234,000 from 87 screens for a $2,690 per-screen average.  The only success from this weekend was I Am Big Bird which managed a $10,000 per-screen average… from its singular screen.


maggie

We’ll head off this Full List at the pass, boys!

Box Office Results: Friday 8th May 2015 – Sunday 10th May 2015

1] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$77,203,000 / $312,589,000

This will pass a billion next week.  Three words my friends: Chinese opening weekend.  Mad Max doesn’t have a release date over there yet, and Tomorrowland doesn’t drop until the very end of May.  Consider this Open Season for The Avengers on the Chinese box office.  I really need to find the time to see this again in cinemas before the utter mayhem that is Summer Movie Season 2015 boots this to home media.

2] Hot Pursuit

$13,300,000 / NEW

Disappointed but not at all surprised to hear that this is garbage.  I watched that trailer, too, and it was around about the time jokes were made about how Reese Witherspoon is short (ha!) and Sofia Vergara is over-40-and-therefore-ancient (HA!) that I realised, despite all my best hopes, that this would be pure garbage.  Sigh.  Hurry along, Pitch Perfect 2.  Show the rest of cinema how to do this sh*t right.

3] The Age of Adaline

$5,600,000 / $31,529,000

Saw this this past weekend and I was so close to liking it for what it is – a film that wastes its thematically rich premise on a bog-standard love story with an infinitely better melodramatic subplot at the halfway point – but it loses points for having a lead male protagonist who only gets the girl because he keeps forcefully inserting himself into her life despite her objections, wearing her down until she finally goes on a date and realises how dreamy he is.  Serious question: how goddamn hard is it to get a romance story that’s actually friggin’ romantic, huh?!  Surprisingly great Harrison Ford performance, though.

4] Furious 7

$5,272,000 / $338,420,000

When actuals came in last weekend, this did beat Adaline after all.  Might even happen again!  Who knows?  Not I, for I am neither psychic nor particularly bothered.

5] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$5,190,000 / $58,075,000

Oh, just fuck off already.

6] Ex Machina

$3,470,000 / $15,722,000

This expanded to another 725 theatres this past weekend, putting it up to 2,004 total, hence why it’s made a fair bit more money than last weekend.  I mean, its per-screen average isn’t particularly great but, again, this is a hard sci-fi that’s expanding purely on word-of-mouth and with little advertising behind it.  I think we can agree that this is doing fine.

7] Home

$3,000,000 / $162,116,000

Up to $330 million worldwide which makes it currently the 18th highest grossing DreamWorks film worldwide.  It will pass Over The Hedge this week but Shark Tale seems more than a little out-of-reach, and it’s still made less worldwide than notorious flop Penguins of Madagascar.  No, I won’t stop worrying about DreamWorks Animation.  I feel like a parent with a kid at Secondary School – the kid is more than likely fine and capable of taking care of themselves, but I’m going to keep worrying regardless.

8] Woman In Gold

$1,652,000 / $26,978,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good retailers on July 27th.

9] Cinderella

$1,574,000 / $196,116,000

OK, I am completely out of things to say for most of this list.  Can the rest of May hurry up please so that I get some fresh material?  Not too quickly, mind, I still have 5 uni essays to do in the next 8 or so days, but, y’know, soon.

10] Unfriended

$1,412,000 / $30,943,000

Lucy was sufficiently impressed with this when she reviewed it for Screen 1 – if you missed the episode, you can listen back here – which, coupled with the generally positive responses I have heard from other people, has led me to believe that this isn’t a total waste of time.  I’ll find out for myself on DVD then, I guess. [Owen: Also, we covered this on our recent podcast and apparently have a very different opinion to Callum’s colleague]

Dropped Out: The Longest Ride

Callum Petch will do this one himself.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 01/05/15 – 03/05/15

Age of Ultron makes all of the money but not ALL of the money so cinema is officially doomed, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Heading into this weekend, Disney and Marvel Studios were probably preparing the Scrooge McDuck money bin for the inbound GDP of multiple small countries that would make up the opening weekend total of Age of Ultron.  After all, it’s not like they’ve been quiet about the fact that the film was inbound – I’m waiting for somebody to piece together the movie from the endless promo clips that Marvel released for this thing, like what happened with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – it’s The Avengers, and it’s not like there was anything else out this weekend.  Or the weekend before that.  Or the weekend before that.  What was everybody going to do, watch Furious 7 again?  They probably felt like Shane McMahon; “here comes the mon-ay!

