So what do About a Boy, Addicted to Love, Hollywood Ending, The Love Letter, and The Perfect Man have in common? Like the ironically titled Lucky You, they all were modest romantic tales that had the bad luck to open against — and get squashed by — a big summer action/special effects blockbuster. In 2002, About a Boy debuted opposite Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. Two weeks earlier, Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending bowed opposite the first Spider-Man. Meg Ryan’s Addicted to Love got chomped by the dinosaurs of The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997. The Love Letter was the sacrificial lamb that had to share an opening weekend with the most anticipated movie of 1999, Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. And two years ago, moviegoers overlooked Hilary Duff’s The Perfect Man in favor of Batman Begins. Of these counter-programming tactics, Hollywood Ending‘s was the least successful, opening with just $2.0 million toward a final tally of $4.9 million. Addicted had the strongest opening ($11.4 million), though About a Boy (pictured) had the highest final gross. During its theatrical lifetime, the Hugh Grant comedy earned $41 million, or about what Spider-Man 3 earned in a few hours on Friday.
Many of you guessed this one easily, though there were some entertaining wrong answers. “None of the movies star a radioactive spider bit photographer and his red-headed ditz of a girlfriend,” noted Kirby Holt. (True, but…) Angela Savelle described the five films as “movies I would never, never see.” (Also true, but…)
Others couldn’t help but editorialize. “I usually hate it when people put their feet on the seats in front of them in theaters, but I’m giving absolution to anyone who saw Lucky You this weekend. Odds are, you didn’t bother anyone,” cracked Cliff Rives. “Couldn’t there have been a better movie that opened against a big Hollywood blockbuster other than Perfect Man?” asked Maxwell Benesi. “I would rather individually break all my fingers and toes over the course of twenty-four hours than sit through this insipid piece of film feces.” Tell us how you really feel, Maxwell.
The lucky winners’ names are listed after the jump.
addCredit(“About a Boy: Everett Collection”)
Patrick A. Yearout
Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…