The New York Times reports today that Funny People “opened soft, with just $23.4 million at the domestic box office. ” Apparently, 23 million bucks is a pretty crummy first-weekend haul. Also, the movie is Adam Sandler’s “11th ranked opening weekend.” Jeez, what a disaster. As a result, Funny People joins Bruno and Public Enemies as duds, at least in the eyes of studio number crunchers. And I guess Adam Sandler ought to go back to making movies like Waterboy.
Except he shouldn’t; what Sandler is doing these days is uneven…and exciting. Likewise, flaws and all, Funny People, Bruno, and Public Enemies are three of the most interesting movies of the summer, movies that are drawing exactly the populations they’re naturally meant to attract. The idea that productions like these are considered failures if they don’t attract a monster crowd is exactly the kind of herd thinking that leads to universe of summer movies cloned from the DNA of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
Look, here’s a bomb:
Whereas this is a proud, ambitious project with limitations :
So for you and me, what good are weekly box office stats and analyses published in newspapers and other consumer publications? No good at all, that’ s what–unless you make your movie-going selections based entirely on what a lot of people you don’t know have already seen week by week. In which case, well, how did you like Monsters vs. Aliens?
In my perfect moviegoing world, box office statistics would remain the province of movie-industry publications, just as info about the comparative sales of Cheerios and Kashi Go Lean Crunch! is best kept to the pages of whatever trade journals breakfast-cereal industry moguls read over their morning bowls of breakfast cereal.
Breaking news: more people eat Cheerios. But those who like Kashi know who we are.