Well, the mon-ay came, but not in the Earth-shattering quantity that we all unreasonably expected it to.  Age of Ultron opened in first, and accounted for 85% of the weekend’s domestic box office, but it didn’t beat The Avengers’ $207 million opening weekend.  In fact, it didn’t even come close, finishing with $187 million.  I mean, it’s understandable, the first Avengers was an EVENT MOVIE of epic proportions, the first time that we could see all of these guys (and girl) together on screen in the same movie.  By simple fact of it happening again, Age of Ultron is only an Event Movie, and no amount of excess marketing saturation can change that.

Then there’s also the fact that everybody seems very much more divided on this instalment than the first one.  I mean, not so much audience-wise – it got an “A” on the shaky silly CinemaScore metric – but critically, definitely.  I mean, I’m probably going to be on the minority side of things with regards to my critic friends by liking it, and this divide will likely bleed over into the general public, too.  Plus, some sh*tty boxing thing happened this weekend or something, and there’s only one thing that captures the American public’s slovenly attention quicker than movies…  It’s sports, I’m talking about sports.  Besides, this is still, by a considerable margin, the second best opening weekend in America ever, and the film is already up to $436 million overseas with China still to go.

However, Age of Ultron did not beat The Avengers in its opening weekend and May is incredibly crowded with regards to films – basically guaranteeing that Ultron won’t match The Avengers’ total – so cinema is now doomed forever.  The superhero bubble has burst, folks!  Marvel Studios are over the hill!  Their films aren’t as good as they used to be, they can’t beat opening weekend records anymore, and they only made all of the money instead of ALL of the money!  They’re finished, the genre is finished, this whole goddamn medium is finished!  If even Marvel can’t make ALL of the money, anymore, then what hope is there for the rest of us?!  WHAT, I TELLS YA?!

Oh, yeah, and Far From The Madding Crowd opened in limited release this weekend.  $172,000 from 10 theatres.  Snooze.


age of ultron

There are no strings on this Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 1st May 2015 – Sunday 3rd May 2015

1] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$187,656,000 / NEW

Yes, even with a per-screen average of $44,000, Age of Ultron is still a failure!  …yeah, OK, I’m gonna stop that now.  I am serious though when I say that I don’t think Ultron is going to match The Avengers’ total, at least domestically.  The first film had nothing serious to challenge it for three weeks, and even then I don’t think we all expected Men In Black III to perform that well, but Ultron has the combined onslaught of Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 in 11 days, with Tomorrowland the week after.  Even if one of those bombs – hint: it’s going to be Tomorrowland, get the disappointment out of your system now – that’s still two films taking a chunk out of its box office.  We’ll see, I guess.  Man, this Summer is stacked!

2] The Age of Adeline

$6,250,000 / $23,424,000

Wait, this actually beat Furious 7?!  I mean, I sort of saw this coming since this has only been out for two weeks and Furious 7 has been out for over a month, but still.  Huh.

3] Furious 7

$6,114,000 / $330,539,000

Up to $1.4 billion worldwide, now the 4th highest grossing film worldwide of all-time, has successfully made $1 billion purely from foreign markets, and is closing fast on The Avengers’ $1.5 billion.  It might actually get there, but this going to go right down to the wire.  I still can’t get over the fact that all of this originally came from a silly mid-budget Point Break riff from 2001.

4] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$5,500,000 / $51,186,000

So, last Thursday, I was given the opportunity by my university to go down to London, attend a press-only screening of Pitch Perfect 2, and have a 20 minute roundtable interview with the film’s director (and movie star in her own right), Elizabeth Banks, afterwards.  I have been wanting to shout about that day and that whole experience since I found out about it that Tuesday, so finally getting to spill today has been incredibly cathartic.  At the risk of sounding unprofessional, the day was incomparable – mainly because it proved that I could do this for a living if the opportunity were presented to me – and you can read all about it and the interview here.  The full interview transcript will be posted over at The Hullfire soon enough, but there’s a Pitch Perfect 2 review for you to read in the meantime!

Yes, I am talking about something that makes me happy instead of Paul Blart.  Why wouldn’t I?

5] Home

$3,300,000 / $158,132,000

Home finally opened in China last week, where DreamWorks films have often done well recently… and only made $8 million.  It is now up to $326 million worldwide, though.  Still, MAKE MORE MONEY FASTER, DAMMIT!

6] Cinderella

$2,357,000 / $193,651,000

Wait, seriously?  This re-entered the chart?  From the no. 12 slot?  Man, this was a bad week to be a non-Avengers film.

7] Ex Machina

$2,231,000 / $10,868,000

Surprising no-one, not even art house patrons could resist the allure of Ultron, since all art house patrons must be able to butt into conversations about blockbusters and explain in great detail why they suck horribly.  In any case, Ex Machina was never going to be a film that made a giant expansion in audience moneybills, anyway, so the fact that it’s doing $10 million worth of business already is good enough, I feel.  Yay for Alex Garland!

8] Unfriended

$1,988,000 / $28,531,000

I don’t think Lucy’s seen this yet, so I’m going to withhold having an opinion until I’ve heard from her.   What?

9] The Longest Ride

$1,700,000 / $33,240,000

Should probably clarify that I don’t think Age of Ultron is perfect – god, no, it’s a mess – and that having reasonable complaints about it is fine.  I just don’t understand why people who hate a certain genre or series, know that they will hate the latest instalment, and spend all of their time prior to seeing the thing complaining about doing so, would voluntarily… (*author remembers that this is what he does on an astoundingly frequent basis*)

I’ll be quiet now.

10] Woman In Gold

$1,681,000 / $24,588,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good video shops on July 27th.

Dropped Out: Get Hard, Monkey Kingdom

Callum Petch didn’t mean to make you cry.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 24/04/15 – 26/04/15

The Age of Adeline is not upon us, Little Boy makes child-sized money… basically, filmgoers opted to not see the crap that came out this week, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

…look, nothing came out this week.  It’s the weekend before The Avengers, or it is the weekend of The Avengers if you live in the specially designated half of the world, and every movie studio worth their salt knows that you release jack in the week before and after that Galactus-sized money-hoover.  After all, what’s the point when The Avengers will just swallow up any and all potential revenue for your film near-immediately?  This does make me question why Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are opening two weeks after instead of three to make absolutely certain that they can bank a nice amount of cash… but, then, I’m not the guy who has to deal with the utterly ridiculous Summer 2015 release schedule, so what do I know?

In fact, side note: can 2015 just end after the weekend of May 15th?  Like, just stop and move onto 2016?  I’m seeing Mad Max: Fury Road and, more importantly, Pitch Perfect 2 on the same day with the bestest and closest friend I have, who’s also staying for the weekend.  The year’s not going to get any better than that, it may as well just pack up and go home.  Anyways…

So, since nothing came out, audiences decided to take one last ride with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the whole gang before The Avengers supplants the “surrogate family”-driven film fix that we all so desperately crave.  Furious 7 held onto the top spot for the 4th weekend in a row with $18 million in ticket sales.  Close behind it – OK, about $2.5 million behind it, but that’s still way too close for me – was the excretable Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 which somehow retained 65% of its opening weekend audience and came away with $15.5 million in ticket sales.  It’s still trailing how the first Paul Blart was doing at this time by about $20 million, but that still doesn’t guarantee that we are safe from a sequel just yet.  I mean, we already got one!  I now have to go through my life in constant fear that Kevin James might force another one of these upon me!  I don’t like living in fear, you guys!

In any case, some films did come out this week.  It’s just that, like Paul Blart, they all stank to high heaven.  Widest-releasing, and therefore the one that actually charted, was The Age of Adeline, a film so confident in its construction and qualities that it actually lists one of its two screenwriters twice on its poster.  (EDIT: my good friend Jackson Tyler has informed me that it’s a WGA thing.  Still seems weird and ridiculous, mind.)  It actually beat Furious 7 on Friday, until everybody collectively realised that they could be watching good movies instead, where upon it finished the weekend in third with about $13 million in ticket sales.  Next up was Little Boy, a film that… you know what, how about I just post the Wikipedia synopsis and see how long it takes for you to realise why this film has not exactly won over the critical press…

The story centers on a 7-year-old boy, Pepper Flynt Busbee, who uses magic powers produced by his faith to end World War II and bring his father home.

yeah.  It only managed $2.8 million from 1,045 screens for a pathetic $2,708 per-screen average.  Then we have Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner.  Despite, according to himself, being a much more talented movie director than any other movie director alive today, because he’s been in 41 movies which means he knows more about directing than someone like Ridley Scott, nobody much seemed to care about his movie.  The film managed a meh $1.25 million from 320 screens and a sub-$4,000 per-screen average.  But, hey, at least it wasn’t Child 44!  Poor, poor Child 44.  I’d feel kinda bad for both of these films if they weren’t so uninterestingly rubbish.


furious 7 2

The age of this Full List is none of your business, you rude young man!

Box Office Results: Friday 24th April 2015 – Sunday 26th April 2015

1] Furious 7

$18,259,000 / $320,536,000

This will close having out-grossed 2014’s actual Highest Grossing Film Domestically, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and what is technically its Highest Grossing Film Domestically, American Sniper.  More importantly, this week, and this is even with Age of Ultron coming in hot, it will become the 4th highest grossing film worldwide of all-time and has a good shot of closing extremely close to The Avengers’ $1.5 billion.  Once again, if I see ANY “The Box Office Is DYING!” think-pieces this year… words have not yet been invented that can convey the strength of my response.

2] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$15,500,000 / $43,950,000

Now, I realise that I didn’t provide an actual professional or traditional review of this film when I subjected myself to it a few weeks back.  Some of you may wish for a second review, one that actually discusses the movie and properly conveys its various qualities and failings.  Well, you are in luck, cos I’ve got one right here for you!  Are you ready?

(*hits head on desk repeatedly for about 5 minutes*)

That’s your professional review of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

3] The Age of Adeline

$13,375,000 / NEW

Age of Ultron has already banked $201 million at the countries it managed to roll out to this past weekend.  Think it has any chance of breaking $2 billion?  Think it has any chance of breaking the $200 million opening weekend the first Avengers had in America?  All of this, I feel, depends on whether everybody agrees with Owen – who really doesn’t like it and is wrong – or myself – who finds it great but doesn’t love it like he did the first one, and is right.  Time will tell soon enough, folks.  Time will tell.

4] Home

$8,300,000 / $153,784,000

Despite being a legitimate success, Home has only just now been able to double its production budget worldwide.  Goddamn, even when they have a success, DreamWorks are still constantly teetering on the verge of oblivion!  Kung Fu Panda 3 was moved to late-January, recently, and I’m still worried that that’s going to crash and burn!  Do you see what you’re doing to me, DreamWorks?  DO YOU?!  Don’t you dare go dying on me now, ya hear!

5] Unfriended

$6,244,000 / $25,158,000

So this is apparently actually good?  Well, not if you believe the public – this has plummeted 60% between weekends – but the public wouldn’t know a good horror movie if it appeared out of nowhere and inflicted some kind of blender-based violence upon them; they mostly rejected It Follows, after all.  According to critics and horror fans, this is apparently rather good.  Huh, colour me surprised.  I’ll know for certain, in any case, when I subject Lucy to it this coming Friday.

6] Ex Machina

$5,441,000 / $6,920,000

Oh, yeah, this movie!  This actually expanded nationwide after a string of strong reviews and a fantastic pair of limited release weekends, so for a hard sci-fi with next-to-no real advertising behind it and only critical and art-house buzz this is a really good performance!  Yay for Alex Garland!  I don’t love this film like everyone else – mainly because, in typical Alex Garland fashion, he drops the ball on the ending, and there are a few structural choices that undermine its strongest thematic through-line – but I’m happy to see him do well.

7] The Longest Ride

$4,365,000 / $30,398,000

This has now done better than The Best (THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST) of Me, but is still one of the lowest-grossing Nicholas Sparks adaptations ever.  Can we finally put this guy’s brand/schtick out to pasture now?  Please?

8] Get Hard

$3,905,000 / $84,066,000

Because I know that some of you are curious: “Lucy” is Lucy Meer, my co-host of Screen 1, Monday nights at 9PM BST on Hullfire Radio.  The fact that you don’t know that means that you don’t listen, and that fact hurts my feelings.

9] Monkey Kingdom

$3,551,000 / $10,258,000

Monkeys are amazing.  That is all.

10] Woman In Gold

$3,501,000 / $21,635,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good video shops on July 27th.

Dropped Out: Insurgent, Cinderella

Callum Petch can’t read about it, burns the skin from his eyes.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

A semi-comprehensive guide to the 23 times that I gave Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 the middle-finger salute.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Fair Warning: there are minor spoilers, if you really care about this sort of thing with regards to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 of all goddamn movies.

I

Nearly 30 seconds into this utterly atrocious and pointless sequel to the inexplicable sleeper hit of January 2009.  That’s how long it takes for the first of these to occur, because I know you’re curious.  Since Jayma Mays decided that she had better things to do than appear in a sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the film has to figure out how to write her character out of the series, since she married Paul in the closing credits of the last film.  Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’s solution is to have her divorce Paul six days later through post because, as the film explicitly notes, she apparently “came to her senses”.  Also there was apparently projectile vomiting.

It’s an incredibly cruel send-off, one that goes entirely against the paper-thin character she was given in the first terrible movie, and feels very much like spite from the film’s producer, star and co-writer Kevin James.  Look, I realise that it probably hurts to be rejected by somebody who voluntarily served tours in two goddamn Smurfs movies, but this still feels like a mean-spirited and childish “FINE! I didn’t want to play with you anyway!” situation.  Not to mention the fact that Paul’s prior wife was explicitly noted as only using him for a Green Card.  This doesn’t paint a very good picture when it comes to your gender politics, friend.

II

About 20 seconds later, his mother is ran over by a milk truck and killed.  You know, I was under the impression that family entertainment isn’t supposed to be incredibly mean-spirited, but I guess I was wrong on that front.

III

Paul Blart’s daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) has just found out that her long shot application submission to UCLA has just been approved, at the same time that Paul has been sent an invitation to attend a National Security Guard Convention in Las Vegas.  Paul tells his news first, drops some spiel about how he’s glad that she’ll always be around because every woman in his life – because Paul only has female acquaintances in his life for some reason – leaves him, and then asks what her news is.  She opts to keep it hidden from him and I proudly raise my middle finger high.

Why do films keep doing this?  Sure, the act of having a character purposefully choosing to withhold information from another is as old as time and is basically the backbone of a literal tonne or seven of great stories.  But I’m not talking about those, I’m talking about instances like this which typically lead to drama of the laziest goddamn kind and a whole bunch of irritating Idiot Plots.  How hard is it for a film to actually try, dammit?  Then I remember that this is a film that barely 5 minutes ago dispatched two female characters by sudden divorce and random death respectively, and I realise that nobody involved in this production has ever heard of the concept of effort.

IV

One of Blart’s friends (Loni Love) introduces herself as he’s in line to get checked into the hotel and I prepare for her to reveal herself as nothing more than a sassy black stereotype because that’s all black women are good for in comedies, I guess.  I am proven right almost immediately.  Yay, me.

V

Paul is acting quite the insufferable egotistical jerk whilst trying to check in.  The first Paul Blart very much had the problem of not knowing whether Paul should be a lovable loser who’s a bit of a sad-sack because he realises the apparent futility of his job, or whether he’s a self-absorbed jerk who takes his job way too seriously.  This film’s one scene in the original mall seems to lean towards the former, but then this scene and pretty much everything else in the film swings the pendulum decidedly the other way.  It still wants you to feel sorry for and like him, though, which I can’t do because he’s played by Kevin James and I just do not like Kevin James.  Hence why douchey Paul Blart earns another middle-finger.

VI

The hotel’s general manager (Daniella Alonso) is now apologising to Paul and Maya for the mix-up with their room and makes the mistake of touching hands with Paul Blart.  He interprets this as her having a thing for him and spends the next minute rebuffing her and explaining how he knows that she just has to be into him.  Initially, it seems very much like Paul being the overblown egotistical jerk that the movie is oblivious to him being, but then it lingers on her looking at him from a distance as the scene ends and I proceed to raise the bird high and proud because I know exactly where this is going.

VII

Blart sees Maya planning to head down to the pool in a swimsuit where, we are all led to believe, a boy that she is sweet on will be waiting for her.  Paul proceeds to “You’re not going out like that” her and forces her to take an armoury’s worth of protective devices as precautions.  I know exactly where this is going and I am sick to death of the “if only you silly women had just listened to and stuck by your man/father then none of this would have happened” sub-genre of films, so out comes the vitriolic finger, once again.

VIII

Paul spies one of his friends being loudly rejected by a woman at a bar and resolves to intervene and resolve the situation.  It turns out that his friend, who is incredibly drunk, had propositioned her at the bar and is refusing to take “no” for an answer and just leave.  Paul turns the situation around on the woman, claiming that she was asking to be approached and/or hit on by a guy because she was sat alone at a bar drinking, and insists that she should be thanking the guy for harassing her.  And she agrees!

This movie, this family movie, really did just do a straight-faced sequence of Mansplaining.  Middle finger goes straight back up.

paul blart 2 2

IX

The hotel general manager is back and, exactly as predicted, she’s falling for Paul Blart for reasons that are inexplicable even to herself, almost like she realises her horrible situation and the merciless gods from upon high who are forcing her to act this way.  The bird gets another flight.

X

Can we all agree that relatively inexpensive CGI is the worst thing to happen to Happy Madison Productions in their history other than, you know, them still producing films?  Paul Blart is now spending an inordinate and painfully long time fighting a CGI bird that pretty much never looks like it’s in the same plane of existence as Kevin James is.  I respond by displaying my own bird, which is only a bird in the metaphorical and colloquial sense but is still more convincing as a real bird than the one on film ever will be.

XI

There’s a Mexican security guard as one of the secondary characters.  He’s the only one asleep during Blart’s big keynote speech because lazy Mexican stereotypes.  This was supposedly funny to someone.  I give a middle finger with an equivalent amount of effort.

XII

Maya accidentally stumbles into the bad guys’ suite and is captured.  “See!  This wouldn’t have happened if she listened to her dad and went to his keynote instead of going out and partying!  Father always knows best,” the film implicitly speaks.  This middle finger comes out of reflex more than any actual disdain as, like I said earlier, I’m just completely sick of this subgenre by this point and can’t muster up anything more than a half-hearted acknowledgment of “yep, that’s crappy”.

XIII

Paul’s hypoglycaemia kicks in as he’s trying to threaten the villain (Neal McDonough, of all sodding people).  I’ve always been annoyed by this aspect of these terrible, terrible goddamn films because they’re almost always played for “fat man fall down go boom” comedy instead of anything serious.  You could use this aspect as a legitimate piece of drama, a stakes-raiser during the action and something that can severely set Paul back if it kicked in at the wrong time.  Instead, and barring the one time that he fakes it at the end of the first movie, it’s almost always played as “fat man fall down go boom”.

And not even a funny or well-constructed “fat man fall down go boom”, either, which makes it even more insulting.  I send that finger up into the air for wasted potential.  Come on Kevin James, have some goddamn self-respect.

XIV

The hotel general manager is back again.  You know, I’m starting to get the feeling that Kevin James is just using this series as an ego-stroking vanity project more than anything else.  Not quite sure what’s giving that impression, though…  I still despise everything about this plotline, raising that middle-finger in the air as if it will actually do a goddamn thing.

XV

Paul Blart has just shoved a woman into a pool for pretty much no reason.  Our hero, folks.  Cue the middle finger.

The next five entries have been skipped as they constitute proper spoilers, I guess.

XXI

You know that sequence in the trailer where Paul hits on a horseback Sherriff?  The one set to West Coast Rap because white guys doing things whilst Rap music plays is apparently just that goddamn funny?  In the film itself, the scene is set to what basically amounts to Bro-Country.  I would rather listen to the collective sound of a hundred Crazy Frogs being mutilated than listen to Bro-Country.  This middle finger occurs due to abysmal musical standards.

XXII

The CGI horse joke sucked in the trailer and it still sucks now.  I middle finger to represent all those hard-working visual effects artists whose craft is being continuously pissed upon every time a Happy Madison film uses this stuff.

XXIII

The credits are now finally rolling.  I’ve managed to survive an interminable and somehow-even-longer-feeling 94 minutes of terrible jokes, dreadful performances, direct-to-video-quality direction – which is actually an insult to direct-to-video films, in all honesty – a surprising amount of sexism, and just general goddamn misery.  I feel like I have gained nothing except a completely wasted 94 minutes, and that fills me with anger.  I am angrier at this than I am at the film I watched beforehand, which is one that tried to play a scene of forced rape between two men for legitimate comedy!  This was a bad, bad, bad film with no redeeming qualities that actively wasted my time.

So I do the only thing that is fitting in this situation.  I stand up, I proudly give Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 the middle finger salute, let it hang there for a few seconds, then I gather my things and leave the cinema screen.

Callum Petch never thought he’d ever meet someone.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!